Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bleeding Tricolour: No laurels to rest on

Queen's should get one ornery opponent in four days' time.

Monday's season-opening 35-11 win over McMaster didn't turn up any glaringly obvious red flags. Dan Brannagan throwing for close to 300 yards? Check. One-hundred-yard games for Mike Giffin (143 yards rushing) and Scott Valberg (a buck thirty-two receiving)? Check Defence pitching a shutout for three quarters? Check.

All of that is nice, for a moment. The Guelph Gryphons, meantime, shot themselves in the foot big time in their 15-13 loss to Laurier, which means if they're worth a damn, they'll play with an edge when on Saturday for the University Rush season premiere on The Score.

Guelph had several blown scoring opportunities -- turnovers and settling for field goals in the red zone, sacks allowed at the worst possible times. They were especially unlucky when their speedy sophomore, Jedd Gardner, stepped out of bounds at the eight-yard line after a 117-yard runback of a missed field goal on the last play of the first half. They'll be desperate on Saturday, or at least they will be if they're worth a damn.

Meantime, Queen's got through that opener against overmatched Mac pretty much unscathed -- or if they were nits to pick, they weren't obvious from listening ot the game over the web. Guelph offers a much more dangerous, if still youngish, group of backs and receivers, plus they can play a field position game.

This is worry-wartism from a guy who's never been there, of course, but after last season (walkovers against Waterloo and Toronto to end the regular season before you-know-what happened), there's bound to be a little fanboy foreboding until Queen's gets a real physical test. Point being, Saturday should serve to tell where Queen's stands.

Other business:

  • The Whig-Standard and the FAN 590's Mike Hogan have weighed in on Queen's subtle switch to "Queen's Gaels."

    Ex-coach Doug Hargreaves, at least according to the story, has been able to abide by the switch. He was quoted saying, "The ironic part about that is wherever you go in this country people are going to ask, 'What's a Gael?' "
  • A spot on CFRC congratulates Pat Sheahan for "20 years of service to Queen's football," which seems to actually refer to this being his 20th season as a head coach. (His record vs. the Gaels during his 11 seasons at Concordia was actually pretty good.)
  • That was quite a number Queen's did on The Hammer, eh? The Gaels beat Mac and Bryan Crawford scored the winning touchdown in the Toronto Argonauts' win over the Tiger-Cats.
  • Both Toronto teams needed a Queen'sman on Blue Monday -- former Gaels coach Bob Howes is now with the suddenly victorious Varsity Blues.
  • As for The 613's winless team (kidding) ... Ottawa coach Denis Piché's post-game quote after the Gee-Gees' letdown in London was that he was "upset but not concerned."

    That's an together reasonable statement. No doubt a few Ottawa fans are muttering, "Choke job!" after the Gee-Gees gave up 22 points in a four-minute, three-second span in a 35-31 loss to Western. They outgained the Mustangs, had more than 500 yards in offence, but turnovers and a defensive meltdown were killers.

    What happened last night, hopefully for the Gee-Gees' sake, was the byproduct of starting the season on Labour Day. Teams are a long way from fully developed when they hit the field, even relative to back in the 1990s, when the season started later.

    Everyone is a little "disoriented and disshevelled," to borrow a line CFRC commentator Mike Cotton used on air yesterday. Teams can get a little sloppy, so it's not the end of the world for Ottawa to lose. Besides, the OUA is nutty enough that it's reasonable to believe no one is going to finish 8-0. There could be some crazy tiebreaker scenarios in effect by the end of Oct. 18.
  • There's a mostly full accounting of opening day in the OUA at The CIS Blog, and our man Mike even has some video from U of T's win a little farther down on our mainpage. The YouTube clips on the sister site are also his.
  • Our man at The Merc, Greg Layson, has all your Guelph Gryphons-related needs taken care of at his Big Man on Campus.  
  • This is only tangentially related to football, but the first block of commercials CFRC played yesterday included spots for a tattoo parlour and a Kingston realtor. It was the second one that included a heavy metal song.


Duane Rollins said...

A nice start to the season by the GOLDEN Gaels. Surprising, really--not that the GOLDEN Gaels won, but that they won as big as they did. Look for the GOLDEN Gaels to debut high in the week one Top 27 (available later today).

Tyler King said...

Duane - it is OOLF history. I agree with you 100% on the name.

Mike Hogan just condemned the idiotic name change on the Bullpen today.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Well, if you believe Queen's Athletics press releases, they're now the Gales...(the heading's right on the football page, but the main page currently says "Gales open regular season with 35-11 victory over McMaster"...)

sager said...

That's a common enough typo to be left alone ...

I'm determined to Stockholm Syndrome myself into abiding with Queen's Gaels, since the university been's pretty good to me (notwithstanding the four years I was actually a student, although as Bart Simpson once said, I can't help feeling partially responsible for how that went).

Leslie Dal Cin has done a lot of good for the football team, and the name and the uniforms should not be the ultimate determinant in whether you support the team.

That said, they might make a change.

Tyler King said...

As I've said, the stars have now aligned for me to switch my allegiance back to U of T, so it's too late for me sadly.

I'm not suggesting the department hasn't done a lot of good things in the past few years - but that doesn't excuse a totally boneheaded name change. They're apparently doing it for the heck of it - the appearance of modernity trumping actually bringing the department in line with modern practices.

So much of it doesn't make sense, and surely you see it, Neate. The Whig article quotes them as saying the name change was prompted by teams never referring to themselves as Golden Gaels, always as "Queen's Football", etc.

So why, based on that, do you change the name to Gaels? Logically you should then change the name to the Queen's Football Team. Nobody, on any team, EVER regularly referred to the team as the "Queen's Gaels", because it sounds flat, silly, and from an etymological standpoint, stupid.

sager said...

Tyler, you have carte blanche to write a post on this. I do like the point that this creates the appearance of modernity; no doubt you can support that it's not being followed up on behind-the-scenes.

Being willing to live with this all comes back to the notion that none of us live in the world we were born into ... You have to be able to adapt. If tradition was so important, then why are do people use e-mail and Facebook for our correspondence instead of pen and ink?

I'm contradicting myself by a bit by saving it's not up to me to decide, since I'll always be a Queen's sports fan. As well, I was using "Gaels" last year in our weekend roundups, so I'm a hypocrite if I start grandstanding by using "Golden Gaels" -- but this is a free and open discourse, so I won't stop anyone who wants to use it.

(It was nice to see Hogie and The Whig pick up on our post from Friday. I'll let bygones be bygones.)

Robert C. said...

I just play the ads but I do know something about the ones Neate talked about.

The ad with an AC/DC song in it was requested by the advertiser. Yes, a realtor wanted AC/DC specifically and not the tattoo place. Wacky but true. :)

sager said...

Bob Metcalfe's ad rocked, literally and figuratively ... any man who dropped out of Queen's twice is fine by me ... he had the courage not to stick around for a piece of paper and take that blind dive into the sea of life.

It's a good way to avoid being stuck looking out the window on a sunny day while you do agate.