Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Canadian Football League is Back for 2015!

Well, it's back!

That's right, the Canadian Football League (CFL) season for 2015 is already well under way, with most teams having five games under their belts by now.

I got to watch my first game last night, when the visiting Toronto Argonauts were essentially steamrolled by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who made it all the way to the Grey Cup game last season, but wound up losing to the eventual champion Calgary Stampeders.

Speaking of Calgary, they seem to be showing the strains of the pressure from being defending champions, at least so far. They did not duplicate their red hot undefeated start of a season ago, and through six games, they have already equaled their loss total throughout last season.

The team that looks dominant to this point thus far would be the Edmonton Eskimos, who have followed up an opening day loss with four straight records, for a stellar record of 4-1. They stand atop the West Division and, indeed, the league right now.

In the East, it should be no surprise that Hamilton is in a three way tie for first in the East Division, although the fact that they are tied with Ottawa, a franchise that really struggled last season, is a surprise. Still, they defeated Toronto to create the three way tie, and Montreal, the team that presently is in last place, is only one game out. Had the Alouettes not managed to blow a 17-0 lead against the Stampeders this past weekend, they too would be 3-2 and tied with everyone else in the East.

Winnipeg and Vancouver are 3-3 and 2-3, respectively, and are trailing Edmonton and Calgary, the two Alberta teams, in the West. Perhaps the real surprise so far is that Saskatchewan, a playoff team a year ago, now stands at 0-6, and already looks effectively out of it, even though it is only early August yet.

I continue to get more familiar with the CFL, and learned during last night's game about some of the differences in this league, as opposed to the NFL and other football leagues, such as college and the Arena Football League. The field is both longer and wider (which I already knew), and there are only three downs, and not four (which I had learned while watching the games last season). One thing that I did learn about, and which I had been wondering about since last year, was the single points. This occurs when a team kicking off to the opposing team manages to  keep the receiver from getting out of the end zone.

Learn something new every day!

In any case, that is a brief introduction to the new 2015 CFL season so far. Stay tuned, as I am sure there will be plenty more!

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