Buck Pierce is 3-0 lifetime against the Als and according to one report, has never been injured against Montreal either.
Not a particularly brilliant start to the prognostication season but we’re back hoping to be like Geroy Simon in the fourth quarter of his first game this year. On to the show:
Winnipeg at Montreal, 4 p.m.
Only a true cynic would suggest it officially became football season in Winnipeg when Buck Pierce was injured before halftime of the first game. The true fan would point out that Pierce is already to go for the next leg on the Bombers’ early-season cross-Canada non-stadium tour. Some numbers? Pierce is 3-0 lifetime as a starter against the Als and according to the Winnipeg Sun, is tonight playing the only team against whom he has not been injured. And tonight, he’ll have another ex-Lions teammate, Justin Sorensen, in front of him making his first career start at centre.
The real interesting storyline is in Montreal, where quarterback Anthony Calvillo threw more interceptions against Calgary (2) than the Als had practice days this week (1). Or for that matter, fines to Shea Emry for late hits (1). Not only that, Montreal won’t have CB Dwight Anderson is this one, and losses like his in the secondary might be enough to think there soon will be need for full-scale panic. Province pick: Bombers
Hamilton at B.C., 7 p.m.
It’s too early in the season to seriously worry about these kinds of things, but surely there has to be a few people with the Lions questioning why they haven’t beaten Hamilton had home in their last three outings in Vancouver. “We have to answer the bell quickly,” coach Mike Benevides said this week.
Hamilton went with youth on the defensive front but George Cortez will switch to more experienced hands in DL Jermaine McElveen, and that could make a difference against a B.C. offensive front which allowed Travis Lulay to get rag-dolled occasionally last week. But the Lions defensive scheme is solid and should be enough to take care of Henry Burris. Province pick: Lions
Calgary at Toronto, 12 noon
Yes, nothing screams out regular season home opener than a mid-afternoon game on a weekend in the summer, a sure ratings winner if ever there was one. While Argos fans are deciding whether to spend the weekend at the cottage in Muskoka or risk their sanity looking at that offence, the Stamps had to simply get out of dodge because the Calgary Stampede has hit town, meaning a bonding session in Kingston, Ont. is about to break out before they face Montreal on the road next Wednesday.
Drew Tate was the story for the Stamps in their pounding over the Als last week and would figure to be enough, save for the fact Toronto has taken the last two home matchups with Calgary, so we’ll take a flyer and go with the defence coached by Chris Jones, who isn’t with the Stamps any longer. Province pick: Argos.
Edmonton at Saskatchewan, 4 p.m.
Well, you sure have to like the investment being made by the average Riders fan. Headline in the Regina Leader-Post after opening road win against Hamilton: Roughriders not getting complacent. Yep, week 2 and it’s clearly it’s already time to kick back. Wasn’t it about only two months ago that the sky was falling in the prairies?
No team benefitted from a dose of positive thinking after the Greg Marshall/Ken Miller fiasco last year, and it certainly didn’t hurt Darian Durant’s confidence after he throttled the Ticats’ secondary for 390 passing yards in a gamer in which the Riders had 500 yards overall last week. It will not be a storybook ending for the Eskimos public relations genius who helped other write many a yarn over the years, Dave Jamieson, who is leaving the club after this game. Province pick: Riders.