The West has one more good opportunity to add to its dominance over the East.
The Friday night contest finds Winnipeg back at home against an anemic Montréal offense. Edmonton comes back from its 2-game road trip out East against a Toronto squad that had to play twice in 6 days. This will also be the first Edmonton home game since the huge $348,534 50/50 jackpot was claimed.
A couple of Sunday games on the schedule: a bit unusual this time of the year for the CFL. The Stampeders, and Jon Cornish, will be in the nation's capital while the Roughriders go out to Vancouver for a local 4 pm start.
Hamilton gets another bye and a lot of home dates (hopefully at Tim Hortons Field) starting Labour Day. Unfortunately, Dan LeFevour is out for the year and Zach Collaros is still out. The TiCats have until Labour Day to figure out who will run the offense.
Montréal @ Winnipeg, 8:30p
Toronto @ Edmonton, 4p
Calgary @ Ottawa, 3p
Saskatchewan @ BC, 7p
The Argos win over Winnipeg was only the third time an East team beat a West team this season. The Argos have 2 of those wins. Ottawa came close against Edmonton. For the East's sake, this will stop becoming news soon.
The Argos crowd wasn't as lame as first feared but the RedBlacks crowd was much louder naturally. The difference in numbers was about 6,000 fans, or around Hamilton's official attendance. Sitting in the stands, you felt like you made a difference in the Ottawa crowd.
Toronto is a well-tooled machine (with a few parts missing) while Ottawa lacks the intensity needed to score a major. One TD and the RedBlacks would have had 2 home wins.
One factoid that stands out for the Toronto Argonauts and why getting a new stadium is crucial. The Argos played 2 home games in a 6-day period. Once BC blew out the Argos Sunday night, the next Toronto home game is October 4 against Edmonton.
The Blue Jays fate will be sealed before the Argos come home again. Hopefully, we'll have issues with Rogers Centre in that the Blue Jays have made the playoffs. Then again, the Argos have a home game in every week in October, so something will have to give.
The Argos have done as well as could be expected with this crazy home schedule, but having to play every game on the road between now and October isn't a good way to run a schedule.
The largest crowd to see a CFL game in an Eastern city is 24,326 in Ottawa's home debut. In fact, the RedBlacks have the 3 largest attendances of Eastern teams this season.
I was there at Toronto's largest crowd on Sunday with 18,283. Montréal totals have been between 20,000-21,000. Of course, Hamilton has registered 6,500 for every home game.
The disparity between the two divisions isn't just on the field. Only 2 West home games have drawn below Ottawa's highest mark. BC drew 24,236 in the August 8 home game against Hamilton. Saskatchewan dealt with huge downpours of rain in its home opener, drawing 19,285. Toronto hasn't drawn that high a number.
Here is a listing of all the CFL teams in win-loss record. Notice how all the West teams finish ahead of the East teams.
Calgary, Edmonton 6-1
Winnipeg, BC 5-3
Hamilton, Ottawa, and Montréal 1-6
The East teams will have a chance to start beating up on each other next week. But they also need to draw better.
Mark Cohon will step down as CFL commissioner and not run for a 3rd term. Cohon's contract expires in April 2015.
Cohon has held the position for the 3rd longest stint in CFL history.
Cohon can point to a number of success stories. His successor will have a tough road, but will be a bit easier thanks to Cohon's efforts.
The ESPN family (minus ESPN3) have been taking a vacation from the CFL after August 1. We were hoping for a Labour Day return since well, nothing else is going on.
The current plan is for ESPN, the mothership, is to carry a CFL doubleheader on September 7, the opening Sunday of the NFL season.
We will go more than a month without CFL on the TV because of the NFL, and we get the CFL back opposite the NFL … on the flagship. As they say in Quebec, je ne comprend pas.
Mark Lee and Steve Armitage were two of the latest CBC Sports cuts. Both called the CFL on CBC when I first started following the league. I was partial to their coverage, especially Lee. Both have been incredibly versatile announcers in their time with the network and they will be badly missed.
They will always be the first voices that helped me appreciate this great sport of Canadian football.
Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor, like your humble narrator, spent a lot of time in Toronto last week. The duo worked both Toronto games (Tuesday and Sunday) and went to Hamilton on Saturday.
Rod Black and Duane Forde saw the low-scoring battle in the nation's capital while Gord Miller and Matt Dunigan dealt with their own low-scoring tilt in Regina.