Post Game Mustang Musings

Discussion in 'Calgary Stampeders Talk' started by Tundra Mustang, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Tundra Mustang

    Tundra Mustang Moderator
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    [​IMG]

    A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum...

    It was a beautiful summer evening in the land of rolling hills gently rising over the landscape to meet the jagged shale and limestone peaks far away to the west.

    Amidst rising smoke from grilling meats, and with ale in hand, festive crowds wandered in aimless happiness outside of the amphitheatre where the bloodsport would soon begin.

    The spectators gathered inside were colourfully reflective of the red-garbed team they expected to put on a gladiatorial display of bloodlust in the disposition of the hapless and bewildered wild cats brought in for their amusement.

    The copper red of the setting sun as it shone through the haze from distant forest fires gave further promise of the spectacle about to unfold.

    It would not be a fair fight.

    But in this arena, it rarely was.

    To the gathering about to witness the event, it did not matter.

    They were there to see victory, and the more gory and merciless, the better.

    For this was Circus Maximus...Alberta style.


    Well, it was a 'circus' alright.

    However, the circus which descended on McMahon Stadium on Friday night was largely bereft of heroic displays and athletic prowess, seeking instead to 'entertain' the masses assembled through buffoonery and low comedy.

    The clowns were certainly out in full force in this one.

    Even the animals bought in for the event got in on the act.

    The ineptitude of the phallanx of white mustangs let onto the field was laughable, exceeded only by the knee-slapping antics of the legions of scrambling 'cats who were only set loose among the dozens of hooves for the purpose of being trampled.

    And the zebras...don't even get me started on them...they were utterly 'hilarious'!

    In the end, the crowd got a narrow victory out of the gladiators in red, by a margin of 10 'kills' to 7, but certainly not a spectacle.

    The Heroes:

    On a night when the burning question for me was "Were both defences that good, or were both offences that bad?", I'm gonna go with the latter proposition in answer to my own question.

    As a result, there aren't going to be many heroes cited.

    On Offence:
    Sinopoli stood out for Calgary with the game's only major score, but in keeping with the comedic theme of the evening, even that was the result of a broken "trick play" designed to be an option with the former Stampeders QB throwing deep out of the flat to an open receiver in the endzone. When an open target didn't materialize, but Hamilton pressure did, Sinopoli pulled the throw, and juked and deked his way 26 yards into the Tiger-cat endzone himself. Longest run from scrimmage on the night, and he complemented that running play with 2 catches for 25 more yards.

    Fuller didn't get free deep, but he caught 4 balls for 56 yards to lead all Calgary receivers in yardage; McDaniel was the "go-to" possession receiver with some impressive catches, ending up with 5 grabs for 54 yards.

    Cote also played well when they involved him, but that wasn't as often as they should have: he made 4 catches for 31 yards and several key blocks to help keep the pressure off Mitchell, as well as to clear the way on running plays for Walters who had a decent game at tailback with 56 yards on 11 carries.

    On Hamilton's side of the ball on offence, outside of Fantuz, (with 7 receptions for 59 yards), or perhaps Ellingson's total of 58 yards on 3 grabs, nobody even bested the modest totals achieved by Calgary's skill players. The Stampeders' front 7 had Hamilton's ground game bottled up pretty well all evening, and with only 71 yards rushing spread between 5 carriers, no one wearing tabbie black and gold stood out as a game star.

    On ST:
    Maver was alright with his evening's work on punts, but it was a touchdown saving tackle in the third Q as the 'last man back' which earns him a "Heroes" designation from me this game. Sanders wasn't a factor either way on punts returns, and since Hamilton had no kickoffs to perform in the game except for the wind-aided opening kick which went for a single, Sanders had none of those to return. Paredes wasn't a 'Zero', but I can't give him a 'Heroes' mark for this outing, either. He went 1 for 2 on FG's (with his miss being a long one at 48 yards), but it's looks to me like something's troubling him. He's certainly right now not playing like the "El Automatador" we've seen from him in years past.

    For Hamilton, Medlock went 2 for 3 on FG's (and the one he didn't get an opportunity to make was hardly his fault).

