2014 CFL POWER RANKINGS: Week 9

Forget about East vs. West–although the West went 3-0 again this week–it’s starting to look like you’ve got Calgary, Edmonton…and then everyone else.  The two Alberta teams are heading into the Labour Day Classic each at 7-1, both boasting perfect 4-0 road records and the two stingiest defences in the league.  Beyond them, you kinda get the feeling that anybody can beat anybody else–at least within their own division.  And with the CFL Least starting to come together in a couple rivalry games next week, the picture might get a bit clearer at the bottom.  Cuz there’s no denying who’s on top, once again, after Week Nine.

Preseason Predictions

Last Week’s Rankings

Rankings Archive

1. Calgary Stampeders (7-1) Last Week: 1.  The Stamps D pitched a shutout in Ottawa, as the REDBLACKS!!!!! only points came on an early interception return.  Truth be told, this game was closer than the final score indicates, but a 21-point, fourth-quarter outburst gave Calgary the most lopsided win of Week Nine–by a long shot!  Not a bad contest at which to be in attendance…if you’re a Stamps fan. ;)  (More on that tomorrow!)

2. Edmonton Eskimos (7-1) Last Week: 2.  Despite an early injury to Mike Reilly, who only threw one pass all game, the Esks still put 41 points on the board, largely due to defence and the run game.  Speaking of the D, they not only prevented Ricky Ray from hitting 50K against his former team, but they also picked him off twice, with two of those thefts leading directly to TDs.  Might be a little tougher for them to do so against Bo Levi Mitchell, mind you–the Stamps pivot has only thrown four picks all season.

3. Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-2) Last Week: 4.  Make that five straight wins for the Riders, who held off B.C. in a rather uneventful contest last night.  (I passed out fell asleep shortly after halftime.)  Although they’re the lowest-scoring team in the West Division (24.1 ppg), Saskatchewan seems to be solidly in third place, but it’ll take a win over Calgary or Edmonton for them to move up any higher in these rankings.

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-3) Last Week: 6.  Well, it wasn’t a very pretty win, but after back-to-back losses against Toronto and Saskatchewan, the Bombers really needed to put one in the win column, and they did so against Montreal.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Winnipeg will represent the East in the Grey Cup this season…the year after they left the division. ;)

5. B.C.Lions (5-4) Last Week: 3.  Well, it seems Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky’s mouth wrote a cheque that his team couldn’t cash.  After B.C. came up four points short on “guaranteed win night,” Skulsky now owes some 33-thousand fans a free ticket to a future home game.  The good news is that I’m pretty sure a decent chunk of them were Riders fans, who won’t be coming back to Vancouver this season–the two teams have split their season series at one game apiece.

6. Toronto Argonauts (3-6) Last Week: 5.  Not a whole lotta positives last week for the Argos, who trailed 31-10 at the half before a 13-point third quarter got them within striking distance.  Chad Owens returned to action, catching an early TD…but limped off again late in the game.  (That’s what happens when your best player’s, like, 5’2″, 130 pounds.)  Ricky Ray threw for 277 and two TDs, but his three picks proved costly, with a couple returned for scores the other way.  And things don’t get much easier for the Argos, either.  After the Labour Day Classic in Hamilton, they get the Stamps and the Lions sandwiched between a couple byes.  This team could very well win the Least with a sub-.500 record.

7. Montreal Alouettes (1-7) Last Week: 8.  OK, so Montreal’s lost six in a row, but last week’s game in Winnipeg was the closest they’ve come to winning anything in a couple months.  And they just might have found their starting QB of the future in Jonathan “Polamalu Levels of Scalp and Hairness” Crompton, who completed 62 per cent of his passes for 266 yards–and three picks–in the loss.  Of course, I’m pretty sure I said the same thing about Troy Smith in the preseason, so take that for what it’s worth!

8. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-6) Last Week: 7.  Good news in Hamilton: Ownership insists Tim Hortons Field will be ready in time for Labour Day.  Then again, the last time a CFL team’s CEO made that kinda guarantee, it ended with the B.C. Lions owing 33-thousand people free tickets.  But you can’t fit nearly that many into Timmies–rumour has it that only 18 out of 22.5 thousand seats are good to go.  And hey, with any luck, the home side might actually show up to play; they’ve certainly got a fighting chance against the Argos, anyways.

