Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 25, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2002
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Canadian Football League
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W L T OL F AP
y-Winnipeg 14 4 0 0 509 383 28
x-Hamilton ll 7 0 0 440 420 22
x-Montreal 9 9 0 0 454 419 18
Toronto 7 110 I 432 455 15 West Division
W L T OL F AP
y-Edmonton 9 9 0 1 439 463 19
x-Calgary 8 IO 0 I 478 476 17
x-B.C. 8 IO 0 0 417 445 16
Saskatch 6 12 0 0 308 416 12
x — Clinched playoff berth, y — Clinched division title, first-round bye.
Playoffs Sunday, Nov. 11 Division Semifinals Eastern Semifinal
Hamilton 24 Montreal 12 Western Semifinal
Calgary 28 B.C. 19
Sunday, Nov. 18 Division Finals Eastern Final
Winnipeg 27 Hamilton 13 Western Final
Calgary 34 Edmonton 16
Sunday, Nov. 25 89th Grey Cup At Montreal
Calgary 27 Winnipeg 19
Note: Teams losing in overtime are awarded one point; the CFI. includes overtime losses in the loss column.
REGULAR SEASON WEEK I
Tuesday, June 25
B.C. al Montreal, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, June 28
Saskatchewan at Ottawa,6 p.m. (TSN) Toronto at Winnipeg, 7.30 p.m. Edmonton at Calgary,9 p.m. (TSN) Saturday, June 29 B.C.at Hamilton,6:30 p.m. (TSN)
Wednesday, July 3
Montreal at Toronto,6 p.m. (TSN)
Thursday, July 4
Ottawa at Edmonton, 8 p.m. (TSN)
Pringle dumped for Phillips
By Bill Beacon
MONTREAL — Controversy has replaced unbounded optimism for the Alouettes’ season opener for the first time since the team returned to Montreal in 1996.
When the Alouettes open the CFL season tonight against the visiting B.C. Lions, star running back Mike Pringle will be on the bench, replaced by former NFL bad boy Lawrence Phillips.
Phillips declared himself “the best player in the league” after playing part of one exhibition game last week against the expansion Ottawa Renegades.
Released by both the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers for insubordination, the former University of Nebraska star has not played an outdoor game that counts since 1999.
“Pm looking forward to it,” said Phillips, who was last seen playing arena football in Miami, after practice on Monday. “I just want to play.
“I feel Pm a good player and I want to show it.”
The change humiliated Pringle, the team’s star for the last six years, and showed that new head coach Don Matthews is determined to put his imprint on a team that began last season 9-2 and then lost its last eight games.
But Pringle’s relegation to a backup role and the gutting of veterans who have been the core of the team in recent seasons, has drawn the first truly nasty press the Als have seen since their return.
Journal de Montreal columnist Bertrand Raymond accused the new management of “destroying what (former team president) Larry Smith built” and warned team owner Robert Wettenhall that plans to expand Molson Stadium may not be necessary if too many familiar players are let go.
He also reminded them that the team already folded once, in 1987, due to fan apathy
The Alouettes’ string of 28 consecutive home sellouts is in jeopardy, although capacity has been increased by nearly 400 seats, mostly in the end zone, to 20,002 this season. Some tickets were still available the day before the game, while last year, all games were sold out well in advance.
Matthews insisted the Als are a better team with Phillips and the controversy emerged from “the legend of Mike Pringle.”
“When you take away his legendary status and take what you know about Lawrence Phillips, it’s easier to decide,” said Matthews, who replaced the fired Rod Rust and his interim successor Danny Macioca last November.
“It’s not that he’s not the Mike Pringle of old, it’s that Lawrence Phillips is an exceptionally gifted football player. I also believe he has a chance to be the best tailback the league has ever seen.”
But just to rub salt in the wound, Matthews made Pringle the so-called designated import — essentially the 39th of 39 players on the roster.
Under the designated import rule, Pringle can only go into the game to replace an American, and the replaced player cannot return to the field. It’s a status usually given to kickers or kick returners, who don’t replace any other player.
Pringle, 34, the only CFL player ever to rush for 2,000 yards in a season who is only 2,437 yards short of George Reed’s career rushing mark, was keeping a low profile.
“I’m not going to be a distraction on this team,” the muscular Los Angeles native said. “I have a lot of respect for the guys in this locker-room and for me to make a spectacle of this and take the focus away from our goal would be irresponsible.
“FU be as professional as I can and, when I do get out on the field, I’ll do what Mike Pringle does.”
Today's Featured Events:
In The City —_
SENIOR BASEBALL — Brandon Cloverleafs host the Baldur Regals in MSBL action at Westbran Stadium, 7 p.m.
