Als need finishing touch

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

Welcome to the CFL's Christmas in September sale.

Every team gets one present that will take them over the top when it matters most -- on Nov. 29 in Calgary.

If we were the jolly old man handing out the presents, here are the goodies we would dish out to each team, complete with the odds each one has of winning the Grey Cup:

Montreal Alouettes (GC odds: 2-1) -- We would give the Als the finishing touch. Once again, they are the class of the league -- when it matters least. They either fall on their faces down the stretch, or they get to the big game and lose it (five out of six times since 2000).

Calgary Stampeders

(GC odds: 4-1) -- We would give the Stamps the ability to win the Grey Cup at home. The defending champions are gathering some serious steam, but the last team to hoist the hardware at home was the B.C. Lions in 1994.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (GC odds: 6-1) -- We would give the Roughriders a dome. They finally need one since they've started playing home playoff games again.

B.C. Lions (GC odds: 10-1) -- We would keep giving the Leos the same officiating crew that did their game against Montreal Sept. 4. Yes, that's a cheap shot.

Edmonton Eskimos

(GC odds: 12-1) -- We would give the Eskimos fewer games against Calgary. You know, just to keep their confidence up.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

(GC odds: 15-1) -- We would give the Tabbies a parade. They don't need to win the Grey Cup, because they've already won five games. The season is a success.

Toronto Argonauts (GC odds: 50-1) -- We would give Argos coach Bart Andrus a CFL coaching manual. The chapters would include You're Not Allowed to Kick Field Goals After Time Expires" and Kickers: One American is Enough.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (GC odds: 100-1) -- We would give the Bombers the gift of a moat around Canad Inns Stadium, because the fans are restless and the pointy sticks are out.

OPENING DRIVE

Thumbs up to Hamilton Tiger-Cats Kevin Glenn and Otis Floyd, who bought tickets to last week's Labour Day Classic for laid-off steel workers ... Lions running back Martell Mallett can thank himself for sticking to his guns. According to The Province, he turned down scholarship offers from bigger schools that wanted him to switch to defensive back. Mallett, who is second in CFL rushing, ended up at Arkansas-Pine Bluff and had a stellar collegiate career as a tailback ... Do you think the CFL would allow Calgary and Edmonton to just play all of their games against one other at Commonwealth next season?

ENDZONE TOSS

The Argos finally did it, ending their home-losing streak at 10 with an OT victory over Hamilton Friday. They had gone more than

13 months without a triumph at Rogers Centre ... Wally Buono has a very good chance of becoming the CFL's winningest coach this week, as his Lions host the hapless Argos Saturday night. Buono is currently tied with Don Matthews with 231 victories, and he has 16 fewer losses.

EXTRA POINTS

Poor Joel Wright. The Alouettes special-teamer celebrated a tackle Sunday with a leap high into the air. He landed awkwardly, however, and injured his right knee ... Grammar lesson for the day: Broadcasters sometimes say that a CFL team scored so many "unanswered points" in a game. Then they show the opposition scoring later on in the contest. In that case, the term you're looking for is "consecutive points." And no, in case you're wondering, I've never had a typo ... CFL fans can vote for all-stars at cfl.ca.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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