Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Yes, the Colts are a perfect 9-0, have made the playoffs seven straight years, won the Superbowl in 2007 and feature a QB who is so ridiculously good he may very well be a robot...but the Colts are not worthy of the title "most dominating team in pro football".
Neither are the Steelers, even though they've won two of the last four Superbowls and have been #1 in total defence for most of the 21st century. The Patriots, with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, have been a model of winning and consistency but they aren't the answer either. The Dillon Panthers (a highschool team, but 'pro' by my standards because their players are paid) have had a good run the last three seasons, but with Coach Taylor leaving for East Dillon High, the Panthers will need a new gameplan.
No, the most dominating team in pro football doesn't reside in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Boston or on a weekly television show (Friday Night Lights is amazing by the way - watch season one and tell me differently, I dare you). Rather, the title belongs to a team and city further north, that plays in a league which famously claims "Our Balls Are Bigger."
The Montreal Alouettes put the finishing touches on a remarkable 15-3 regular season (where they scored the most points and allowed the least) a week ago and are once again the overwhelming favourite to win the Grey Cup.
The Als host the Lions this weekend in the East semi-final and with a win will go a perfect 10-0 at home in 2009. Soon-to-be 3-time CFL Most Outstanding Player Anthony Calvillo and his league best 108.4 QB rating and plus 20 TD to INT ratio is performing at a Manning-like level, and his receiving corps of Kerry Watkins, Jamel Richardson and Ben Cahoon are miles ahead of the competition. The rushing game, led by Avon Cobourne and his CFL best 13 rushing touchdowns, isn't overwhelming but with the passing game nearly flawless, it doesn't need to be.
The league recently announced the 2009 All-Stars and 14 of the 22 players named to the East team were from Montreal...and it probably should have included a few more.
Since 2002, the Patriots and Steelers have both won a pair of Super Bowls and the Colts have one of their own. The Pats went to another Superbowl in 2008 and lost. Meanwhile, the Alouettes have been to the Grey Cup final five of the last six seasons and are one win away from making it six of seven. If they win, they'll match New England and Pittsburgh in the championship column and they'll have done it without any mention of cheating. (See: Spygate, 2007)
The NFL has it's slick television production, a ridiculously awesome fan friendly schedule (from September to January, Sunday's are amazing) and superior athletes. But the CFL has the most dominating team. A Grey Cup win by Montreal in two weeks will seal their claim to the throne.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Hiding behind a vague (but witty?) moniker, I've opined and mocked my way through two years and 70 columns without hinting at who I really am. Now, granted, this isn't quite the same as Bruce Wayne revealing himself as Batman...but it is finally time to come clean.
My name is Alex Anthopoulos. You may know me as the new GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. I replaced the hatchet-man J.P. Ricciardi on the final weekend of the regular season and recently unveiled my new game plan that will transform Canada's only Major League baseball team into a contender. Maybe.
Quote: "I think when people talk about a rebuild, it would be tearing down a team and trading away numbers of players. I don't know that we have that necessarily. I think we have a lot of good young players, I just don't think we have enough."
Translation: We have no idea what our number is and Rogers isn't about to tell us. I'm on a need-to-know basis, and Mr. Beeston tells me that I don't need to know. It's safe to assume that our payroll will continue to decrease the next few years while we stockpile young players and try to figure out who can be part of the long-term plan. If any of you were dreaming about Jason Bay or Eric Bedard, well, sorry. Ain't gonna happen.
Needless to say, the future is not overly bright for us. Without realignment or a total overhaul of the current playoff system, our postseason aspirations are largely a mirage. The idea is to build a youthful, talented and cheap core that can eventually be bolstered with a couple of free agent signings to push the team over the top. It's a good plan. No really, it is. But there is no guarantee it will work.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
At his disposal Girardi has the greatest collection of baseball talent ever assembled on a single team. The current Yankee roster has made a collective 48 All-Star game appearances, has more than 2000 career homeruns, 3 regular season MVP awards, and a Cy Young trophy.