MEN’S FASTBALL — A filii slate of Brandon Commercial league games at Curran park, beginning at 7:15 p.m.
IN WES TMAN ~~_
SENIOR BASEBALL — Oak River Dodgers play the Blue Jays in MSBL play at Birde 7 p.m.
On Television - -__
GOLF — Second nine of the Telus Skins Game featuring Mike Weir, John Daly, Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia live from Huntsville, Ont.
12:30 p.m. (TSN)
TENNIS - Early round coverage of Wimbledon. 3:30 p.m. (TSN, same day tape)
BASEBALL — Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Devil Rays. 6 p.m. (Sportsnet)
SOCCER — World Cup semifinal pitting Brazil against Turkey live at 6 a m. Wednesday.
Do a little dance
CP FUE PHOTO
Markus Howell, Jamie Stoddard, Robert Gordon and Milt Stegall celebrate a Winnipeg touchdown last season. The Bombers had plenty to dance about, leading the league in scoring with 509 points.
Crowley leads Renegades
Veteran O-line should be plus
By Dan Ralph
When Joe Paopao became the head coach of the CFL expansion Ottawa Renegades in December, he had no office, just a computer and telephone on a folding table.
Six months later, Paopao not only has an office but a football team eager to embark on a new beginning in market that has been without a CFL team since the Rough Riders folded after the ’96 season.
The Renegades open their inaugural season Friday night at Frank Clair Stadium against the Saskatchewan Roughriders (TSN, 6 p.m. CDT).
“We’ve come a long way, that’s for sure,” Paopao said. “When I came here in December... it was literally bare cupboards to where we’re at right now.
“It has been a journey but, hey, we’re here and itching to go.”
The CFL regular season begins Tuesday, with the B.C. Lions in Montreal to face the Alouettes (TSN 6 p.m. CDT).
Dan Crowley starts at quarterback for Ottawa, ahead of O.T. Sampson and Chuck Clements. While Crowley, a five-year veteran, has more CFL experience than either Sampson (’99 with Calgary, 2000 with Toronto) or Clements (rookie), much of his time in Canada has been spent as a backup.
Crowley will play behind a veteran offensive line. The Renegades secured centre Carl Coulter, tackle Seth Dittman and guard George Hudson in the expansion draft before adding guard Val St. Germain and tackle Mike Abou-Mechrek via free agency.
Versatile running back Darren Davis, acquired last week from Edmonton, is expected to see playing time, along with rookie Mike Vilimek and veteran Mark Nohra.
Ottawa lacks experience on the defensive line but has a veteran presence behind it.
• Kelly Wiltshire (Montreal, expansion draft) and Donnavan Carter (Toronto, free agent) anchor the line-backing corps while CFL veterans Ricky Bell, Gerald Vaughn, Don Ruiz and Vernon Mitchell man the secondary.
But Ottawa will be hard pressed to make the playoffs, even with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ departure to the West Division.
Montreal again fields a veteran squad and the offseason acquisition-of head coach Don Matthews should be just what the Alouettes need to finish atop the East Division. Matthews has implemented more of a passing offence this year — a departure from the run-oriented approach the club has traditionally taken — and named controversial Lawrence Phillips as his starting tailback, ahead of perennial all-star Mike Pringle.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats open the season with nine new starters but have enough proven veterans such as quarterback Danny McManus, slotbacks Darren Flutie and Andrew Grigg, kicker Paul Osbaldiston, linebackers Sean Woodson and Chris Shelling to finish second behind Montreal.
That leaves Ottawa to battle the Toronto Argonauts for the third and final division playoff spot. And it could be an interesting fight.
Toronto will be strong defensively with the off-season additions of rush end Joe Montford and defensive back Clifford Ivory from Hamilton and linebacker Martavious Houston (Washington, NFL).
Toronto’s problems will be on offence, where the dub was ranked No. 7 in the eight-team CFL last year.
New coach Gary Etcheverry hasn’t decided whether Stanley Jackson, Michael Bishop or Jack Hawley will be his No. I quarterback. Problem is, none of those candidates has ever been a CFL starter before.
That won’t help Toronto sell tickets. The Argos averaged a league-worst 15,660 fans per game last season.
Winnipeg returns to the West after a five-year absence, and should again be the class of the league. Not only are the Bombers talented, but they’re eager to atone for their 27-19 loss to Calgary in the Grey Cup
after posting a league-best 14-4-0-0 record.
Offensively, the Bombers are led by quarterback Khari Jones, the CFL’s outstanding player last year. Jones threw 30 touchdown passes and guided Winnipeg to 50 touchdowns overall — both league highs.
