Having given up my NFL addiction cold turkey, I tried today to rekindle an old love affair with the Alouettes. They were hosting the Stampeders at Percival Molson Stadium.
--Darian Durant threw a couple of balls off balance and under pressure in the first half. One was tipped and the other intercepted, an awful toss as he was being brought down that was shot-putted into the defender's belly.
--I'd never heard of Nik Lewis until he was traded to the Alouettes. TSN put up a graphic during the game that showed he's set to become the career reception leader in the CFL with 40 catches or so. Ahead of guys like Brian Kelly and Peter Dalla Riva, I immediately wondered?
Like I said, I haven't kept up.
--I keep being surprised by how short Matt Dunnigan is. As a quarterback he was so good, and pretty jacked, I don't think I ever noticed that. He's listed at 5'11" on Wiki, but I believe that's charitable, it's not an honest-to-goodness 5'11", it's more like a 5'10"3/4 if he stands up real straight and tall.
--The Boris Bede experiment seems to be a success, after last season went off the rails a little. They gave the kid some time, and now appear to have a talented, dependable kicker and punter all in one package, despite his miss on a point-after attempt. What a benefit to a team to not have to waste two roster spots on these two special team spots, and have one player do both jobs instead.
That should be the rule, really, in the NFL and CFL. Force players to be more complete athletes, that degree of specialization is a little overdone. Precious little kicker can't kick the ball if it's not held on the ground off a tee? Have a tablespoon of cement and toughen up.
2nd rule suggestion: eliminate kickers entirely. The player who scores the touchdown has to kick the point after.
3rd rule suggestion: eliminate punters entirely. The player who punts has to have been on the field on the preceding down, as a wide receiver or running back or quarterback or right tackle.
4th rule suggestion: the point after has to be attempted at a point on a line perpendicular to where the ball crossed the goal line on the touchdown, kind of like at rugby.
I'm full of ideas like that.
--A great advantage of the Canadian game is the absence of illegal formation, procedure, false start and illegal motion penalties, which all infest NFL games, nitpicky annoyances that serve no discernible purpose but which occur around five times a game. There's a reasoning behind every rule, but really, how come a CFL game can proceed without having all these arcane administrative strictures?
--Vernon Adams is a trainee quarterback with the Alouettes. When he played for the Oregon Ducks, I thought he'd be a perfect candidate for a CFL quarterback.
--I always wondered why Jacques Chapdelaine didn't play for the Alouettes, but now, I wonder why Marc Trestman isn't coaching the Alouettes. We should have had dibs on him when his NFL career petered out.
--CFL football in the summer is better than no football.