Well here it is. We’re at the end of August and there’s plenty to cover so lets get into it.
We’ll start with football. The Central Alberta Buccaneers lost in their semi-final game against the Grande Prairie Driller 40-18. The Drillers had defeated the Bucs in a very one-sided victory so this outcome was better, although it wasn’t the outcome they would have wanted. A few things to note about the Bucs, regardless of their inability to beat the Drillers this year this was a turnaround season for this team. The played in a new stadium, had a new head coach, but most importantly they had a new attitude. That got them over the hump and into the playoffs. And not only did they get into the playoffs, they hosted and won a playoff game.
Not sure if there will be enough room for me to fully express my feelings on CFL and NFL but here are my observations. Next week I’ll give a full NFL prediction/season preview. For now, I just got to say, big mistake on the kickoff rule NFL. The league has moved kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line, which is resulting in more touchbacks and less kickoff returns. Yes, this is for the safety of the players, but this does nothing for the fans. Look, move it back or don’t kickoff at all. Allow teams to choose to take the ball at their 20-yard line – similar to the CFL after field goals.
Speaking of the CFL, ‘Swaggerville’ is looking good, real good but not flawless. Yes, the Bombers shut down the Lions but they looked really ordinary against Hamilton. Hamilton is no Montreal. Beware the Calvillo. In the west, Calgary is walking the walk. They are the best in the west and possibly the league, with wins over both Montreal and Winnipeg. Oh, and Esks fans, this isn’t your year. You’re done. But look at it this way, you had a great run in the 80’s.
The Red Deer Rebels are a fresh team this year. Look for their blue line to lead the way. If Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t come back and makes the Oilers (they’d be crazy to cut him), then obviously the Rebels are out one great forward. However, what I was focusing on all this time was Nugent-Hopkins, forgetting that we lost an incredible goalie in Darcy Kuemper. That may be the one person the Rebels will miss the most. Look for big competition between the pipes during the exhibition season.
NHL? I’ll talk about that in a month or so. Until then, I’ll see you next week.