9. Ottawa REDBLACKS!!!!!! (1-7) Last Week: 9.  I actually just got back from Ottawa, where I can tell you that both the new stadium and its fans are quite nice.  Too bad they’re stuck with a subpar product on the field.  Henry Burris just barely moved into third place in all-time passing yards with a craptastic 12-23, 113 yard effort yesterday, and there wasn’t much of a ground game to speak of, either.  Let’s just say that when I jeered Henry’s name, a couple fans of the home team joined in.  It just might be time to give Thomas DeMarco a closer look.  I mean, he couldn’t possibly do any worse, could he?  As a matter of fact, he already outsmiles Smilin’ Hank:

I mean, wouldn’t you want this guy to date your daughter quarterback your expansion team?

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Off to Ottawa, the city that sleeps at 7:30… (I might even stay up until 10!)

Y’know, I almost ended up in Ottawa.  Since I had decided to study journalism *cough*dying medium*cough* in university, there were really only two schools that mattered: Carleton U, in the nation’s crapital, and Ryerson, right up The Centre of the Known Universe’s asshole.  (Where else could you get a handjob and a Harvey’s hamburger at the same stop light!?)  I still remember the day Carleton’s admissions package arrived in the mail, offering me their congratulations, and a partial scholarship…for their mass communications program.  Suffice to say I tossed that shit harder than a Henry Burris spiral into the fifth row–missing his receiver by that much.  And that, kids, is how I ended up in The Big Smoke. ;)

Perhaps you could say I hated Ottawa before I even set foot there.  (Not true: it was the first stop on my eighth-grade Quebec trip.)  But since I’ve got family in the area now, I’ve been out there a few times in the past few years, and…I still don’t like it very much.  Put it this way: some of its Western suburbs make Northwest Calgary seem exciting by comparison.  And a cab ride out there from downtown’ll cost ya at least 60 bucks–even at 2 in the morning.

Mind you, it’s not often you’ll find a bar that’s open that late.  As a general rule, the nation’s crapital shuts down after the backbenchers all stumble outta D’arcy McGee’s…at 2:30 in the afternoon.  I mean, try finding a record store that’s open after 6, even on a weekend.  Nope, can’t do it.  And I wasn’t kidding about the bars closing early, either.  Case in point.  (Don’t stay out past midnight, kids!)  That said, I’ll probably be passed out like Rob “Sleepytime” Anders after a “car accident” by 6 o’clock on Sunday.  And hey, that noodle-armed, bra-wearing, kilt-tilting QB might have something to do with it.

Yuuup, I’m off to see the REDBLACKS!!!!! host the soon-to-be 2014 Grey Cup champs, as Calgary visits TD Place in a couple days.  I’m pretty sure this game will be over by halftime, since the homeside is 1-6 on the season, and the Stamps just beat ‘em by three TDs.  But hey, that just gives me more time to pound back the Dinner Jacket O’Red IPAs.  Let’s just say if you see a streaker in a cowboy hat, it may or may not be Rob Anders. ;)

SWEAR TO SEITAN!!!

So I had vegan food today, and hey, it’s actually not bad!  It’s not something I’d do every day, but I figure that if I’m gonna eat something with no meat, it better resemble meat as closely as possible.  Hence, the Philly cheese seitan at Hogtown Vegan:

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To their credit, it actually looked like meat.  Not the thinly-shaved ribeye you’d find in a cheesesteak, mind you; more like gyro meat, which I’m pretty sure still has some beef in it.  Of course, this dish was completely beef-free.  I’d say it also had the texture of a gyro, and a nice dash of seasoning…but it certainly didn’t taste like steak.  And I’m not sure the cheese sauce really reminded me of cheese, though it certainly was messy!  On the other hand, the fries were pretty much your standard fries, cuz hey, you can’t vegan those up, eh?

Alas, while I came away satisfied with the overall edibleness of the meal, I will say that the tatooed-hipster service at the Bloor St. W eatery left a little to be desired–which is to say, it was rudimentary at best.  The place wasn’t even all that busy, but I did not see a server between the time we received our food and the time we finished eating.  Hey, I mighta had another beer or two (Mill St Organic, natch) there, instead of hitting up some hipster bar down the street, had they been a bit more attentive.  (Said server also would’ve received a more respectable tip to go towards her latest performance-art piece.)

