Football: York at Laval, this surely ends well ...

The University of Waterloo's fake punishment continues to have a harmful ripple across CIS football. Thanks to their selfishness, the Lions are getting thrown to the lions.

One can only caress their lucky rabbit's foot after seeing that the York Lions are matched against the Laval Rouge et Or in an exhibition game on Aug. 29. York is the only OUA team not playing in that first week, so it is replacing McMaster, which is in action just three days later against Queen's. You can only imagine what kneejerk CIS bashers will say if they should notice Laval winning by a ridiculous score.

Laval, which beat Western 27-0 in a preseason tilt last August, will not take advantage of the situation. However, the talent disparity between the two teams will probably hinder new Lions coach Warren Craney and two new coordinators' ability to test offensive and defensive schemes and young players.

Craney deserves every blessing as he tries to make York competitive again. It is scalable, especially with the grass-roots growth of football in the GTA. However, putting No. 26 (or No. 25) up against the No. 1 alpha dog is too much, too soon.

This is what happens when one school acts above everyone and CIS makes no effort to create meaningful league lines, instead of blindly following geography. Ask 100 fans if they would rather see York-Laval in August or Laurier-Laval in September with the result counting in the standings.

One can only hope Waterloo is planning to make a trip to suburban Quebec City when/if it returns to the gridiron. Don't hold your breath, though.

Remember, Laval having those "older, heavier, more experienced players" from CEGEPs was what led Waterloo players astray, eh, Stephen Valeriote?

The Aug. 27 Western-Saskatchewan exhibition game at Saskatoon is still on the docket (thank you, Sylven).
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  1. Yikes, what an awful exhibition matchup. As a season ticket holder, can I get my money back? How come McMaster is not honouring its commitmment towards Laval as is Western playing Saskatchewan (much further) in preseason on August 28?

    BTW, Ste-Foy doesn't exist anymore since the municipal merger with Québec City back in 2001, so it would be about time everybody updates the location of Laval's home town...

  2. Good question. Western-Saskatchewan is scheduled for Aug. 27, but they'll lose the 28th to travelling back (unless they charter a plane from Saskatoon to London?!).

  3. Oups, wrong date, sorry. I guess Laval could have moved the game one day earlier (Saturday August 28) to accommodate McMaster but without lights (still for a few months), PEPS Stadium can only receive daytime games, therefore on week-ends.

    Western will at least have a reason (i.e. tough schedule) to explain their potentially slow season start !! ;) The Mustangs are playing their first four games in 15 days and against top opponents, namely Saskatchewan (exhibition), Laurier, Ottawa and McMaster.

  4. No biggie; I'll wear that since I should have mentioned it in the original post, Sylven.

    Four games in 15 days? That's a post. Merci beaucoup.

  5. Don't forget that Laval sells the pre-season game as part of the package for the season ticket holders. So over football, they MUST put up a show...

    And probably Qc teams aren't too eager to play against them during their preparation phase...

    ... and probably York will receive a nice bonus check for their late participation, coach Craney couldn't spit on fresh money...

  6. Generally, all expenses are covered for the visiting team (travel, lodging, meals, etc.). As for the bonus cheque to York for coming over on short notice, it's not impossible in this particular case but it would be unusual.

  7. There is no quarrel with Laval, none whatsoever. It promised an event for its fans and it's delivering. Resent Waterloo for creating the situation and maybe send a little scorn out East, since they refuse to join the 21st century and let teams open camp in August. Imagine if SMU could go instead.