Rhythm of the Sporting Seasons
Spectacular day for Labour Day football. A good day to get back at it.
August is gone, and we move into a new time on the sporting calendar. The CFL is getting serious, the NFL is getting ready to start, the U.S. Open tennis is into its second week, hockey training camps are in preparation and the baseball season is into the final lap of the regular season. Didn't make it to a game in the final year of Yankee Stadium, but did get to Cleveland (Indians) and Erie (Seawolves) on a late-summer baseball trip, so can't complain.
But let's talk Argos and Cats today at Ivor Wynne. Despite all the hype, it's not a do-or-die contest. Not even close.
Only Montreal has more than three wins in the east, which means that with 10 games left, there's more than enough time for either Toronto or Hamilton to re-group, make up ground and grab a playoff berth down the line, cross-over game or no cross-over game.
Today doesn't decide the season for either club, despite what you may have heard.
Everybody in Argo-land wants to blame Rich Stubler, and the head coach always gets the brunt of the grief. But this is an organizational thing, with the stability of the past few seasons now a distant memory. Turnover is in the air, veteran stalwarts like John Avery, Eric England and Noel Prefontaine have been lost in recent seasons and the steadying hand of former president Keith Pelley is no longer on the scene. This is less about a team without talent and a coach who can't coach than a team that is in a state of flux from top to bottom.
A win or loss today won't change that, although a win would make everybody feel better.
In Hamilton, finally, there's at least optimism and a sense of team personality. This is a team that runs the ball and then runs it again, whether oft-injured Jesse Lumsden is in uniform or not.
Not sure how that plays out down the line, but for a team that desperately is trying to remember how to win, leaning on a powerful ground attack and making the team persona revolve around that is a solid approach.
Casey Printers should get the start, but how long before Richie Williams gets the call if Printers struggles again?
It should be a dandy on a blessed September day. But do-or-die? Not even close in a league in which teams in bigger holes than the Argos and Cats have climbed out just in time before.
Not even close at this time of year.