I will say this: I’ve got a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste right now, and I don’t think it’s from the Mill St. Organic…

Hogtown Vegan, 1056 Bloor St. W (East of Dufferin). Philly Cheese Seitan, $13.

Break-in at Trudeau’s place…just don’t call it Harpergate!

OK, so you probably don’t hafta look very far to find people comparing the recent break-in at the Trudeau residence to the Watergate scandal.  After all, both of them involved a burglary at a prominent political place…and that’s where the similarities end.  I dunno guy, but I’m pretty sure Stephen Harper isn’t using wiretaps.  Robocalls, maybe, but that’s a completely different phone-based technology.  (Pierre Poutine could not be reached for comment.)

Sure, it seems a little suspicious that someone would break into the Liberal Party leader’s residence, and do nothing but allegedly spell out “Harper 2015″ in Alberta beef knives, but I guess that’s what happens when you leave your doors unlocked in the roughshod Ottawa neighbourhood of Rockcliffe Park.  The question is, with an average household income of 120 grand a year (only because most of them are foreign ambassadors), how did they know which house was Trudeau’s?  Does the doorbell say “Fuddle Duddle” when you ring it?  Is there a copy of the Constitution Act on his front lawn?  And hey, did the vandals from the nearby francophone community of Vanier spray “En français SVP” on the back porch, or just “Ces objets auraient pu été volés?”

Not to make light of this atrocity committed against the next prime minster of Canada, as one Conservative back-bencher–surprisingly not Rob Anders!–was wont to do.  Home invasion is a serious crime.  Just ask 80’s hair band Ratt.  But if I’m the future leader of the country, and I’m leaving my wife and kids at home, I’m pretty sure I’d keep my doors locked.

(And yes, I do believe that Trudeau Jr.’s gonna be the next PM.  I mean, nobody’s gonna vote for Harper again, right? :P )

Episode 132 of Gruesome Tunes now available for download!

gruesometunesnew

CLICK HERE.

08/17/14 PLAYLIST

Seditius – Nero (Carne da Macello) 3:07

A Storm of Light – Leave no Wounds (As the Valley of Death Becomes Us Our Silver Memories Fade) 3:52

Kylesa – Vulture’s Landing (Ultraviolet) 3:15

Winter – Goden (Into Darkness) 8:19

Black Tusk – Falling Down (Passage Through Purgatory) 3:20

Rival Sons – On My Way (Before the Fire) 5:18

Black Tar Prophet – Bottom Feeder (Deafen) 2:05

 

Serpentine Path – Claws (Emanations) 7:30

Zed – A Drug (The Invitation) 3:49

Black Tusk – Growing Horns (Set the Dial) 3:27

Sofy Major – Comment (Idolize) 3:40

Hail! Hornet – Glass Roses (Disperse the Curse) 1:31

Black Tusk – End of Days (Passage Through Purgatory) 3:51

Jex Thoth – The Places You Walk (Blood Moon Rise) 5:04

 

Culted – Intoxicant Immuration (Oblique to all Paths) 10:44

Palm Desert – The Tempter (Falls of the Wastelands) 4:40

Jello Biafra & the Melvins – Those Dumb Punk Kids [Will Buy Anything] (Sieg Howdy!) 3:15

Hotel Wrecking City Traders – Riley (Ikiryo) 4:16

Luder – Astrolabe (Adelphophagia) 5:34

 

Demon Lung – Hallowed Ground (The Hundredth Name) 6:43

Obelyskkh – Abysmal Desert Cavern (White Lightnin’) 6:57

Snail – Terminus (Terminus) 3:36

The Devil’s Blood – Feverdance (The Thousandfold Epicentre) 15:15

2014 CFL POWER RANKINGS: Week 8

When West meets East, the results were actually closer than you’d think.  In a couple low-scoring contests, Edmonton went down to the wire with Ottawa, while the lowly Alouettes kept the heat on Saskatchewan while holding them under 20.  Even Hamilton managed to hang in there against Calgary for the better part of the game, and…wait for it…the Argos actually beat Winnipeg!  That’s what, the third interconference win for the East all season?  Hey, if the league only had one division, nobody west of Winnipeg would miss the playoffs–but then they’d probably hafta implement a participation prize for all those kids on the short bus. I’m looking at you, Hennnnnryyyyy!

