Here’s hoping the Ticats turn it around

GEORGE GROSS

, Last Updated: 1:30 AM ET

Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton used to rock with chants of “Oskee-wee-wee, oskee-wa-wa, Holy Mackinow, Tigers, eat ’em raw.”

This particularly was prevalent on Labour Day when the Argonauts visited the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the traditional holiday weekend showdown. And if things went really well for the Ticats, the fans began chanting “Argos suck.”

That was then and tomorrow is another day. For the past three home games the Ticats have failed to score a touchdown and their once famous growl sounds more like a pussycat’s “meow.”

Long gone are the days of Grey Cup triumphs.

Ticats head coach Ron Lancaster has more or less given up on his proteges and is thinking of changes for next year.

And while most football experts predict that the Argonauts should win this year’s back-to-back series, one man is not quite convinced.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ticats went like hell (tomorrow),” former Argos coach Leo (The Lip) Cahill said. “A lot will depend on the play of Hamilton quarterback Jason Maas. I saw him play for Edmonton and he looked good. Right now, he appears to have lost his confidence. That, of course, affects the whole football team.

“I have never seen a Hamilton team in such disarray. If a good quarterback talks in the huddle, everybody believes him. However, if he loses his self-confidence, the other players become affected by it.”

Argos head coach Pinball Clemons and his star quarterback Damon Allen are, of course, keen to make the day miserable for the Tabbies. Perhaps, not only because Allen is shooting to pass Warren Moon’s pro football passing record, but mainly to assure the Boatmen of a prominent spot in the playoffs.

Cahill doesn’t blame Lancaster, or the fired offensive co-ordinator Joe Paopao and offensive line coach Kani Kauahi for the team’s problems. As Cahill says: “When things are not working, blame the coach. That’s always been the motto. Don’t I know it.”

The fact is that Canada’s oldest sports franchise, which was founded in 1869, is in deep trouble.

Now it’s up to owner and highly successful businessman Bob Young and recently appointed general manager Marcel Desjardins to breathe some life into the Tiger-Cats seemingly lifeless body.

Either that, or call in the undertakers.

Grossly abbreviated

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