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GA Russell

2020 #CFL hot stove league

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Not too much to report on the first day of free agent signings. In the past, most of them would be done on the first day, indicating that the teams were negotiating with the agents before they were supposed to. Maybe this year the rule is being enforced.

Tom Canada re-signed with the Bombers, following their re-signing Dan Goodspeed.

The Als signed Tay Cody.

The Ticats signed Tony Miles.

The Eskimos signed DL Dario Romero and OL Garrick Jones.

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...tsFootball/home

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Reggie Hunt has signed with the Als.

This article from Dan Ralphs says that both JoJuan Armour and Dario Romero turned down more money from the Als to sign with Calgary and Edmonton, respectively. It looks to me like I'm not the only one who is skeptical of the Als' hiring as a head coach somebody with zero CFL experience.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Mon...4860421-cp.html

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The Eskimos have cut Pat Woodcock. I think he's done. He was never the same after he left the Als.

The Ticats have re-signed their MVP Zeke Moreno, and their backup QB Richie Williams. Williams looked terrific when he got the chance to play this year, and I think he has a real future in the league.

The Als cut Mike Strickland, and said that Steve Charbonneau has retired.

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...tsFootball/home

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The league released its 2008 schedule today.

The regular season begins Thursday June 26.

http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&...y&nid=22590

2008 CFL Schedule

DATEVISITORHOMELOCAL

Thursday, June 12TORMTL7:00Thursday, June 12WPGHAM7:00Friday, June 13BCSSK7:00Friday, June 13EDMCGY7:00Thursday, June 19HAMTOR7:00Thursday, June 19MTLWPG7:00Thursday, June 19SSKEDM7:00Thursday, June 19CGYBC7:00Thursday, June 26MTLHAM7:00Thursday, June 26BCCGY8:00Friday, June 27TORWPG7:00Saturday, June 28EDMSSK5:30Thursday, July 3HAMTOR7:00Thursday, July 3CGYEDM8:00Friday, July 4WPGMTL7:00Friday, July 4SSKBC7:00Thursday, July 10CGYMTL7:00Thursday, July 10TOREDM8:00Friday, July 11BCWPG7:00Saturday, July 12SSKHAM4:00Thursday, July 17HAMCGY7:00Friday, July 18WPGBC7:00Saturday, July 19MTLSSK5:00Sunday, July 20EDMTOR4:00Thursday, July 24CGYWPG7:00Friday, July 25EDMHAM7:00Friday, July 25MTLBC7:00Sunday, July 27TORSSK5:00Thursday, July 31HAMMTL7:00Thursday, July 31BCEDM8:00Friday, August 1WPGTOR7:00Saturday, August 2SSKCGY6:00Thursday, August 7TORHAM7:00Thursday, August 7CGYSSK8:00Friday, August 8MTLWPG6:30Friday, August 8EDMBC7:30Thursday, August 14HAMWPG7:00Friday, August 15MTLTOR7:30Thursday, August 21SSKEDM7:00Friday, August 22CGYBC7:30Friday, August 29BCMTL7:30Sunday, August 31WPGSSK1:00Monday, September 1EDMCGY2:00Monday, September 1TORHAM7:30Friday, September 5CGYEDM7:00Saturday, September 6BCHAM4:00Sunday, September 7TORMTL1:00Sunday, September 7SSKWPG3:00Friday, September 12WPGTOR7:00Friday, September 12MTLCGY8:00Saturday, September 13HAMEDM5:00Saturday, September 13SSKBC7:00Friday, September 19WPGHAM7:30Saturday, September 20TORCGY4:30Saturday, September 20BCSSK7:30Sunday, September 21EDMMTL1:00Friday, September 26EDMWPG7:00Saturday, September 27CGYTOR7:00Saturday, September 27HAMBC7:00Sunday, September 28SSKMTL1:00Friday, October 3BCTOR7:00Friday, October 3CGYSSK8:00Saturday, October 4MTLHAM4:00Saturday, October 4WPGEDM5:00Friday, October 10TORWPG6:30Friday, October 10EDMBC7:30Monday, October 13HAMMTL1:00Monday, October 13SSKCGY2:30Friday, October 17BCEDM7:00Saturday, October 18MTLTOR3:00Saturday, October 18WPGCGY4:30Sunday, October 19HAMSSK1:00Friday, October 24CGYHAM7:30Saturday, October 25EDMSSK4:30Saturday, October 25TORBC7:00Sunday, October 26WPGMTL1:00Thursday, October 30SSKTOR7:30Friday, October 31MTLEDM7:00Saturday, November 1HAMWPG1:00Saturday, November 1BCCGY3:00

PS I'll see if I can't find a better way to print this.

