Time for our off-beat awards

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

The regular season has come to a close, so it's time to dish out some annual awards.

No, not those.

We're talking about the weird, the wild and the wacky from the year that was.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A DIRECTOR OF OFFICIATING

WINNER: George Black.

The CFL's top official had to apologize not once, but twice, for critical mistakes made some of his zebras.

The first regret came after Bomber kick returner Keith Stokes was clotheslined by Ticat special teamer DeVonte Peterson and fumbled the ball.

Hamilton took over deep in Winnipeg territory and put the game-clinching touchdown on the board.

Black said later that unnecessary roughness should have been called against Peterson, and the Bombers would have retained possession.

Then, just two weeks later, an official working the Stamps-Lions game failed to see that Calgary's Sulecio Sanford was onside for Mike Juhasz's only-in-the-CFL punt on the last play of the game. Sanford picked up the ball and ran into the end zone, but referee Jake Ireland overturned the touchdown.

Once again, Black stepped up to the mic and tried to make amends.

TOP GAME OFFICIAL

WINNER: No nominees.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A "GREATEST RECEIVER OF ALL TIME"

WINNER: Andre Rison.

Check out these gaudy numbers -- 14 catches for 174 yards and one touchdown in five games.

BEST USE OF A RECORDING DEVICE

WINNER: Alouettes equipment assistant Serge Brotherton.

Bombers assistant coach Less Browne caught Brotherton focusing his video camera toward the Winnipeg sideline during a July game at Ottawa's Frank Clair Stadium.

It's believed the Als were stealing signals, but there was one small problem with the brouhaha that ensued -- there's nothing illegal about it.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A BACKUP QB ... WHO'S STILL A BACKUP

WINNER: Casey Printers.

The young B.C. Lions stud -- and potential Most Outstanding Player -- filled Dave Dickenson's shoes admirably when the veteran went down in July with his latest knee injury.

When you read between the lines of head coach Wally Buono's cryptic comments about his quarterbacking situation, it seems like he wants Dickenson at the helm in the post-season.

Both Printers and Dickenson are banged up, however.

Can you say Spergon Wynn?

WORST TEAM TO GO TO THE BAR WITH

WINNER: The Edmonton Eskimos.

In separate incidents while out on the town in the City of Champions, defensive back Donny Brady was stabbed in the back and special teamer Roger Reinson was hit in the head with a beer bottle.

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THEY SAID IT

"They screw up a game every week. It gets old. It's costing people money and it's costing people jobs."

-- Roughriders GM Roy Shivers talking about CFL officials. The Lions beat his team 40-38 Saturday night, but Shivers says they got a lot of help from the refs and the timekeeper.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: 700,000

- Approximate number of dollars, based on an average price of $25, that Argos ownership will eat after offering a free ticket to each of the 31,212 who showed up at SkyDome last Thursday night to watch the Boatmen -- minus almost a dozen healthy starters -- get splattered 58-20 by the Als.


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