Preseason Predictions

Last Week’s Rankings

Rankings Archive

1. Calgary Stampeders (6-1) Last Week: 1.  The Stamps kept rolling through the East last week, and with a trip to Ottawa in the cards (Yuuuup, I’ll be there!), it seems pretty likely they’ll be 7-1 going into the Labour Day Classic.  While they don’t always score the most on offence, Calgary still has the stingiest D in the CFL…although they’ve allowed just one fewer point than the Eskies.  Should be a pretty solid series come September!

2. Edmonton Eskimos (6-1) Last Week: 2.  OK, so being down late to an expansion team was kinda scary.  To their credit, the Esks held Ottawa outta the end zone, but some costly turnovers on their part kept things closer than they shouldda been.  I oughtta drop ‘em in the polls, but the only team below that played much better in Week Eight was several spots lower in last week’s rankings, which brings us to…

3. B.C. Lions (5-3) Last Week: 5.  Though they waited all week for a Sunday night, the Lions saved the best for last, putting up 20 points in the fourth quarter to hand the Argos a neutral site home loss.  Most impressively, their defence guided Ricky Ray his worst outing in quite some time: 23-39, 181 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT.  And while Kevin Glenn wasn’t great, he outshone Travis Lulay, who was seemingly tackled or sacked on every snap he took.  They may still be in last place, but with three straight wins, B.C. is turning the West into a five-horse race.  Too bad one of them won’t even make the playoffs!

4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-2) Last Week: 3.  The Riders have now won four straight, but they haven’t been putting up a lotta points of late–just 39 in the last two weeks combined.  And this was against teams like Winnipeg (25.1 ppg allowed) and Montreal (27.6 ppg allowed) not known for keeping opponents in check.  Will be interesting to see whose streak comes to an end when they travel to Vancouver next Sunday!

5. Toronto Argonauts (3-5) Last Week: 7.  The Argos actually played twice in Week Eight, and they did managed to win one, putting 38 points on the board against Winnipeg.  So they couldn’t beat B.C. on short rest, but by virtue of their 3-5 mark, they are now four points up on the rest of the Least Division.  Too bad the Rogers Centre won’t provide much of a homefield advantage come playoff time!

6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-3) Last Week: 4.  Make that two straight losses for Winnipeg, dropping them towards the back of the pack out West.  And hey, with their effort in Toronto last week, my Eastern Division championship prediction is starting to look a little iffy.  There’s still time to right the ship, though this is the kinda stretch where it would help to have a veteran QB.  But hey, bring on the Als, who travel to The Peg on Friday.  I’m pretty sure some of these DBs have seen Alex Brink’s floater-ball aplenty in practice. ;)

7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-6) Last Week: 6.  Y’know, with the way they’ve been losing these close games, I’m starting to suspect the Ti-Cats could be next year’s Edmonton Eskimos.  That said, the Eskies went 4-14 in 2013.  Hamilton could be in for a loooong season, even if they do get that stadium built!

8. Montreal Alouettes (1-6) Last Week: 9.  OK, so their only major score came after a missed field goal, but full credit to the Als for hanging tough against Saskatchewan in a very difficult place to play last week.  As a result, I’m moving them all the way up from last…to second-last place.

9. Ottawa REDBLACKS!!!!! (1-6) Last Week: 8.  Once again, Henry and the REDBLACKS!!!!! shat the bed while screwing the pooch in Week Eight.  In fact, they only scored eight points, at home.  They might still sell out TD Place, but I won’t be surprised if I’m not the only one jeering “Hennnnnnnnnryyyyyyy” by the time the Stampeders run through town next Sunday.  This demotivational poster sorta says it all:

AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: HIGH ON FIRE @ Adelaide Hall, August 14, 2014

This was a bit of an interesting gig, sponsored by Converse shoes and held at a club in the Entertainment District that I hadn’t even heard of before.  Oh, and did I mention it was free–but only if you had a ticket.  Aaaaand I only found out about it a couple weeks beforehand, but fortunately, I have friends in high places.

I will say this, though: it was nice to see HOF in a venue a little more intimate than the Opera House.  For one thing, I could actually fit all three of them into one shot.  I was actually up on the balcony this time–even with a “no crowdsurfing” sign on the ground level–but since said balcony runs all the way around the room, I still had a pretty decent vantage point:

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Oh yeah, Pike’s sporting a pretty stellar porn stache nowadays:

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This is what Jeff Matz looks like on acid:

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