That rotten rule

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

It's time for the CFL to get rid of one of its ridiculous roster rules.

Based on the current pointless regulation, every head coach has to declare the injured players on his team 48 hours before kickoff.

Once a player is declared injured, he can't be activated for the upcoming game.

The foolish rule handcuffs coaches, hurts players and hurts the club's chances of success.

It means every week coaches are stuck playing a needless guessing game. A prime example came last week.

It was Wednesday afternoon, and Eskimo coach Danny Maciocia believed stellar starting defensive tackle Cedric Scott might be healthy enough by Friday night to play in the key showdown with the B.C. Lions.

But - understandably - the Esks bench boss didn't want to take the risk of Scott not being ready.

So, he had to scratch him from his roster plans and declare him injured.

Why not make coaches declare injured players and their roster two hours before kickoff?

That would give every team a fair chance to field the best possible roster.

ANOTHER JOKE: The CFL's two-game suspension of Jonta Woodard is a farce.

In last Thursday's game in Toronto, the Hamilton offensive lineman shoved an official, made obscene gestures toward the crowd and then hucked a cup toward a fan in the stands as he left the field.

For that, he gets just two games.

When is the league going to start making an example of players like Woodard? A hefty suspension might make some players think for more than just one second before being stupid.

SHORT YARDAGE: Nearly 41,000 people flocked to Rogers Centre in Toronto for that game, the biggest crowd in 15 years.

But the real test of football's health in T.O. comes in the East Division final.

Let's face it, some people just bought a ticket last Thursday to see if Brian Diesbourg would win $1 million by nailing a field goal at halftime.

Without a great promotional carrot dangling in front of fans, will the Argos top 40,000 on Nov. 20?

LATE HITS: Is trouble brewing in Montreal? Damon Duval has missed four of his last six field goals. The last thing any team wants is a cold kicker down the stretch ... On the other hand, it appears the Lions have ended their kicking nightmare, with Mark McLoughlin hitting all four field goals last Friday against Edmonton. The game probably wouldn't have been close if Duncan O'Mahony was still kicking.

EXTRA POINT: Wally Buono is a brilliant football coach, but a very strange move might have cost his team a key victory last Friday.

The Lions are first and goal from the four-yard line in the first quarter and Casey Printers doesn't hand the ball to Antonio Warren. Maciocia publicly said Warren is almost automatic from that territory.

After an incomplete pass, B.C. ignores Warren on second down, forcing a field goal.

LAST WORD: Kudos to Quebec teenager Chance Saint Marche for auctioning Paul McCallum's so-called jinxed kicking shoes from last year's West final on EBay, along with a Grey Cup package (tickets/field passes), and giving the proceeds to Blake Shaw's family to pay medical bills.

Saint Marche originally bought the shoes for $3,050 last January, but has been touched by Shaw's story.

Shaw is a junior football player in southern Alberta who might need a heart transplant. The auction ends today.

The high bid - as of yesterday afternoon - was $1,025.

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HIT & MISS

HIT

Sean Fleming had the game-winning field goal last Friday and is perfect in his last 10 attempts.

MISS

Tabbies' Jonta Woodard shoves an official and throws a cup at fans in the stands at Rogers Centre last Thursday.

HIT

Als' Terry Vaughn tops 1,000 receiving yards for the 11th straight year.

NUMBERS GAMES

0 - Road wins by Hamilton this season.

2 - Hamilton has been winless on the road in two of the last three seasons.

4 - Consecutive road losses by the Lions.

40 - Brian Diesbourg receives $25,000 each year for 40 years for his 50-yard kick last Thursday.

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QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"That was just amazing.''

Brian Diesbourg after making his 50-yard, $1-million kick.

"I've been trying to calculate to see whether I've earned $1 million in this league.''

- Mark McLoughlin, a 17-year veteran kicker.

"I'll probably be sitting on the can, trying to figure it out, and I'll start screaming.''

- Saskatchewan's Scott Schultz can't explain his team's inconsistent play.

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GAME OF THE WEEK

EDMONTON AT CALGARY, SUNDAY, 3 P.M., TSN

If B.C. loses to Saskatchewan on Saturday night, this game will decide first, second and third place in the West Division. If the Lions win, this game will decide home field for the West Division semifinal.


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