2015 Schedule Review
February 16, 2015
Hey Argos Empire!
The 2015 CFL schedule has been released, and, well…
…As excited as we all are to see the return of our beloved Argos, it would appear the “other” Rogers Centre tenant exhorted their considerable influence on the landlord for home dates at the expense of the football team.
Okay, okay. That’s not entirely fair. There’s also the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games happening in El Toro this Summer, but this has been a regular refrain for Argos season ticket holders the last couple of years. In case anyone had forgotten, the Argos lease with Rogers Centre expires following the 2017 season, as the stadium will be putting in natural grass for MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays, feeling that the artificial surface inhibits their ability to attract top drawer talent to the team. Regardless of where the Argos will play following this lease, let’s focus on what the Empire can look forward to this season.
Tuesday, June 9th, Winnipeg
This year’s preseason game will again see the Argos travel to Varsity Stadium. It’s their only home preseason game, so we’ll probably see tonnes of rookies trying to make the roster.
Saturday, June 27th, Edmonton
Ahhh…The home opener. Your favourite pregame destination. The walk down Front. The crowd. The excitement. And your favourite post game haunt before heading home.
…What? It’s in Alberta??
Okay, when’s the next home game?
…ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
Saturday, August 8th, Saskatchewan
Well, at least it’s a Saturday, so we’ll get a good, “home opener” feel. It’s the weekend following the August long weekend, which could mean everyone’s back from the cottage. And Riderville usually travels well. Usually.
Sunday, August 23rd, Ottawa
The RedBlacks were a big player in CFL free agency this offseason (including the acquisition of former Argo SirVincent Rogers). How will this new look Ottawa team perform on the field? We’ll find out in person at the end of August.
Friday, September 11th, Hamilton
The Labour Day Rematch is also Toronto’s first Friday night home game of the season. Always a lot of energy in the building when the ticats come to town. The physicality. The name calling. The nasty hate. And that’s just in the stands! It’ll also be the first chance for the Empire to see Spencer Watt after crossing over to, “The dark side.”
Tuesday, October 6th, Ottawa
Kicking off five straight home games (for the sake of your budget, I hope you live in Toronto) is Ottawa’s second trip into town. I should have more to say about this after their first game. Stay tuned!
Saturday, October 17th, Calgary
The Grey Cup champs visit the site of their 100th Grey Cup defeat at the hands of the Empire. How will they fare this time? Will we have another traffic-inducing, misunderstood post? We shall see…
Friday, October 23rd, Montreal
The Als only regular season visit to Toronto, and a chance to exorcise the ghosts of Toronto’s failed late season playoff bid from last year. Montreal was a tale of two seasons in 2014, with an awful start leading to leading the division into the post season. We’ll see which Montreal team shows up.
Friday, October 30th, BC
A chance to see the league’s reigning defensive player of the year and most outstanding player Solomon Elimimian greets the Empire at the end of October. A team wearing orange and black visiting on Hallowe’en weekend? *insert trick or treat gag here*
Friday, November 6th, Winnipeg
The Argos wrap up the regular season against Mike O’Shea and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. With the ‘peg hosting this year’s Grey Cup, they were all over the free agent market, signing Argos Darvin Adams and Ivan Brown. There could be playoff spots on the line here.
So, a couple thoughts…
Obviously there’s the initial knee-jerk WTF reaction to the, “home opener” happening 3,796 km away (thanks, Google Maps!). If anyone needed a reminder about how important it is for the Argos to get their own stadium, not having a regular season home game ’til August and closing the season with five straight at home, that should do it. Another negative would be the final two games are against the western conference. The last couple of years have seen important playoff position-deciding games happening against conference opponents in the final couple weeks of the season. Finishing against BC & Winnipeg could be an anticlimactic wrap up to the 2015 regular season.
There are some positives to be found, tho (those that know me know I’m that obnoxious, “Cup-half-full” kinda guy). Aside from a Tuesday in October, every home game happens on a weekend. We also have two 4 pm kickoffs, a personal fave of mine. And hey, regardless of when the game’s are, we’re still gonna see the three phases of the Argos Empire roll: The players, the cheerleaders, the fans.
But that’s just one guy’s opinion. What do you think about this year’s schedule?