Receiver Milt Stegall (81 catches, 1,214 yards, 14 TDs) is Jones’ favourite receiver. At running back, expect dangerous Charles Roberts to see more playing time in his sophomore season.
Winnipeg’s defence is no slouch, either. The unit was ranked No. I in the CFL last year, and added veteran linebacker Daved Benefield. The departure of cornerback Juran Bolden (Atlanta, NFL) is huge, but his replacement will be Mustafah Muhammad, a former Indianapolis Colts player who had IO interceptions with B.C. in ’98 and was the CFL’s top rookie when his name was Steve Muhammad.
The Edmonton Eskimos seem the most likely to pose a serious threat to Winnipeg. Quarterback Jason Maas has emerged as a bona fide CFL starter last year, passing for 3,646 yards and 21 touchdowns last year. Maas made former starter Nealon Greene (traded to Saskatchewan) expendable.
Terry Vaughn (98 catches, 1,497 yards) and Fd Hervey (77 catches, 1,477 yards) are big-play receivers while incumbent Ron Williams and former NFL star John Avery provide a solid rushing attack.
Defensively, Edmonton is solid with veteran linebackers Terry Ray and Singor Mobley and tackle Doug Petersen. The addition of rush end Elffid Payton should drastically improve the Eskimos’ pass rush.
Calgary is the defending Grey Cup champion, and begins its first lull season under new owner Michael Feterik, who purchased the club late last year from Sig Gutsche. One of Feterik’s first duties this off-season was to re-sign Wally Buono, the club’s head coach-general manager who begins his 13th season with the franchise, the longest tenure of any pro football head
Quarterback Marcus Crandell, the 2001 Grey Cup MVP, returns, but won’t have two of his most dependable targets. Receiver Marc Boerigter signed with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs in the off-season while veteran slotback Vince Danielsen retired.
Still, Crandell isn’t without any offensive weapons. Travis Moore (76 catches, 1,298 yards) is among the CFL’s best receivers and running back Kelvin Anderson is coming off a career-best 1,384 yards rushing last season.
In B.C., the Lions will be hard pressed to make the playoffs with an aging squad.
Quarterback Damon Allen, 38, begins his 18th CFL season. But the league’s career passing leader showed signs of wear last year, completing 53.3 per cent of his passes with just 18 touchdowns. That has prompting reports the Lions want to acquire Kemp from Toronto as insurance.
Veteran running back Robert Drummond, 35, who led B.C. to the 2000 Grey Cup, was released this offseason, Fullback Sean Millington, 34, is back for a 12th campaign.
Receiver Alfred Jackson (38 catches, 661 yards, nine TDs) can still motor, but he’s 35. And while offensive Jamie Taras is still regarded among the league’s best, he’s 36 years old.
Saskatchewan finally has a proven quarterback in Greene, but unfortunately not much else. Greene will show flashes of brilliance, but he can’t be expected to carry the offensive load alone. Gone are running back Davis and veteran receivers Curtis Marsh and Dan Farthing (both retired).
Saskatchewan’s defence was ranked No. 2 last year despite being woefully overworked. But missing from this year’s unit are defensive tackle Demetrious Maxie and linebacker George White, who both went to the NFL.
WEEK 12 Friday, Sept. 13
Edmonton at B.C., 9:30 p.m. (TSN)
Saturday, Sept 14
Ottawa at Calgary, 2 p.m. (GBC)
Sunday, Sept. 15
Montreal at Hamilton, 12 p.m.
Toronto at Saskatchewan, 3 p.m. (TSN)
Friday, Sept. 20
Montreal at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m. (TSN)
Saturday, Sept. 21
Sask at Edmonton,2 p.m. (CBG)
Sunday, Sept. 22
Calgary at Ottawa, 12 p.m. (TSN)
Hamilton at Toronto, I p.m.
Friday, Sept. 27
Winnipeg at B.C.,9:30p.m.(TSN) Saturday, Sept. 28
Ottawa at Saskatchewan, 2 p.m. (CBG) Sunday, Sept. 29
Toronto at Montreal, 12 p.m.
Edmonton at Hamilton. 12 p.m.
WEEK 15- --
Friday, Oct. 4
Hamilton at Calgary, 8:30 p.m. (TSN)
Saturday, Oct. 5
B.C. at Toronto, 2 p.m. (CBG.)
