Renegades 44, Eskimos 15 Ah yes, 1972. The good ole' days.
Not only was it the last time an Ottawa CFL team started a season 3-0, but also the last time an NFL squad (Miami Dolphins) posted a perfect (17-0) season.
How dare we refer to the Renegades and those great, great Fisher-men in the same sentence?
Maybe because Joe Paopao's troops have just convincingly won three games nobody thought they could -- including last night's 44-15 mockery of the Grey Cup-champion Edmonton Eskimos -- and who now is about to say what they can and can't do?
Okay, so they may not string together an undefeated season, but the Renegades are certainly for real.
"I told Brad (Watters) that if we were 2-2 after four games, we oughta be dancing on the red roof (of the clubhouse)," said GM Eric Tillman, remembering a pre-season conversation with the team president over the tough schedule facing the Renegades out of the gate.
Ottawa's long suffering football fans were sure dancing as they went home last night.
The dance of the undefeated was one they haven't done this late in the season for a very long time.
FIRST AND TEN: Is it nitpicking to point out Renegades QB Kerry Joseph threw six incompletions and the defence gave up a touchdown this week? ... WR Ed Hervey did most of the damage on receptions of 14 and 30 yards as the Esks scored on their initial possession. It was the first major scored against the Renegades in 15 days, dating back to (approximately) 11:30 p.m. EST in the June 17 opener in Winnipeg. It was also the only time all night the Ottawa defence didn't dominate ... The announced crowd of 22,843 was a pathetic 4,852 short of a sellout. Think they can finally fill Frank Clair Stadium for the next home game (July 16, vs. Winnipeg) if the Renegades beat the Als in Montreal next Friday?
BETWEEN THE LINES: Everybody Loves Raymonn (Adams) after the backup Renegades running back flew downfield to catch Winston October before a 71-yard punt return went another five yards for a second quarter Edmonton touchdown. "Once he shot up there I felt I was going to make a play or regret it," said Adams. "So I kicked it into another gear." It was the TSN turning point, as a fumble and three snaps later, Joseph and rookie Jason Armstead were setting up a tide-swinging touchdown with a 81-yard pass and run ... Armstead, a former target of Eli Manning's at Ole' Miss, lived up to the big-play capabilities he brought with him to Ottawa this season. He also recovered a fumble on the kick-coverage team ("I've never played kick off coverage, that was a first for me," he said) and looked more comfortable in his role as a return specialist. "I was getting antsy," said Armstead. "I felt I had to show the coaches and everybody I could make the big plays. The way this league goes, you could be released any day. I felt I had to do something to keep my job. Hopefully, I did that (last night)." ... Word is a lady was knocked out behind the Beaver Lodge when she was hit in the head by a ball on a convert ... The game of football has never seen a longer 13-yard catch than Pat Woodcock's first score as a Renegade. Woodcock did a remarkable job to keep his feet in bounds while pulling in the Joseph first-quarter pass at the back of the end zone. The line of scrimmage was the 13, but the play actually covered 33 yards ... Inexcusably, Sandro Sciortino missed the point after, but he did put the Renegades in the lead by connecting on a field goal from convert range (12 yards) on Ottawa's next possession ... On that drive, Yo Murphy made a great, over-the-shoulder catch for 51 yards and allowed a pass slip through his fingers in the end zone ... The Renegades defensive line allowed Eskimos QB Jason Maas plenty of time to set up on a second-quarter drive, but stepped up as the Esks neared paydirt. A Roger Dunbrack sack had Sean Fleming on the field attempting a 26-yard field goal he sent wide right ... De ja Dunbrack. The big D-tackle sacked Maas again on the next Edmonton drive, this time forcing Fleming into a 36-yard attempt he again popped up wide and for a single point.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: No expense is spared for halftime shows at Frank Clair Stadium, eh? Once again, fans watched tots play touch football at the intermission. Make that the few fans related to the tots. Nobody else would have been remotely interested. Now granted, this is not the NFL and we don't need Janet Jackson bearing her breast, but a little entertainment at the half would be nice ... Joseph lost an argument with Paopao when the Ottawa coach insisted on punting in a third-and-one situation from the Ottawa 44 in the second quarter. In such a spot, many of us would just give the ball to RB Josh Ranek or tell Joseph to dive over the line with it ... Hindsight, huh? Following the punt, it took the Esks two plays to get to the Ottawa 44 ... Renegades FB Mike Mauer lost his helmet on a second-quarter play, allowing the entire TSN audience to see the true definition of bad hair ... Paopao had three TV cameras on him in a post-game press conference when a newspaper man sitting in the back of the room sneezed. "Bless you," said the coach, barely breaking stride from his comments ... Nice job by CJOH sportscaster Terry Marcotte as a sideline reporter on the TSN broadcast. Might have been the only bright spot of the night for TSN, which missed showing its viewers several important plays -- including Woodcock's touchdown -- throughout the game ... Rogers Sportsnet's crackerjack reporter Ian "Lenny" Mendes was absent from the pressbox as he and wife Sonia welcomed the arrival of their first child, Elissa Ashley, on Canada Day.