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Just For Kicks and Giggles: CFL TALK

By: Chris Tessaro



Hockey. Tim Horton’s. Football with three downs. THAT’S Canada, baby, and when it comes summer time, coffee is out, hockey has melted but the CFL is heating up and ready to rock. And from the Maritimes right across the prairies into the Pacific, Canadian football has become the best game in town. Fans everywhere have jumped onto the CFL bandwagon. What they don’t realize is that this league, and this great game have been around for a hundred years!! But none of that matters…when it’s third and goal, down by six and time to make it or break it, fans everywhere are on their feet cheering. And it all comes down to one game: The Grey Cup. November 25th in Toronto. And to kick off a season of chest-thumping, trash talking, and five receivers in motion, UMM spoke with the four hosts of Sportsnet Connected to get their take on cheerleaders, teams, stadiums, and the things that make the CFL great….

 

 

MARTINE GAILLARD

Host, Sportsnet Connected

 

Who will win the Grey Cup? - Calgary Stampeders: “I think the Stamps have the most complete team heading into the season.”

Who has the hottest cheerleaders? -  There are cheerleaders in the CFL???  I hadn’t noticed.  Kidding!  I have to go with the BC Lions.  My friend Tracy was a cheerleader there for years and she’s totally hot!”

Which do you prefer, CFL or NFL? -  CFL: “Why go out to eat hamburger when I have steak at home?”

 

If you were commissioner, what changes would you make to the CFL?  - “Free beer for all women at all the games. Why? Duh…”

 

Who will be the worst team in the CFL?Edmonton: “I’m afraid it’s going to be a long year in Edmonton with all the rebuilding.”

 

Who is the best player in the CFL? – “That’s easy, B.C. receiver Geroy Simon. How can you argue with the most outstanding player in the CFL? The guy is amazing!”

 

Your favourite stadium to watch a game? - “Mosaic Stadium (formerly Taylor Field) hands down. The Riders have the best fans in the league and I have to go with the home province and my old stomping grounds.” 

 

What is your best CFL memory? – “This past season I went to an Argos game with a friend of David Cynamon’s (Argonaut co-owner).  She got us passes to get on the field where we ran into David who invited us into the Argos’ locker room to hear Pinball’s pre-game sermon to the players.  Talk about being a fly on the wall! I had visions of one of the players spotting me and having me tossed out for being a member of the media and infiltrating their inner circle. Thank God that never happened. It was such an amazing experience!”  

Who should be the Commissioner for the CFL?Jim Lang of Sportsnet Connected: “Commissioner Clubber!  I’ve never met someone so passionate about the CFL. Plus he’s a man of the people and he would rubber stamp the free beer idea!”.

 

Best CFL City to hold the Grey Cup? – “Again, I have to go with Regina. We have already seen in the past how great a host this city is for the big event. There’s nothing like prairie hospitality and the CFL is so huge in the West. Not to mention, they know how to party!”

 

  

DON TAYLOR

Host, Sportsnet Connected

 

Who will win the Grey Cup? – BC Lions: “Hailing from Vancouver I may be just a little biased on this one. The BC Lions have managed to keep their outstanding core together – (quarterback) Dave Dickenson, Geroy Simon, (defensive end) Brent Johnson, the list goes on. The Leos have all the makings of a true powerhouse. Why wouldn’t I pick them?”

Who has the hottest cheerleaders? -  Montreal Alouettes – “There is something about Montreal women that every man west of Quebec has the hots for.”

Which do you prefer, CFL or NFL? -  “Not to be wishy-washy on this but I have always been someone who doesn’t compare the two leagues. There are things about each league which are better than the other.”

 

If you were commissioner, what changes would you make to the CFL?  - “Get rid of the single point on missed field goals! Rewarding failure makes no sense. I know it is a CFL tradition but not all traditions are good. I would also push hard for a ninth team in the league in either Ottawa, Quebec City or somewhere in the Maritimes.”

 

Who will be the worst team in the CFL?Winnipeg: “This team has had quarterback issues for the last several seasons and I can’t see that changing this season.”

 

Who is the best player in the CFL? – Geroy Simon “He’s got it all; deceptive speed, great hands and a knack for getting open. We will forgive him for wearing the same number as Terrell Owens!”

 

Your favourite stadium to watch a game? -  McMahon Stadium: “Fans are right on top of the play at McMahon and Calgary fans are very much into each and every play. Some of the most knowledgeable fans in the league add to a great atmosphere.” 

 

What is your best CFL memory? – 1994 West Final: “I was there when BC beat Calgary on the last play of the game in the driving snow. (Danny) McManus to (Darren) Flutie will go down as one of the great moments in Lions history.  

Who should be the Commissioner for the CFL? – “I'm sure Mark Cohon will do a fine job. But, if he falters, it would be hard to find a better man than Argonauts' Boss Keith Pelley who has valuable experience in both the CFL and television.” 

 

Best CFL City to hold the Grey Cup?Calgary: “Not that Calgary is a small town but it has that feel. Every person gets right into everything during Grey Cup week and it make for one helluva party!”

