So, what do you do now?
Fire the coach?
Fire the CEO?
Cancel the Grey Cup?
With pass interference penalties called and not called in the final minute, Edmonton fans left Commonwealth Stadium last night not sure if they wanted to first string up a few officials of the zerba variety or a few officials of the Eskimos.
Either way, you wouldn’t blame the 31,888 fans for throwing up their hands and giving up on the rest of the season with a 1-5 team that has a run of Calgary-Saskatchewan-Calgary-Calgary-Montreal before they play the Toronto Argos again in late September in Moncton.
There is something seriously wrong with the mental make-up of this team, which has managed to produce only one game, and certainly nothing close to a particularly good one at that, to at least temporarily save the job of Richie Hall who has to go back to coaching from the edge of the cliff if he still has a job come next week.
This team, which has spent the first third of the season in total turmoil, looked a lot like the one that showed up (or, more accurately, didn’t show up) for the opening game of the season and that empty effort two weeks ago in Winnipeg which inspired putting the entire organization on notice and, finally, the firing of Danny Maciocia as general manager.
Maybe they showed how much they loved their coach the previous week. But how can you not question the ability of this coaching staff to get these allegedly professional football players to show up for the start of a game?
This was a team that, apart from a three-series run with three consecutive touchdowns in the second half (they had only managed eight TDs in the first five and a half games), suffered badly in comparison to Toronto in terms of offensive creativity, especially early.
With Fred Stamps, Jason Barnes, Arkee Whitlock and Jared Zabransky (in for a naked bootleg touchdown) making big plays, the Eskimos actually led 21-19 going into the fourth quarter.
But this is a team you can’t begin to trust in a fourth quarter.
They were outscored 29-28 in the final 15 minutes of this one.
And, if you’re scoring, that now makes it 75-24 that they’ve been outscored in fourth quarters this season.
First quarters aren’t exactly their specialty either.
They were down 11-0 after the first quarter in this one and the Argos left 10 points on the table.
After the first third of the season the Eskimos have now been outscored 40-13 in initial stanzas.
Another problem this season has been dropped balls on key pass situations — starring Kelly Campbell, who dropped a second-down pass inside the 20-yard line when the Esks offence finally started to move the football prior to half time.
The game plan in this one was to stop Cory Boyd, the sensation of the season at running back for the Argos behind an offensive line that is definitely getting the job done.
Make the Argos one-dimensional was the idea.
Boyd, who had 484 yards going into the game, had hit the 100-yard mark forthe game long before half time as he ran at will up the middle.
With an inspired game plan, Boyd was involved in a flea flicker that went for 36 yards on the first play from scrimmage of the game.
He ran a counter play for a 43-yard touchdown and he made a great catch in the end zone at the end of the half to give the Argos a 19-4 lead.
In short, he was spectacular.
Richie Hall’s defence gave up 113 yards to Boyd on the ground and 36 more in the air in the first half.
Edmonton’s defence ended up giving up 94 yards in 14 plays as the Argos came back to win it in the final minute.
It was a night to celebrate the ’70s, when the Eskimos were the team of the decade. But they’re still stuck in the ’60s. It’s been 45 years since Edmonton started a season at 1-5.
It’s too bad the Eskimos fired Danny Maciocia after the win last weekend.
The fans are going to want somebody else sacrificed this weekend.