    On Defence:
    Simpson was all over the field leading a hard-charging Calgary front and LB crew, and had 8 tackles. Micah Johnson (who had 7 tackles, and a sack) in tandem with versatile DB Brandon Smith (with 6 tackles), had the defensive play of the game when, with time running out and the ball on Calgary's 23 yard line (almost directly in front of "sfie" and me seated 6 rows up from the field), Hamilton attempted a 30 yard FG for the tie. Calgary's interior front surged forward with Johnson reaching the Ti-cat's holder (who had bobbled the snap) a split second before Smith also arrived to snuff out the threat. (I didn't have the benefit of seeing several angles of the televised replay, so I won't weigh in on the braying apparently done by TSN's game crew on the helmet-to-helmet contact they alleged had occurred on the play ;)). Hughes only had 1 tackle, but he was double-teamed most of the night, and he also had 1 sack and a forced fumble on the evening. His sack and forced fumble totals were matched by Lemon.

    At safety, Joshua Bell had a pick (also right in front of "where "sfie" and I sat) in Calgary's endzone to snuff another potential scoring drive by Hamilton earlier in the game.

    For Hamilton, Marcellus Bowman at LB had a strong game with 9 tackles, while former Stampeders DT, Brian Bulke, had only 3 tackles, but he also had Hamilton's only sack of BLM, and he contributed with a forced fumble on the Calgary pivot, which Plesius recovered for the Ti-cats.

    The Zeroes:

    On Offence:
    BLM. While you can expect to lose most games when your starting QB earns a "Zeroes" rating, Bo (and the rest of the offence), can thank the defence for pulling this one out. This was not Bo Levi's finest hour. He constantly overthrew open receivers all evening long (Sanders on the far sideline, and Parker and Fuller, each on deep fly patterns, are three who come to mind). I thought he had solid protection from his o-line and blocking backs consistently throughout the game, (he was sacked but once) but he just couldn't get any rhythm going with his receivers, and finished 19 for 35 and 201 yards and a fumble on the night. Both ''sfie" and I agreed that Bo might've benefited by being benched by Hufnagel to start the second half, if only to allow him a chance to see the game for a series or two while Tate took the throttle, (but when that didn't happen, and Bo continued to struggle, it was clear that the die was cast and BLM had to remain behind centre the rest of the way-despite his mediocre performance-to avoid damaging his self-confidence with the hook).

    Dickenson. This offence is missing the athleticism and play-breaking dynamism of Jon Cornish right now, and it really shows. But outside of a nearly botched trick play that Sinopoli (to his credit) made work, I'm not seeing a lot of creativity out of the OC to compensate for Cornish's loss. Nik Lewis made only one catch for 10 yards on the night, and I didn't see them go to him at any other point in the game. Joe West was invisible (aside from an unsportsmanlike penalty he took in the first half) all game long. (Now whether that's because of West's own play, or because in the game-plan drawn up by Dickenson, his number wasn't being called, I can't say, but I didn't see them go to West at any point in the game). And aside from a couple of closely guarded incompletions to Parker, they didn't throw his way, either. Three veterans, with varying lengths of experience, and none of them involved in the offence to any substantial degree.

    Not good enough most nights, and certainly not on this one, except for some heroics from Calgary's defence coupled with a critical Hamilton ST mistake in the game's closing minutes...

    Masoli wasn't any better for Hamilton, but then he wasn't supposed to be able to outgun BLM as went only 9 of 20 for 107 yards and a pick. I thought Calgary was perhaps fortunate that Kent Austin didn't choose to go to Lefevour at QB sooner than he did, since he went 9 for 11 when he finally got in for Hamilton late in the game, but he also earns the goat-horns for that club from me for his mis-handling of the placement of the ball on the Ti-cats' failed game-tying FG attempt in the dying minutes of the game...;)

    Aftermath:

    All in all, they'll have to pick up both their intensity and their play execution as well as their game-planning before taking on the first-place Eskimos (how strange does that sound? :confused:) here in Edmonton later this week, if they don't want to be thoroughly embarrassed at Commonwealth.

    This one was a win.

    An ugly one by the narrowest of margins following a miscue by an even more inept opponent, who, on paper, should not have even been competitive with the highly-ranked Stampeders.

    Best to burn the film on this one (hence the reason there are no commemorative photos of the game in this blog ;)...this one is better forgotten by both the club and its fanbase alike, provided the former at least draws the necessary lessons before moving on...)

    And one final note: a big thank you to fellow site member, "stampsfaninedmonton", for his very kind generosity in inviting me to join him in a road trip to Calgary for the game, and equally big thanks to Calgary DB Jeff Hecht for the game seats we watched it from.

