Upon further review ...

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

Argue all you want about the inherent glitches of video replays, especially in the hands of CFL officials.

Yes, it slows down the game.

And it's agreed some TV angles are of no benefit.

But in Week 1, the league again proved it is in dire need of the innovation to help the zebras get it right.

Although Edmonton wound up rolling over Ottawa Friday night, as expected, replays showed Jason Tucker's second-quarter TD was trapped against the ground. While the official was in position to make the call, a Renegades defensive back blocked his view of the play. At the time, Edmonton was enjoying a slim 12-9 lead.

In the Winnipeg-Saskatchewan game Saturday, officials ruled former Stamps receiver Wane McGarity, now a Bomber, fumbled a pass when in fact he never had control of the ball.

It brings to mind the officiating gaffe that cost the Stampeders a rare win in Vancouver late last season, an onside kick that went for a touchdown was incorrectly ruled offside.

TV cameras didn't catch the entire play, rendering the replays inconclusive.

But most controversial calls revolve around complete/incomplete passes and fumbles, which should be captured by TV from every angle.

The league experimented with replays last year and in the pre-season but the jury is out on whether the expensive innovation will be implemented as early as the 2006 CFL season.

In the Toronto-Hamilton pre-season experiment, three challenges were reviewed -- one instituted by each team and another by the league -- but confusion reigned as to what plays can and can't be reviewed.

CFL director of officiating George Black said reports regarding the use of instant replay in Halifax will be written, then recommendations will be made to the CFL board.

Money is a primary issue.

The NFL spends millions annually on instant replay. It puts its own videotape recorders on all cameras used in its stadiums thus giving the league its own tapes to review.

The CFL doesn't have nearly that much to spend, so it uses a TV feed -- at an estimated cost of between $1,000 to $1,500 a game. The problem, though, is those shots tend to focus more on quarterbacks and receivers than the entire field.

Black said the CFL will likely conduct additional tests at games this season without involving the respective teams to further work out the kinks.

Bottom line is, CFL officials need to make the right call, even if video replay is necessary to get it done.

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RUBBING IT IN: The Argos' Grey Cup ring ceremony Saturday in front of the B.C. Lions, who Toronto edged in last year's title game, didn't sit well with some Leos, most notably punter/placekicker Duncan O'Mahony.

"Toronto didn't beat us, we gave them the game," huffed the cerebral former Stamp on the eve of Saturday's Cup rematch at Rogers Centre.

O'Mahony should know best as he squandered valuable field position angling the ball out of bounds in November's Classic.

O'Mahony punted seven times for a meagre 27.9-yard average in last fall's 27-19 loss to the Argos in the Cup Classic. He also missed a pair of short field goals in the Grey Cup rematch Saturday night, although the Lions still prevailed 27-20.

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THRILLING NIGHT: Flashy Argos rookie running back Hakim (The Thrill) Hill could be in the lineup against the Stampeders Friday night at McMahon Stadium.

Hill made his CFL debut Saturday night against B.C., replacing John Avery, who was sidelined with a hip injury that kept him out of the pre-season games.

Avery thought he'd suffered a hip flexor in training camp but when treatment failed to resolve the problem, he had an ultrasound which revealed a minor tear in the groin area. Hill rushed seven times for 39 yards against the Lions but also fumbled once.

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KEEPING WATCH: Travis Moore was wandering the corridor behind the McMahon Stadium pressbox prior to his Roughriders pre-season game against the Stamps in early June. He might have to get used to the view.

The former Stamps slotback, traded to Regina prior to the 2003 season, has been bumped out of the starting lineup by slotback Elijah Thurmon.

Moore, who turns 35 in August, led the Roughriders receiving corps last season with 72 catches for 1,025 yards despite suffering a number of painful injuries to his knee, ankle, hip. Thurmon caught three passes for 53 yards and one TD in the Roughies season-opener against Winnipeg.

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WHAT A RUSHER: Roughriders legendary running back George Reed is still making an impact on the CFL 30 years after walking away from the game.

In the wake of Mike Pringle's retirement ceremony in Montreal last Wednesday, Sun readers were polled with 43% suggesting Reed is still the best back in CFL history, well ahead of Pringle's 25%.

Pringle was obviously a great back and broke more long runs than Reed while also posting a 2,000-plus yard season with Baltimore. But Pringle obviously tarnished his legacy in the eyes of many by hanging on well past his prime, last season eclipsing Reed's all-time rushing record of 16,116 yards.

Reed, who now lives in Calgary, rushed for 1,454 yards in his 13th and final season, the third-best total in his brilliant career.

Reed could have reached 20,000 yards had he worn out his welcome like Pringle.

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PRICE IS RIGHT?: The Ottawa Renegades appear to have pulled off a marketing coup by selling 5,836 season tickets in a one-day blitz for the bargain basement price of $99.

The franchise made a fast half-million with the offering but how does the rest of the 'Gades fan base -- some 5,000 customers who paid the original prices of $380-$500 -- feel now that the ducats have been so drastically devalued?

If ticket buyers who paid the original price are rebated, will they pay the full price next year?

What happens to next season's ticket drive if the team fails miserably this year -- two for $99 and you get to call a play?

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NUMBER 6

The number of times B.C. Lions QB Dave Dickenson was sacked Saturday night in Toronto. Stampeders pivot Henry Burris will face the same Argos assault Friday night at McMahon Stadium.

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ON THE FIELD

THURSDAY

Edmonton at Winnipeg, 6:30 p.m. (TSN)

FRIDAY

Montreal at Ottawa, 4 p.m. (TSN)

Toronto at Calgary, 7 p.m. (TSN)

SATURDAY

Saskatchewan at Hamilton, 5 p.m. (CBC)

BYE: B.C.

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WHAT DID YOU SAY?

"We don't have any problems here with Jason and Ricky and the quarterback position. I think we have two No. 1's here. '

-- Edmonton Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia on starter Ricky Ray and backup Jason Maas.

Maas refused to talk with the media on the weekend.


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