Paul's crystal ball

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

Half the teams in the league hired new head coaches, while the Grey Cup champs not only changed coaches, they traded the quarterback who led them to the title.

It's been another one of those only-in-the-CFL off-seasons.

So how are we going to top that, now that the games have begun?

Just watch.

For the eighth straight year, we kick off the season with Friesen's Fearless Forecast, a list of predictions so out-of-left-field you might be left shaking your head.

Wait until some of them actually come true.

Last season, for instance, we correctly predicted the Blue Bombers would lose quarterback Kevin Glenn in the East Final, but still win it. We also said receiver Milt Stegall would have second thoughts about retiring after losing the Grey Cup.

What does this prophesying pundit see in his crystal ball for '08?

We're glad you asked.

Week 1: The first sign of trouble on the Toronto bench, as quarterback Michael Bishop complains about not playing against the Bombers. Kerry Joseph reminds Bishop who was the MOP last season, and Bishop responds with a roundhouse right to the chops.

Meanwhile, the Bombers have a punt blocked, but squeak out a win.

Week 3: After starting the season 0-2, Stamps coach John Hufnagel bans the media from practice again. To which Montreal boss Marc Trestman says, "Don't worry, we don't want to watch what you guys are doing anyway." Score one for the new guy.

Meanwhile, would-be Bomber punter Duncan O'Mahony sprains his ankle falling off a treadmill, calling it the second most embarrassing injury of his career.

Week 5: After a 1-3 start, criticism is mounting in Saskatchewan. Riders GM Eric Tillman uses his Grey Cup ring to deflect it.

Week 7: Riders head coach Ken Miller goes missing at halftime of a game against Calgary, causing Hufnagel to wonder if he was busy spying on the Stamps locker-room. Turns out Miller was simply napping.

Meanwhile, O'Mahony is finally in shape and ready to punt for the Bombers, only to be hospitalized when he swallows a wasp that had crawled into his beer can. The Bombers cut him.

Week 10: TSN is criticized for stretching itself too thin and trying to do too many games after studio host Dave Randorf is caught napping on camera. Management scoffs, blaming the bags-under-the-eyes look of its talent on high definition.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of cable-free homes in rural Canada officially forget what a CFL game looks like.

Week 11: With crowds dwindling in Calgary, Hufnagel announces all Stamps practices will include free food and drinks for the media. The Stamps immediately get front-page coverage.

They also beat Edmonton, resulting in the firing of Danny Maciocia.

Rick Campbell, son of Hugh and co-ordinator of the worst defence in the CFL, is promoted to the head job.

Week 13: B.C. is 10-1, with quarterbacks Buck Pierce and Jarious Jackson still sickeningly healthy, prompting Tillman to wonder where he could get voodoo dolls of the two. Somebody suggests Tillman give Troy Westwood a call.

Week 15: Toronto media magnate Ted Rogers suffers a broken leg on the same day Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson suffers what turns out to be a minor heart attack. Reports indicate Rogers hurt himself trying to get to the front of the line to buy the Bills.

Grey Cup week: The CFL forces Bomber running back Charles Roberts to do daily interviews. Roberts is so exhausted by the end of it, he actually gets a good night's sleep before the game and is the MVP, albeit in a losing cause against B.C.

As CFL commissioner Mark Cohon hands the Cup to Lions president and anti-NFL campaigner Bob Ackles, TV cameras pick up a voodoo doll of Ted Rogers sticking out of Ackles' pocket.

Ackles wouldn't say where he got it.

But he did suggest an old left-footed kicker living in Winnipeg might be able to shed some light on it.


Videos

Photos