    Anytime guys! :D

    But pssst, hey Jeff: have a word or two with your colleagues on offence, willya? :D


    TM
     
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  2. Madman

    Madman Administrator
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    Another great Musings TM, always look forward to them.

    :cigar:
     
  3. Tundra Mustang

    Tundra Mustang Moderator
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    Thanks, Madman.

    Believe it or not, I actually had to pare this one back using a 'blind edit' for apparently exceeding the allowable character limit...:wtf:

    That, coupled with a late return from Calgary early on Saturday, slowed my posting of it some, but at least she's done now...:D

    I just hope their next outing provides me with better subject matter to write about! ;)


    TM
     
  4. Madman

    Madman Administrator
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    Wow, who would have thought someone would hit a 10,000 character limit?

    Nice work.

    I've bumped it up and you shouldn't have any more problems.
     
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  5. Tundra Mustang

    Tundra Mustang Moderator
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    I also did it once on GSG in its final year of operation, but the program on that site told me exactly by how many characters I was over, and I was able to fairly readily edit it down. Yesterday, my own Word program told me that I was still under, but SFs 'character counter' system disagreed.

    Guess what? SFs won! :p

    Thanks for bumping the limit.


    TM
     
  6. Doogie58

    Doogie58 Member

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    Good post as always Tundra, and nice surprise & Good to see you and SFIE down for the game on Friday night. I presume you will be taking in the first significant BoA in years live on Thursday Night? Stamps will be in tough with Cornish and Mo Price still missing on offence and all of our starting linebackers out possibly. Enjoy the game Tundra!
     
  7. Tundra Mustang

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    Thanks, Doogie!

    Nice to see you and Cecilia again, too...it would be good to see more of you both!

    Speaking of seeing you, I managed to put a photo of you and me in the GDT on Friday...I'm sure you'll remember the Moose Factory patio meet-up of a couple of years back...;)

    As for the BofA, I may be going with my son, Ryan, depending on his work schedule.

    I know sfie's going 'cause he's taking his 3 year old daughter, Kaja, who's become quite a Stampeders fan (over, I'm sure, her mother Nikki's objections since she's a dyed-in-the-green 'riders fan! :D)


    TM
     
  8. Rids

    Rids Member

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    Wasn't it Tasker on the hold for the Medlock FG attempt at the end? Bobbled the hold and then took that big hit from Smith.
     
  9. Tundra Mustang

    Tundra Mustang Moderator
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    Not according to the CP wire service items on the game run by both TSN and CFL.ca:

    The Ticats had a chance to tie the game, but kicker Justin Medlock was unable to kick a 29-yard field goal due to a botched snap. Quarterback Dan LeFevour, who was the holder on the play, tried to run the ball instead, but was flattened by a big hit from Smith much to the delight of the 27,546 fans in attendance at McMahon Stadium.

    http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=457481

    http://www.cfl.ca/article/rolling-along-stamps-continue-early-season-charge

    I know I had heard somewhere along the line that it was Tasker with the miscue (maybe QR77 post-game?), but watching the play live at the stadium, I can't say I took note of who was holding on the failed kick in all of the commotion that followed.

    However, the CFL website game stats also charged LeFevour with a fumble (rather than Tasker), so unless the league has got it wrong (and, who knows, maybe it has ;)), I think that should settle the issue.


    TM
     
  10. Rids

    Rids Member

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    No fumble on the play. It was scored as a Team Loss.

    LeFevour's fumble came on the next possession.

     
  11. Tundra Mustang

    Tundra Mustang Moderator
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    Alright.

    No fumble called on the play.

    Still, what does that do to help you to conclude that Tasker was the holder?


    TM
     
  12. Liske

    Liske Member

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  13. Tundra Mustang

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    Thank you for the factual correction. Since I have no interest in seeing any part of that game again, I'll just take your word for it.

    The error can be blamed on the CP wire service.

    That's where I got verification from on that point when I could finally get around to writing the blog on Sunday since the earliest TV replay I could've possibly seen was some 4 hours after the game ended by which time I had returned to Edmonton, and trust me, by my 3 a.m. arrival home, I really had no interest in doing so. ;)

    And, as the weekend wore on, I have to say that my enthusiasm for seeing any part of Friday's snorefest of a game again, whether in whole or even in part, had diminished even further.

    Now that we have disposed of the critical point concerning who did, and did not, drop the snap from centre on the potentially game-tying FG attempt by Hamilton, does anyone have any other observations they'd like to share about Friday's game?


    TM
     

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