Stuck on statistics

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

If there was any justice in the CFL, Jason Clermont would have recorded his first TD last week in Winnipeg.

Instead, some bonehead at Canad Inns Stadium blew a whistle and killed a play where the B.C. Lions slotback scored easily. Clermont, who was out since the season-opener with a knee injury, hardly even reacted, despite getting robbed of the points in what turned out to be a blowout 32-5 win over the Blue Bombers.

The play brings up an interesting thought for evaluating talent. If the CFL could find a way to tabulate stats that don't show up on a regular scoresheet, it would be easier to see which players perform at a higher level.

If plays called back on penalties were counted, Stampeders receiver Jeremaine Copeland would have four TDs instead of two. Argos returner Bashir Levingston would have scored the league's first missed field-goal return TD, which was called back against the Tiger-Cats Saturday.

If such a system existed, it could also record what percentage of QB's passes are on the mark, what a receiver's percentage of catchable passes were completed and how many successful blocks an offensive lineman performs per play.

While coaches already study film to look at schemes and player performance, such stats would give better insight for football experts and armchair quarterbacks alike.

OPENING DRIVE: Amazingly, three groups are interested in bringing football back to Ottawa, despite all the history that suggests it wouldn't be a good business decision. The interesting part of the story is talk of buying back the name Rough Riders from former owner Horn Chen. Why not go with something different? How does the Ottawa Repomen sound? What about the Ottawa Vultures? Or Ottawa Deadbeats? ... One group in the bidding for the Ottawa franchise has involved Bill Palmer, Bachelor Jesse's father. Jesse Palmer is still with the San Francisco 49ers but could he be lured home to lead his father's new team? ... Some have lauded the return of the name Rough Riders, noting it makes the CFL unique having two teams with the same moniker in a nine-city loop. It has been too long since anyone referred to the Roughies as the Green 'Riders ... Argos QB Damon Allen won't have surgery on his injured finger until after the season is over, which could be soon for Toronto if the 43-year-old continues throwing passes with his left hand, which he did unsuccessfully against the Ticats.

ENDZONE TOSS: With Labour Day approaching, Roughriders fans probably hope SB Robert Baker continues his wicked ways with the Blue Bombers. If there is one kicker people in Saskatchewan would like to see punched out, it would be Troy Westwood, who said the stubblejumpers were banjo-pickin' inbreds a couple of years ago. Baker, if you remember, sucker-punched Argos K Noel Prefontaine at McMahon Stadium early in 2005 ... Watch out Randy Chevrier and Rahim Abdullah, there is a new self-proclaimed Halo champion. Bombers C Obby Khan has quite the reputation around Winnipeg. "I am the Halo champion," Khan boasted. "Over everyone. Dan Goodspeed, you name it. I can beat anyone and that is a challenge." Well, it's now up to Calgary's defensive linemen to prove their skill with the joystick ... Lions DE Brent Johnson would be the biggest DB in the CFL by about 80 lb. The athletic Canadian twice dropped into coverage against the Blue Bombers to pick off Mike Quinn ... DE Rashad Jeanty split a sack in Cincinnati's win over Washington and chances aren't great on him returning to Edmonton anytime soon, at least until after the Labour Day Classic in Calgary.

EXTRA POINTS: The real shocker about the Argos offence this season: Shockmain Davis' practice wear. The slotback wears full-length tights that leave little to the imagination. "When you see another grown man in tights, it ain't like watching a little kid in tights," Argos RB John Avery told a Toronto newspaper. "You got stuff you don't want to see ... It's kind of nasty." ... Former Tiger-Cats head coach Greg Marshall has gone back to the CIS, accepting an assistant's position with Western Ontario and will eventually become head coach ... Bombers LB Barrin Simpson faced his old team for the first time but was outplayed by Calgary product Javy Glatt, the man who replaced him in B.C.'s starting lineup. Glatt came up with the pick and the victory but still gave a shout out to Simpson. "I don't know if he mentored me but he definitely helped me -- my first few years especially," Glatt told a Vancouver newspaper ... QB Casey Printers could be back in the CFL sooner than expected. The former B.C. Lion isn't doing all that well in Kansas City. He was indecisive in the pocket against Houston and was sacked five times, losing a fumble in his zone as well.


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