Party now, focus later, Stampeders!
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|Argos defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones left Calgary last December under inauspicious circumstances, and some members of the Stamps organization still aren’t happy with how it happened. (QMI Agency file photo)
TORONTO - Get your partying done now, boys.
Toronto is a big city. It has plenty of attractions. Some of these attractions even serve alcohol and have dance floors.
The Calgary Stampeders arrived in town late Tuesday afternoon, officially marking the start of Grey Cup week from a football perspective — and possibly from a partying perspective.
The last time the Grey Cup was in Toronto, there were numerous eyewitness reports that Bombers running back Charles Roberts was having a little too much fun the night before the game. It could just be urban legend, but it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility if you knew the man known as Blink.
The Argos have it either good or bad, depending how you want to look at it. They are in their home city, so they know where they can go to get away from it all. Then again, that could be home, or that could be out on the town.
The moral of this story is if the players want to have a few and experience the bedlam that can be Grey Cup week, get it done early. They can have a little bit of fun, but then lock it down. They may get to the big game only once. You can hit the clubs any time — like on Sunday night after winning the 100th Grey Cup.
There is supposed to be a moratorium on non-Grey Cup news from the other CFL teams during the league’s biggest week of the year, but the Hamilton Tiger-Cats got a pass on that Tuesday.
The Ticats finally let their fans know where they will be playing their games in 2013 while a new park is being built on the old Ivor Wynne Stadium grounds.
The Tabbies will play in Guelph, about 50 km north of Hamilton, after the franchise and the University of Guelph signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday. The press release didn’t make it sound as official, however, noting the memo “could see the Tiger-Cats call the University of Guelph’s newly renovated Alumni Stadium their home” for 2013.
The CFL let the Ticats spread the news because it never should have taken this long and their fan base deserved to know sooner rather than later.
McMaster University, which is located in Hamilton, was the obvious choice for the Tabbies’ temporary home, but word is the affluent members of the neighbourhood around the school weren’t fans of that happening.
The stadium has 4,000 permanent seats and has the ability to get to 10,000 with temporary seats. There will also be more temporary stands erected for Tiger-Cats games.
Now all they need to do is figure out how to build a new stadium in a year on the current Ivor Wynne site.
Good luck with that.
BITS AND BITES
The best subplot of the week is no doubt the Chris Jones story. The Argos defensive co-ordinator left Calgary last December under inauspicious circumstances, and some members of the Stamps organization still aren’t happy with how it happened. Instead of asking the Stamps to talk to him, the Argos just talked to him and tried to poach other members of the staff as well. That’s the part that didn’t sit well … Just because it’s Grey Cup week doesn’t mean there can’t be focus on the other eight teams as well. There are some holes to fill, like a general manager’s chair in Edmonton, and an assistant GM’s spot and defensive co-ordinator position in Winnipeg. Those are the first of what will be no doubt be many positions up for grabs once the Grey Cup is over and the musical chairs begin. It appears Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed or head scout Ed Hervey are the front runners to replace Eric Tillman in Edmonton, while the Bombers are interested in their special teams coach and Canadian college co-ordinator, Kyle Walters, about their assistant GM gig. Bombers GM Joe Mack, according to a source, has also talked to Ron Selesky, the director of player personnel for the Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators. While Selesky has plenty of experience south of the border, he doesn’t sound like someone who fits the criteria of knowing the Canadian game or of ultimately becoming Mack’s successor … It looks like Calgary head coach John Hufnagel’s Twitter ban is working well so far. Let’s just hope other teams don’t follow suit if the Stamps go on to win the Grey Cup this week. They might view it as a key to success, and the last thing we in the media need is players quitting Twitter … The number of media members covering the 100th Grey Cup hasn’t been finalized, but CFL officials are expecting to come close to the record … Stamps running back Jon Cornish was named the Canadian player of the week on Tuesday. In other news, the sun came up … The teams will practise for the first time on Wednesday, but both will be closed to the media. Instead, the Argos will host a breakfast and the Stamps will hold a lunch. Much better than watching practice.