Let’s just pretend nobody from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats wanted to steal the spotlight from rival Damon Allen. Monday belonged to the Canadian Football League’s elder statesman (hey, he’s a grandfather even) and quarterback for the Toronto Argonauts. When the 43-year-old passer, who is in his 22nd Canadian Football League season, completed a pass to Arland Bruce in the third quarter and the Argo receiver galloped 29 yards, Allen was thrown into professional football’s record books.
That pass and run would give Allen 70,566 career yards and make him the all-time passer in pro football – that’s the CFL and the National Football League by the way. The game was stopped while Allen’s accomplishment was duly recognized the league. And he’ll be honoured at the Argos next home game.
Allen’s feat was only somewhat distracted by the other activities on the field at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Monday,and that would be the Argos pinning a 40-6 loss on the Tiger-Cats.
The outcome of course didn’t give whatever portion of the almost crowd of 29,000 was Hamilton supporters something to cheer about but it didn’t send them into fits of hysteria. They have grown accustomed to disappointment. It was the Ticats fourth straight loss at home and dropped their league record to 2-10 which would be … let’s see … yes, dead last. They have not scored a touchdown at Ivor Wynne in their last four home stands. And the setback didn’t hurt their playoff chances: they were not good going into the game and they are still not good.
While there were small signs that the listing ship Tabby might be about to be righted, there were larger indications that someone has to steer the ship from troubled waters. Running back Corey Holmes, under-utilized until Monday, showed how different the Ticats offence can be when he is given the football. He finished the day with 112 yards on 16 carries. But it will take more than Corey to bring the bacon Holmes.
The Ticats have to learn the meaning of turning the ball over. It should mean the Cats defence turns the ball over the Cats offence. Not the cats offence turning the ball over to the opponents offence. Which is what they did on Monday. Nine times the Argos regained possession, four fumbles and five interceptions (four from Jason Maas and one from Kevin Eakin).
Someone has to tell the QBs those run back yards on interceptions don’t go towards breaking Allen’s passing yardage.
So where do the Cats go from here? Well, on Saturday afternoon they go to the Rogers Centre for a rematch with the Argos.