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CFL Week 1 Recap: Bonjour

The defending Grey Cup Champions, the Montréal Alouettes, kicked off the 2024 CFL season with a rematch of last year's Grey Cup

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a month ago 4 min read

The Canadian Football League season is back, and as usual, I'm here for all of it!

I've mentioned this before regarding my CFL fandom; I've been fascinated by Canada's version of the game for a long time, and I finally started watching the CFL back in 2013. Yeah, hard to believe it's been over a decade since I started watching this, and the games are just amazing. The CFL makes the wait for the NFL a lot easier. The NFL has the longest offseason out of the four main leagues, and thankfully, the CFL starts just as the NBA and NHL are about to crown their champions. Sports fans can't live on baseball alone.

The goal remains the same: nine teams playing 18 games in 21 weeks, all looking to claim the Grey Cup. Last November, it was the Montréal Alouettes taking the trophy in upset fashion over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Now here it is, the month of June, and the same game that ended last season served as the very first game of the 2024 campaign. The game took place in Winnipeg, as the Alouettes won't get to properly celebrate their championship until Week 3 (June 20). While the 110th Grey Cup was close, the rematch wasn't. The Blue Bombers couldn't find any answers for the Als, only scoring five points in the 1st half, and going on to be defeated, 27-12. So yeah, the Bombers' quest to get back to the promised land is off to a bumpy road, but it's only Week 1.

A day later, the first Friday Night Football game of the season was a contest between the Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the two teams who reached last year's playoffs with losing records. In the case of the home Stampeders, they went 6-12 last year, an even one-third win percentage. They certainly didn't play like it in their season opener against Hamilton. The game ended close, but most of Hamilton's points were scored when the game was already out of reach. 32-24 was the final score in Calgary's favor, and for Hamilton, well, they don't make things easy. Despite that, I've seen them in the Grey Cup game a few times, but they are still looking for their first championship in this century.

Saturday featured a battle between two of the three teams who missed out on last year's playoffs: the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Elks. The home Elks were celebrating 75 years as a franchise, and a lot of the legends were part of the celebration, including Ricky Ray and the most legendary QB in franchise history, Warren Moon. This was a back and forth game, and honestly, it was anyone's game. It looked like the Riders would ice it, but a fumble from former Argo AJ Ouellette gave another former Argo, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, one more chance to possibly force OT. However, a Hail Mary attempt fell just short, resulting in a 29-21 win for the Riders. Both teams looked good, and the Elks needed something like this, even in a loss. Edmonton went 4-14 last year, so they have nowhere else to go but up. I can see them improving from that dismal campaign.

Last but not least, the Toronto Argonauts opened the season against a BC Lions team whose season begins a personal quest, as this year's Grey Cup is in Vancouver. Before the season started, the Argos had some controversy--QB Chad Kelly, well, he's out of his mind. So we had to start Cameron Dukes at the helm, and the first half was a bit shaky. Down 20-16 at halftime, with all 20 of BC's points scored in the 2nd quarter. Thankfully, the Argos did bounce back, but it wasn't easy. The Argos don't really make things easy. 35-27 was the final score in Toronto's favor, and for Dukes: 21/27, 254 yards, three TDs, no picks, totalling a QBR of 142.9.

One week down, 20 to go, and here's how things stand:

In the West Division, the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders are 1-0, while the other three teams are 0-1. In the East, the Montréal Alouettes and the Toronto Argonauts are 1-0, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are 0-1, and the Ottawa Redblacks were off. The road to Vancouver begins, and it will be quite the journey this year.

Speaking of the Ottawa Redblacks, they'll start Week 2 on Thursday, June 13, as their 2024 season will start at home against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. On Friday, June 14, the Edmonton Elks will host the Montréal Alouettes, and on Saturday, June 15, the BC Lions will host the Calgary Stampeders in a West Division battle. On Sunday, June 16, Week 2 ends with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Saskatchewan Roughriders facing off. In the US, select games will air on CBS Sports Network for the second straight year.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

Twitter - Facebook - Tiktok - Instagram

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Comments (1)

  • Philip Gipsonabout a month ago

    This is a majorly exciting read.

Clyde E. DawkinsWritten by Clyde E. Dawkins

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