Argos' hopes shades of Grey

STEVE SIMMONS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

That crazy notion that the Argos can somehow play host to this year's Grey Cup game -- on the field -- remains somehow alive.

Barely.

This is what this season is all about, really. Bringing Toronto back to the Grey Cup and the Grey Cup back to Toronto. If only the Argos -- old, depleted, injured and occasionally ineffective -- would co-operate.

And what began as a reasonable possibility in June, morphed into a long shot by August and now on our way to October who knows what to think anymore?

Who knows what to believe in this awfully strange Canadian Football League season?

The day did not begin well for the Argos yesterday. Now attempting to interpret all the events of the CFL weekend should come with some kind of instructions (less confusing than IKEA), a calculator and quite possibly a set of tie-breaking formulas.

Confused by all this?

If you are, you're either a fan, a phony Toronto Grey Cup or a CFL official: Which means, if necessary, you don't have to make the call right.

The Argos win over Winnipeg yesterday at what used to be called the SkyDome did not establish them as the team to beat in the East but at least it meant they are still in some kind of race.

The question: What race?

Before yesterday, it was about catching the Edmonton Eskimos, who happened to win in Montreal yesterday. Now, with Calgary losing to Hamilton and losing quarterback Henry Burris in the process and the Als dropping to 6-6 in the standings without quarterback Anthony Calvillo all of a sudden Michael Bishop is healthy and dangerous -- something for the Argos and sometimes not.

We're still figuring all this out.

Pay attention: We'll be asking questions later.

So here are the Argos at 5-7 in the standings, a game behind Montreal in the East.

And here are the Argos at 5-7, a half-game behind Edmonton in the West (or crossover playoff if there is one.)

And here are the Argos at 5-7 (Bishop is 5-1 as a starting quarterback, Argos are 3-0 in games Bishop and Arland Bruce start together) one game just three points behind Calgary in the West.

Only in the CFL do teams battle for the playoffs in all divisions at the same time.

So heading into the weekend the Argos figured they were chasing only Edmonton: Now, half of the teams in the CFL are either chasing each other (or their tails) or just trying to hang on with injured quarterbacks as the final third of the season approaches this weekend.

This much we know: The B.C. Lions are the best team in the league. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the worst. Everything else is open to interpretation.

Argos coach Michael Clemons called yesterday's game win over Winnipeg "a little bit weird" and he wasn't distorting the facts. This was a lot weird. Robert Edwards outrushed Charles Roberts, who seemed all but invisible: That happens once or twice a century.

Playing without Milt Stegall, the greatest statistical receiver in the history of Canadian football, the Bombers threw for silly numbers with a quarterback Kevin Glenn, who was supposed to be injured.

The Argos scored on offence, on defence and on special teams in their most complete performance against a non-Hamilton opponent in weeks.

That has to mean something.

It means there is a race to pay attention to over the next six weeks. It means the next two weeks -- back-to-back games against Ricky Ray and the Eskimos -- have become must wins for the Argos.

It means those 2,000 or so remaining Grey Cup tickets may have some value after all.

The most recent time the Grey Cup was played in Toronto, some 15 long years ago, the Blue Bombers played the Calgary Stampeders and not a single person in the Greater Toronto area cared.

Before yesterday, it looked like another West-West Grey Cup (Winnipeg is in the East in division only) seemed a certainty. Before yesterday ...

Until tomorrow.


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