Edited by GA Russell

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Jim Popp is wondering why players are signing with other teams for less than what he is offering them. He is suggesting that perhaps side deals are being made, like the old days. If I read the article right, he and three other GMs want offers as well as contracts to be registered with the league.

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...tsFootball/home

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Eagle Day has died. I had his bubble gum card in 1964.

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...tsFootball/home

PS - Here's a better obituary. I didn't know that he was the Redskins' punter in '60 and '61. The Redskins were the worst team in the league then, and I never saw them on TV.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/New...4871109-cp.html

Edited by GA Russell

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Of course, they are household names because they have been in the league for a number of years. It looks like the real money will be paid only to the highest level performers, and everyone else will either have to eat humble pie or step aside for the young guys coming up.

Appropos, the Eskimos cut Omarr Morgan and Rob Brown today. I don't expect them to have difficulty finding a job elsewhere if they are willing to play for what they are offered.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Edm...4878442-cp.html

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Interesting that the Eskimos made a profit while finishing out of the playoffs.

Here's a brief CP article:

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...tsFootball/home

Eskimos finish 2007 season in the black

Canadian Press

February 29, 2008 at 12:07 PM EST

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimos finished the 2007 season in the black.

The CFL club announced following its annual general meeting that it posted a $229,054 profit in 2007 compared to just $34,823 in 2006.

The community-owned franchise's operating revenue for '07 was almost $13.86 million, an increase of $863,000 from 2006. Overall expenses were $13.63 million, an increase of $668,000 from the previous season.

The Eskimos finished fourth in the West Division standings last season, missing the CFL playoffs for the second straight season after capturing the '05 Grey Cup title.

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Stop the presses! The Riders have traded Kerry Joseph to the Argos!

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...lobeSports/home

*****

The Ticats have signed Pat Woodcock. It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't make the team. He's had four bad years in a row.

http://www.thespec.com/Sports/Local%20Sports/article/334339

Edited by GA Russell

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The Bombers traded Rob Pikula to the Lions for DB Sebastian Clovis. The Bombers have had problems kicking, and I'm surprised that they would let Pikula go before training camp.

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...tsFootball/home

The Lions traded Pikula today to the Eskimos for the 18th pick in the draft.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/BC/...5062066-cp.html

*****

Here's a surprise. The Stampeders have cut Scott Coe. With an unsatisfactory defense last year, the Stamps are letting go of their linebackers (first Clark, now Coe).

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Cal...5050721-cp.html

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The Globe & Mail broke the story that the league is fairly close to issueing an Ottawa franchise to 67s owner Jeff Hunter. I don't disbelieve it, but my feeling is that, as Donald Trump used to say, there's no deal till there's a deal. The plan is for the team to start in 2010.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Ott...058366-sun.html

*****

Here's as eight minute video from YouTube of the 2007 Grey Cup:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqAviCncNjo

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Here's the Globe's report on today's Ottawa announcement:

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...tsFootball/home

You will note that the announced price of the franchise is $7 million. I would be interested to learn the truth of how much is actually paid and over what length of time.

As it is, the announcement commits no one to anything that I can see, in that it all depends on half the ballpark being rebuilt. That's a big if. But it at least assures the politicians that the stadium will have a tenant if they spend the money.

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Here's a Spectator article about Bob Young of the Ticats. He has lost $10 million so far, and expects to continue to lose money for the next 2-3 years. This year there will be a substantial increase in ticket prices despite the team's poor performance in recent years.

http://www.thespec.com/Sports/article/344942

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The Als have offered a contract to Corey Holmes, but his agent can't find him!

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news...82-8b61f88f617a

*****

Bob Ackles announced today that the Lions have extended Wally Buono's contract, but the article doesn't say for how long. This is the last year of his current contract. Wally is second all time in coaching victories, behind Don Matthews.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/BC/...5152306-cp.html

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Wisconsin QB Tyler Donovan has decided to skip the NFL draft, and has signed a four-year contract with Edmonton. He will start in camp as the #4 QB behind Jason Maas (whom I don't expect will make the team).

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/200...181941-sun.html

*****

Here's Dan Ralph's article on the Hall of Fame inductees:

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/200...5155136-cp.html

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Here are some things I've found at Rider announcer Rod Pederson's website http://www.rodpederson.com

Ticats drop two CFL veterans

Hamilton Spectator

Byline: Ken Peters

Source: The Hamilton Spectator

The Tiger-Cats, who fielded the youngest team in the Canadian Football League last season, just got younger -- they've parted ways with two league warriors.

Hamilton general manager Bob O'Billovich confirmed yesterday the club has released 10-year defensive tackle Roger Dunbrack and eight-year offensive lineman Pascal Cheron.

Dunbrack turns 33 in October. Cheron turns 34 in July.

While Dunbrack's plans aren't known, Cheron said yesterday he hopes to catch on with another CFL club for the upcoming season.