Sunday, Oct. 6
Edmonton at Ottawa, 12 p.m. (TSN) Winnipeg al Saska 3 p.m. (TSN) WEEK 16 Friday, Oct. 11
Calgary at B.C., 9:30 p.m. (TSN) Saturday, Oct. 12 Sask at Winnipeg, 2 p.m. (CBG) Monday, Oct. 14
Toronto at Hamilton, 12 p.m. (GBC) Montreal at Edmonton, 3 p.m. (CBG)
WEEK 17- -
Friday, Oct. 18
Winnipeg at Calgary, 8:30 p.m. (TSN) Saturday, Oct. 19 B.C. at Saskatchewan, 2 p.m. (GBC) Sunday, Oct. 20
Hamilton at Montreal, 12 p.m. (TSN) Ottawa at Toronto, I p.m.
WEEK 18- -
Friday, Oct 25
Sask at Edmonton,8 p.m. (TSN) Saturday, Oct. 26 Montreal at Ottawa, 2 p.m. (CBG) Sunday, Oct. 27
Winnipeg at Hamilton, 12 p.m. (TSN) B.C. at Calgary, 3 p.m. (TSN)
WEEK 19 --
Friday, Nov. I
Saskatchewan at B.C.,9:30 pm. (TSN) Saturday, Nov. 2
Edmonton at Winnipeg, 2 p.m. (CBG) Sunday, Nov. 3
Ottawa at Montreal, 12 p.m. (TSN) Calgary at Toronto, I p.m.
(AH Games On CBG)
Sunday, Nov. IO
Eastern Semifinal, 12 p. rn Western Semifinal, 3 pm.
Sunday, Nov. 17 Eastern Final, 12 p.m.
Western Final, 3 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 24 Grey Cup At Edmonton
East Champ vs. West Champ, 3 p.m.
CP FILE PHOTO
Khan Jones will lead the Blue again
Friday, July 5
Hamilton at Winnipeg,7:30 p.m. (TSN) Calgary at Saskatchewan, 8:30 p.m. WEEK 3 Tuesday, July 9
Toronto at B.C.,9:30 p.m. (TSN) Thursday, July 11
Saskatchewan at Montreal, 6:30 p.m. (TSN)
Winnipeg at Ottawa, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, July 12
Calgary at Hamilton,6:30 p.m. (TSN)
Saturday, july 13
Toronto at Edmonton,8 p.m. (TSN)
WEER 4 ---
Wednesday, July 17
Ottawa at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m. (TSN)
Thursday, July 18
Montreal at Calgary, 8:30 p m
Hamilton at B.C.,9:30 p.m. (TSN)
Friday, July 19
Edmonton al Sask,8:30 p.m. (TSN)
Tuesday, July 23
Winnipeg at Toronto,6:30 p.m. (TSN) Thursday, July 25 Hamilton at Ottawa,6:30 p.m. (TSN) Saskatchewan at Calgary, 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 26
B.C. at Edmonton, 8 p.m. (TSN) Saturday, July 27
Winnipeg at Montreal, 6:30 p.m. (TSN)
Thursday, Aug. I
Ottawa at Toronto,6:30 p.m. (TSN) Saskatchewan at Hamilton,6:30 p.m. Calgary at B.C.,9:30 p.m. (TSN)
Friday, Aug. 2
Edmonton at Montreal, 6 p.tnriTSN)
Wednesday, Aug. 7
Hamilton at Edmonton,8 p.m. (TSN) Thursday, Aug. 8
Montreal at Ottawa, 6:30 p.m. (TSN) Toronto at Calgary, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 9
B.C. at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m. (TSN) Sunday, Aug. 11 Hamilton at Sack, 5 p.m. (TSN) WEEKS-
Thursday, Aug. 15
Calgary at Montreal, 6 p.m.
Winnipeg at Edmonton, 8 p.m. (TSN) Ottawa at B.C., 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 16
Saskatchewan at Toronto,7 p.m. (TSN)
Wednesday, Aug. 21
Montreal at B.C., 9:30 p.m. (TSN)
Thursday, Aug. 22
Ottawa at Hamilton, 6:30 p.m. (TSN)
Friday, Aug. 23
Edmonton at Toronto, 6 p.m.
Calgary at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m. (TSN) Sunday, Aug. 25
Montreal at Saskatchewan,6p.m.(TSN)
Friday, Aug. 30
B.C. at Ottawa,6:30 p.m. (TSN)
Sunday, Sept. I
Winnipeg at Sask, 4 p.m. (TSN) Monday, Sept. 2
Toronto at Hamilton, 12 p.m. (CBG) Edmonton at Calgary, 3 p.m. (CBG)
Friday, Sept. 6
Calgary at Edmonton, 8 p.m. (TSN) Saturday, Sept. 7 Toronto at Ottawa, 2 p.m. (CBG) Sunday, Sept. 8
Hamilton at Montreal, 12 p.m. (TSN) B.C. at Winnipeg, 4 p.m.