The Ottawa RedBlacks draw the chance to play twice within a calendar week, taking over for the Toronto Argonauts. The two teams will wrap up the week on Monday on ESPN2 and TSN. This marks the return of the CFL to U.S. TV after a 16-day drought.
Ottawa hosts Montréal on a special Wednesday night edition. Edmonton travels to Tim Hortons Field for a Thursday date with Hamilton. The BC Lions host Winnipeg late on Friday. The Saskatchewan Roughriders explore life on the road at nearby Calgary on Saturday.
Ottawa @ Toronto, 7:30p
Montréal @ Ottawa, 7:30p
Edmonton @ Hamilton, 7:30p
Winnipeg @ BC, 10p
Saskatchewan @ Calgary, 9p
Ottawa @ Toronto, 7:30p
Bye week: None
We covered the Karen Kuldys adventure Monday. Click here for the full story.
The BC Lions had never played 3 straight road games in the Eastern Time Zone until this year. The Lions stayed in Kingston in between the Toronto and Montréal trips. The team flew back to Vancouver before coming out Thursday for the Saturday contest in Hamilton.
The Lions went 3-0 in that stretch to start out 3-1. BC has a single trip that far east in Ottawa in late August. Otherwise, the longest trip will be to Winnipeg unless they cross over or the Lions are in the 2017 Grey Cup in Ottawa.
The win over the Tiger-Cats came after Jonathon Jennings was injured on BC's first play from scrimmage. Travis Lulay crushed it coming off the bench with 436 passing yards, but a veteran knows other defences aren't as porous as Hamilton's defence.
Seriously, Hamilton: Veteran QBs Ricky Ray and Travis Lulay both had career days already against the Ticats defence.
Calgary lost the opening game of the 2016 season in Vancouver. Since then, the only loss came in OT in the 2016 Grey Cup to Ottawa. In terms of the regular season, the Stampeders rolled out 19 games where the team won or tied. Calgary was 17-0-2 in that stretch, tying Ottawa twice.
Montréal got to play David to Calgary's Goliath. The Stampeders have struggled in Montréal in recent years, losing in La Belle Province in 2014 and 2015. The team's last home loss in the regular season goes back to October 10, 2015 in a 15-11 loss to Edmonton. That was the only home loss for the Stampeders in 2015.
The rich Ottawa comeback at Edmonton fell short on a missed 2-point conversion. The key play happened when Trevor Harris threw a pass behind him that fell onto the turf. A pass behind the quarterback, if not complete, is a live ball that the Esks returned for a touchdown.
You rarely see that play because of that scenario. A TD return for the other team is even more rare, but the CFL proves that if it can happen, it will at some point.
"Canadian football isn't rugby or Australian-rules football; it has much more in common with the American version of the game. But it's like American football in the way Canada itself is like America: just similar enough to arouse what Freud called the 'narcissism of small differences.'"
Since we don't have any TV notes this week, here was a nice article on the CFL from a while back. The CFL gets more American coverage than you might contemplate. Here is a link to the full article from former Regina resident Mitch Moxley in The New York Times.
We did get our first Gord Miller sighting in the game in Hamilton. Chris Schulz took the weekend off. Jock Climie filled in for Matt Dunigan, who was in Montréal Friday night.
Miller covers a lot of hockey. Duane Forde teased Miller about a contrast between hockey and football. Every other CFL personality got to call a exhibition game; this was Miller's first game of the season. Miller was referring to a no yards but said "too many men." You can have a "too many men" call in football, but the term is definitely hockey-related. We love Gord so we are just teasing. Miller calls a lot of hockey.