*****

(and this too from Rod Pederson about the Riders annual lottery...)

(I had no idea that the Riders almost folded after the '96 season, when the league had so many problems.)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders almost folded in the spring of 1997. Actually the club Executive was just days away from making the decision to pull the plug before a miracle came along. Here's the story:

Hall of Fame Roughrider volunteer and Past President Tom Shepherd was on 620 CKRM's Currie's Corner last Thursday, talking about his HoF induction, and also the perilous road the Riders have travelled the past 30 or so years financially.

Initially, Tom was asked how the legendary Friends of the Riders Touchdown Lottery began. It was on the strength of the Lottery -- and the $12-million its raised -- that Shepherd was inducted into the Hall.

"It was out of necessity. Greg Walter, a policeman in Saskatoon, ran a lottery for a policeman who was killed and had reasonable success making $25,000 or so. He called me and said I should do it for the Riders. That year Keith Critchley was Rider President and I was Vice and he gave me a mandate to raise $1,000,000 off the field. Luckily Greg Walter called me in 1986 and I started doing it. Now every year we're making about $600,000 for the club."

"It's one of those win-win situations. We made $12-million over the years, and that's the people of Saskatchewan not me. CKRM has always been behind us to promote it, so you are a big part of the success. I don't think it would work anywhere else because this is Saskatchewan's team. We've soldout every year but one, and it was very close to a sellout."

After discussing the beginnings of the Lottery, Tom went onto talk about how close the team was to death a decade later.

"In 1987 it was bad. It wasn't the darkest day but probably the second-darkest. In '87 we had gone 11 straight years out of the playoffs and that's when I became President and hired Bill Baker as G.M.

Ted Urness had recommended him and I hired him. I guess I'm good at taking other peoples' ideas. So we did a telethon in '87 to raise money which included Ronnie Lancaster and Bruce Cowie and guys like that. We reached our monetary goal, hired John Gregory and two years later won the Grey Cup. I'm not certain the club would've failed then, but it was very, very close."

"The real darkest time in my term was, and it's hard to say this because I get real emotional, was the start of '97 when Fred Wagman was President. As Treasurer I went to the league and said if we don't have 250,000 tickets sold, or X-amount of money, before the season starts, we won't operate. People poo-poo'd that saying "the Riders will never die" but I went to GM Al Ford and said we had very little money until the start of the season. I put all the season ticket money we had into a trust account because I felt if we don't make our goal, people who bought season tickets could lose their money. We had lots of critics, and Fred Wagman took out a full-page ad in the newspaper, went on provincial television and told people how dire it was but people were skeptical of Fred."

"He did a wonderful job but was getting discouraged because people weren't receptive. I told him not to back down. But the banks weren't cooperative, and a number of things were going on. We had moderate success raising money, but we needed to have a telethon. A week before the telethon, we were having a meeting and Vice-President Bob Ellard said to me 'are we going to make it?' I said it doesn't look like we're gonna make and it looks like we're gonna have to fold the team. It was March. But I said I got an interesting phone call and I think there's hope. I was supposed to be sworn to secrecy but within the Executive, they said I wasn't sworn to secrecy with them."

"Well it was Edmonton's Hugh Campbell who called me and said, 'Tom, are you real about this?' And I said yes. Well he said he and League Commissioner John Tory had met with the NFL and they were gonna give us a whole bunch of money. $500,000 per club. He said 'if you knew that, could you get by?' I told him we had to have x-amount by a certain date. He said we could announce the money, but not who it was from."

"So on the day of the telethon, we held a news conference. I said we had a benefactor who bought $500,000 worth of tickets. Of course the reporters were all over me with 'where is this from?', 'is it Canadian?'. I said yes, but then I backed off it. Then I said it was a huge conglomerate. But it wasn't until four months later that the truth came out. So that was 1997 and that saved the team and a few months later we were in Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton watching the Riders in the Grey Cup."

"I'm just one person accepting the Hall of Fame honour with a lot of gratitude but I'm only here because of the people of Saskatchewan and their unending love for the Roughriders. It's always going to be a fragile situation, but we've had good times. Back in the 70's and early-80's though, I used to invest $100,000 a month for this team because of a rich television contract. We've been at the top financially before, but we weren't winning then. The difference now with this $1.7-million profit, plus the surplus for stadium improvement, is that they also won the Grey Cup. There's a lot riding on it, like sales and souvenirs. We did $1-million in one month of souvenir sales in '89. This time it was close to $3-million at Grey Cup time."

*****

Keith Stokes has moved again, this time to Edmonton. Stokes is only 29. It seems like he has been in the league forever.

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news...a5-002f4b6e9fd2

*****

Here's an article about the state of the players association:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/fo...p-4744189c.html

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