July 2, 2012
Als like all other East teams — losers
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
Supposedly the balance of power in the CFL had shifted east this season.
Judging by the results of Week 1, the West is still best in this league.
When Ricky Ray was traded to the Toronto Argonauts and Henry Burris was shipped to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, there was talk of a powerful East Division this season.
The Montreal Alouettes still had Anthony Calvillo, so the highest-profile names at pivot are in the Eastern timezone.
The Calgary Stampeders certainly made Calvillo look like a mere mortal Sunday, causing three turnovers from the Alouettes during a 38-10 romp that would have been much worse if not for a late touchdown taken off the board for the home side.
Never in the history of the crossover playoff spot has the East gone West, but six times, it’s gone the other way.
Some pundits even had the courage to predict all four East teams making the playoffs this season, and that looks like a laughable suggestion after four games.
Only the Edmonton Eskimos’ 19-15 victory over a sloppy Ray and the Argos was even close, making for a dull slate of opening outings.
For all Jon Cornish knows about making quick cuts and breaking tackles, he hasn’t figured out how to keep his helmet on. Twice in the first quarter, the Stamps workhorse tailback lost his lid, both at the end of plays. Maybe it has something to do with the fact when Cornish puts his lid back on, he doesn’t even need to adjust the chin strap … Stampeders QB Drew Tate was on the mark early in this one, hitting his first seven targets for 70 yards. His eighth one should have been caught as well, but Landan Talley had the pass clank off his hands for a drop. Any worries about Tate’s lacklustre pre-season were alleviated … Never does a game against the Alouettes go by where Nik Lewis doesn’t make a Montreal defender part of his personal highlight-reel. Last year, it was Dwight Anderson mocking the former Stamps star’s dance. Two years ago, Mark Estelle was roadkill. This time, it’s defensive back Michael Carter as the victim as Lewis leapt into the endzone for a third-quarter major.
Simply no explanation for anthem singer wearing a hat while belting out a horrible rendition of O Canada. That’s a bit of a slap in the face to Canadians twice. One for the hat, and two for the singing. He should have removed his hat during the anthem then used it to hide his identity leaving McMahon Stadium. Fans didn’t like it either. “My father served in the military for 32 years. I’m aghast that someone would wear a hat singing the anthem on Canada Day,” said fan Bruce MacKenzie. “It is just rude. A true lack of respect. Lest we forget,” said fan Randal Petrie. The Twitterverse had its fair share of haters, too. Hey Frank... anthem singer for #stamps game. Why are you wearing a hat? #fail #respect @buzzilinear … Stamps DB Keon Raymond was handed his Presidents’ Ring during a halftime presentation with prez Lyle Bauer. Moments later, Raymond was in position to make another of his impact plays from last year, but the sure pick-six went off his hands and to the ground … The Alouettes certainly missed Shea Emry’s grit last season from the middle linebacker spot, but they could have done without his second-quarter drilling of a prone Drew Tate. After a wayward snap from Mark Dewit, Tate just held the ball while on the ground. Emry popped him solidly, giving the Stamps a second chance to keep a drive alive on a penalty charged to Emry. They scored a TD to make Emry and the Als pay.
The Stampeders have a tradition of playing on Canada Day, but this is the first one defensive co-ordinator Rick Campbell can celebrate as a Canadian. Campbell and wife Gerry became Canadian citizens early Sunday morning in Calgary. Campbell certainly knows Canadian football. His scheme against Anthony Calvillo and the Alouettes was spot-on … Stampeders LS Randy Chevrier missed a day of practice early this week catching up on real-estate work at his day job. It didn’t stop him from suiting up Sunday for the 73rd straight time. The long-snapper has the longest active streak for the Stampeders … There was no fireworks display after the final gun, but on the opening kickoff there were a couple of blasts. It had to have taken the Alouettes returners Trent Guy and Noel Devine by surprise when two blasts went off as the ball was in the air.
On Twitter: @SUNIanBusby