CFL Roundup: 4.0

Drug Testing in the CFL

When the new CBA was signed last week, one of the details that came out of the negotiations was that players would now be subject to doping controls with the CFL implementing a drug testing policy to join every other major professional sports league in the fight against performance enhancing drugs. Details of how the program will be implemented are not completely clear, but one thing is certain, testing will be happening, and eventually someone is going to be caught. The NFL, and more specifically Roger Goodell, have been more than willing to suspend players for as little as two games or  in the case of repeat offenders, the entire season for who break the rules. How will Mark Cohon and the CFL react and discipline the players who break the rules in the CFL?

Make no mistake about it, the CFL is not the NFL. If a player  in the NFL misses a quarter or even half of the season due to suspension, they will still make more than enough to cover their bills. In the CFL, missing half a season of paychecks could make a serious dent in a player’s ability to make the rent and feed their families. Will the league be willing, or able, to put the squeeze on players who violate the doping policy? If the league is serious about implementing this program, they will have to figure out a system to keep the players attention.

Canadian Quartebacks

The Eskimos brought in quarterback Floyd Haigler this past week as the fourth quarterback on the roster heading into training camp. To be honest, before reading about the addition here, Haigler was an unknown who would never have been mentioned here or anywhere else in Edmonton. He certainly wasn’t a player on many people’s radar as a prospect, and it is highly probably that not many people in Edmonton have ever seen him play before. Howard University is not exactly Notre Dame or USC.  So Haigler will come to camp for a little bit of look and provide another live arm for training camp.  Good for him and hopefully the young man finds a way to make a living somewhere in football.

The real question that needs to be asked, and was broached here, is why CFL teams are not giving these camp spots to deserving CIS quarterbacks? Yes, the Argos have brought in Danny Brannagan, and hopefully the quarterback from Queen’s will be able to crack the team. Toronto however was the worst team in the league last year and released every quarterback from their roster at the end of the year. They had to find some new talent. Why isn’t every team at least looking at the CIS for talent? Someone could have given Sherbrooke’s JP Shoiry a spot just as easily as the Eskimos gave one to Haigler. Shoiry certainly has the intangibles to be a pro prospect, and played well enough in 2009 to have deserved at least a little interest. Someday, a CFL team is going to take a chance on a Canadian prospect over an American one and they might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Knothole Gang

Last week, I wrote a little article about which side of Commonwealth Stadium is the best to sit on. It was purely something done for the fun of comparing the two sides because in the end, I think fans enjoy watching the game from almost any angle down at the Eskimos stomping grounds. I mentioned that the west side was a little nostalgic due to the presence of the Knothole Gang, where many of us first watched our first live CFL game. Since then, I’ve learned that the original Knothole Gang was located at the north end of the stadium. My apologies for any confusion as I have clearly shown that I am from a younger generation, and please allow me to explain further. When I first attended an Eskimos game, I sat in what I was told was the Knothole Gang in what is currently called Eskimo Igloo, located in the southwest corner of the stands, right beside where the Eskimos come out of their dressing room. Maybe that section was never the Knothole Gang, but I thought it was when I first went to a game. If someone knows the answer to this, it would be greatly appreciated if you could let me know. Regardless, I think we can all agree that we all have some great memories from watching our first Eskimos game.

And one other note of interest

For those of you living the life of a hermit, disconnected from the world, there is one other small piece of news that you might be interested in.

ahem…

Rookie camp starts today for the Eskimos! The off-season is gonzo alonzo!!!

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