 

 

 

SEAN McCORMICK

Host, Sportsnet Connected

 

Who will win the Grey Cup?BC Lions: “They've got the deepest set of quarterbacks in the CFL, a talented receiving corps, and a defence that finds a way to get it done. Above all, if I was starting a CFL team today, coach Wally Buono would be my first hire.”

Who has the hottest cheerleaders? -  Hands down, the BC Lions.  They're called the Felions - that's awesome.  The worst would have to be the Edmonton Eskimos. They've got dudes on the squad for crying out loud - I'll take the cheap seats, thanks.”

Which do you prefer, CFL or NFL? – CFL: “Just because the NFL players are bigger, stronger and faster than CFL players doesn't mean that the NFL is a better game.  Personally, I think the game down there sucks.  If a CFL game is within 20 points heading to the fourth quarter, you've still got a ball game.  Watching the NFL is like watching a neutral zone trap.”

If you were commissioner, what changes would you make to the CFL?  - “No dudes allowed on cheer teams.”

Who will be the worst team in the CFL?Edmonton: “I really don’t know how Edmonton is going to deal with the new salary cap rules. They had a bloated payroll last year and missed the playoffs. This year they've had to trim the payroll and part ways with guys like (receiver) Ed Hervey, (linebacker) Singor Mobley, and perennial 1,000 yard rusher Troy Davis. (Quarterback) Ricky Ray is good, but not THAT good.”

Who is the best player in the CFL? – Geroy Simon: “He's averaged 1500 yards receiving over the last four years, and done it with a plethora of other talented targets on the team. Then again, it could be argued that's helped him get open, but I still think he's the best player anywhere right now.”

Your favourite stadium to watch a game? -  Taylor Field… er... Mosaic stadium.  It was so much cooler before they sold the name, but I'll let it slide. Saskatchewan football fans are the root of all good that is the CFL - dedicated, passionate, polite, and rowdy all at the same time. I can smell the briquette smoke rising into summer sunset from the northwest corner of the stadium now.”

What is your best CFL memory? – “You might not want to print this one, but you asked.  2002 Grey Cup in Edmonton.  My buddy and I made the trip out from Vancouver to see the Eskimos play for all the marbles at home against the Als. It was minus-25 in the fourth quarter, and the score was too close to leave for a bathroom break, so my buddy relieved himself into an empty beer cup under his jacket and placed it on the ground under his seat. Moments later the Eskies scored a touchdown in the final minute to pull within one point of the lead.  60,000 people went ballistic – jumping and screaming - pandemonium as far as the eye could see.  The warmest beer cup in the joint had disappeared into thin air. Never to be heard from again. And I still have no desire to find out what happened to it.”

Who should be the Commissioner for the CFL? – Carmen Electra: “The owners don't listen to what the commissioner says anyway, so you might as well give your target demo some eye candy.”

Best CFL City to hold the Grey Cup? – “Any city in the Prairies. They just seem to appreciate it more.  If I had to pick one, I'll go with my hometown - E-town.”

  

 

BRAD FAY

Host, Sportsnet Connected

Who will win the Grey Cup?BC Lions: “This is the best CFL team since the Argos went back- to-back with Doug Flutie as quarterback a decade ago. They will repeat.”

Who has the hottest cheerleaders?Edmonton: “Anybody who can look hot in minus 40 weather; holding that smile while their body ceases up deserves high praise.”

Which do you prefer, CFL or NFL? – CFL: “I prefer the CFL with its wide open style, but I'm a football fan and still love both games.”

If you were commissioner, what changes would you make to the CFL?  - “I would play the Grey Cup on Saturday like way back in the day, so those in the host city can celebrate with the winners deep into the night.”

Who will be the worst team in the CFL?Edmonton: “For the first time in my lifetime of watching, Edmonton will be the worst team in the CFL. They've had their share and it will look good on them. Time to take down the ‘City of Champions’ sign.”

Who is the best player in the CFL? – Geroy Simon: “He won the award last year and remains on a level with the best receivers ever to play: Mervyn Fernandez, Terry Greer, Alan Pitts, Brian Kelly, etc.”

Your favourite stadium to watch a game? -  Ivor Wynne Stadium (Hamilton): “Ivor Wynne is the CFL's version of Lambeau Field or Notre Dame Stadium. It is understated with great sightlines and the best atmosphere in the league.”

What is your best CFL memory? – “I have two favourite CFL memories. 1977 Western Semifinal at Empire Stadium when the Lions beat the Blue Bombers by a point. I won the coin toss with my brother and got to attend the game with my Dad. Still the most exciting game I've ever been at.

The other, I watched on TV -- 1994 Western Final in Calgary, where the Lions upset the Stampeders in the snow. Perhaps the best CFL game in the past 20 years.”

Who should be the Commissioner for the CFL? – “Tom Wright should have been the CFL commish for as long as he likes. Pushing him out remains a very strange move -- he should still be the man. Second choice: Sportsnet's Don Taylor.”

Best CFL City to hold the Grey Cup? – “Nobody embraces the Grey Cup game like the prairie cities. Regina wins as best host city by a narrow margin. But I would LOVE to see them somehow host the game in Halifax -- just erect a temporary stadium somewhere and let it rip.”



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