CFL Blitz: And the Blitz Award goes to ...

Give Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo the award for Best performance by a 40-year-old in the...

Give Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo the award for Best performance by a 40-year-old in the CFL. (OLIVIER JEAN/Reuters file photo)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:56 AM ET

The all-time receiving yardage mark was set, a 40-year-old quarterback has thrown for a record eight straight 300-yard games and one player is unstoppable as a returner.

All this (and more) has happened during the first half of the CFL season. How can anyone say there aren't compelling storylines in 2012?

While the race to Toronto for the 100th Grey Cup should be intriguing, it's time for us to hand out some hardware from the first half.

Forget about the regular awards. Clearly, J.C. Sherritt will win the defensive player of the year honour. Obviously, Chris Williams (with six return TDs) and Chad Owens (record yardage pace) will go neck-and-neck for both special teams and most outstanding player.

What is more interesting are the more obscure, often completely fictional categories of the Blitz Awards. Here are the winners:

Best new artist: Kory Sheets

Not only is his name fun to work into headlines, the new Roughriders running back has shown a nose for the endzone. He already has a signature dive that he's worked out in scoring TDs in his first five games.

Worst landing: Drew Tate

In Week 2, the Stampeders' season took a twist as quarterback Drew Tate fell while eluding pressure. The new starting pivot put his hand out to brace his fall and dislocated his shoulder. Tate opted for surgery, but he will try to return by the end of the season.

Best performance by a 40-year-old: Anthony Calvillo

The Alouettes' quarterback is drinking from a fountain of youth somewhere. Or he's like a fine wine, getting better with age. On his 40th birthday, Calvillo led the Als on a game-winning drive, just like it was a walk in the park. Now the Als have four straight games.

Most hits received: Chad Owens

Who cares about delivering the most tackles in a CFL season? If Owens keeps this up, he will probably set the record for most tackles absorbed. Owens has 42 receptions, three rushing attempts, 32 kickoff returns, 37 punt returns and three missed field goal returns this year. Rarely does he go out of bounds.

Best drought: Geroy Simon

No one in the history of football has made going without a TD reception look so good. Stuck at 99 for his career, Simon isn't concerned about not scoring this season. The Lions are 6-3 and he did, in fact, take over the all-time receiving yardage lead this season. Simon is just chasing down a record he's never been close to: Most receiving yards without a TD for a single season. It belongs to Calgary's Romby Bryant (780 in 2009), and Simon clearly wants it.

Most popular on Facebook: Joe Mack

Hey, the Bombers GM has fans. He's getting 'liked.' All of them want him fired, though. More than 3,700 users have 'liked' the Fire Jose Mack Petition page on Facebook. There is a poll wondering what fans should chant at the Ban-Joe Bowl. Overwhelmingly, it's Sack Joe Mack. This is the type of publicity that's hard to buy.

Biggest non-flag thrown: George Cortez

The Ticats' head coach gets the blame, but his entire coaching staff dropped the ball on what was a dropped ball. Three weeks ago in Montreal, it was clear S.J. Green didn't make a 40-yard grab that set up a field goal. The Als escaped with a 31-29 victory.

Best replacement player: S.J. Green

If someone told you Jamel Richardson would be out for three weeks and sitting at 21st in receiving yardage, you would bet the Alouettes would be losing games. Instead, the Als are surging at the halfway point, as Richardson's twin brother, S.J. Green, has taken the league by storm, leading the CFL with 737 yards in nine games.

Best exit: Paul LaPolice

While the entire CFL either ripped the Blue Bombers for firing their head coach or laughed at them for it, LaPolice walked away quietly. Sure, he released a statement disagreeing with the move, but he let others fire shots at Joe Mack and the Bombers organization.

Longest rollercoaster ride: Toronto Argonauts

Ricky Ray took over at quarterback for the Argos, and the CFL put him back in Edmonton for Week 1. The Argos lost. Then they returned home and won. Then they lost. They they won. If not for two straight wins in Weeks 4 and 5, the Argos haven't had streaks of any kind. So this week, after beating the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton, they should "¦.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter @SUNIanBusby


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