The Don's gonna love replay

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

If the off-season was any indication, 2006 will be another wild year in the CFL.

Just look back at the last few months.

Another franchise collapsed in Ottawa, this time just 10 weeks before the start of the season.

One team (the B.C. Lions) lost a Most Outstanding Player Award winner to the NFL (quarterback Casey Printers), but probably got better because of it.

League governors actually agreed to a real salary cap.

And the Toronto Argonauts signed a legitimate NFL superstar, in running back Ricky Williams.

Makes you wonder what craziness is in store for the season.

Which brings us to the sixth annual edition of Friesen's Forecast, a collection of CFL predictions you won't find anywhere else.

June 16: Don Matthews' Alouettes dismantle Doug Berry's Blue Bombers in the regular season opener. A cocky Matthews calls for instant replay on Montreal's fifth touchdown, just to force the Bombers to watch it over and over again on the big screen.

June 22: Ricky Williams causes a stir when he says Winnipeg would be the only other CFL team, besides Toronto, he'd consider playing for. Asked to elaborate, Williams says, "Any place where the mascots are named Buzz and Bomber is my kind of town." Uh, that's Boomer, Ricky.

'Good lookin' babe'

July 20: Reports out of Montreal suggest the only reason struggling kicker Damon Duval remains with the team is because he's married to Als president Larry Smith's daughter. Smith manages to elude the media by hiding in hotel kitchens until Duval breaks out of his slump.

Aug. 19: Don Matthews calls for instant replay on a crowd shot, saying he just wanted a second look at "this really good lookin' babe in the fourth row."

Sept. 3: The Roughriders and Blue Bombers, with five wins between them, have a hard time living up to the term "Labour Day classic." In Regina, they're calling for the firing of GM Roy Shivers and head coach Danny Barrett. In Winnipeg, they're wondering if quarterback Khari Jones wants to come out of retirement.

Sept. 10: The Banjo Bowl rematch sees quarterback Kevin Glenn continue to struggle at the controls of the Bombers offence. Jones, now a CBC-TV sideline reporter, explains to viewers Glenn is suffering from a puzzling shoulder ailment that just won't go away.

Sept. 11: Glenn and Jones are seen playing a round of golf at a Winnipeg-area course.

Sept. 23: Stamps quarterback Danny McManus, 41, gets into a fight with 43-year-old Damon Allen of the Argos. Guinness confirms the incident breaks the previous world record for oldest known combatants, set when Methuselah and his grandson, Noah, got into a scrap over the ark.

Oct. 21: Montreal's Anthony Calvillo reaches the 50,000-yard mark in career passing. Matthews announces he's reached the 50,000 mark in career girlfriends.

Nov. 1: As the playoffs approach, it's apparent CFL commissioner Tom Wright will be fired at season's end, mainly because owners David Braley of B.C. and Montreal's Robert Wetenhall are convinced Wright worships the devil.

CONTROVERSIAL PLAY

Nov. 15: Braley's Lions and Wetenhall's Alouettes are to meet in the Grey Cup, but Wright refuses to attend, unwilling to hand the trophy to either one. Bombers president Lyle Bauer says he'll do the honours, saying, " I told you we'd be hoisting the Grey Cup at the Stadium on Nov. 19."

Nov. 19: The Alouettes edge the Lions to claim the Cup, thanks to a controversial play in which Matthews uses instant replay to reverse the call. The Don smugly calls it his best use of replay since Aug. 19.


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