2008 CFL season

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2008 CFL season
Regular season
Duration June 26, 2008 – November 1, 2008
Playoffs
Start date November 8, 2008
East champions Montreal Alouettes2008-11-15
West champions Calgary Stampeders2008-11-15
96th Grey Cup
Date November 23, 2008
Site Olympic Stadium, Montreal
Champions Calgary Stampeders
2007  CFL seasons  2009

The 2008 CFL season was the 55th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 51st season for the league. It was also the first CFL season in which all of the league's regular season and post-season games, including the Grey Cup game, were aired on TSN. This meant the CFL was no longer aired on broadcast television in Canada. As of 2008, TSN was available in approximately 8.8 million of Canada's 13 million households.[1] Montreal hosted the 96th Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium on November 23, when the championship was won by the Calgary Stampeders.

CFL News in 2008[edit]

Schedule[edit]

On February 21, 2008, the CFL announced the game schedule for the 2008 season. It was a 19-week schedule that included 18 regular-season games and one bye week for each team. Bye weeks were taken consecutively by each division, beginning with the West in Week 8, thus creating two weeks of divisional rivalry games.[2]

The regular-season schedule began on Thursday, June 26, with an East-West double-header. For the first time since 1977, the season opener took place at Hamilton's Ivor Wynne Stadium, with the host Tiger-Cats losing to the Montreal Alouettes 33–10. The second game of the double-header saw the Calgary Stampeders at home, where they prevailed 28–18 over the BC Lions. The Toronto Argonauts opened by beating the host Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23–16 the following night, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated the Edmonton Eskimos, in Regina, by a score of 34–13 on June 28.[2]

The regular season concluded with a double-header on Saturday, November 1, with divisional playoffs the following weekend. The 2008 season officially ended with the playing of the 96th Grey Cup Championship on Sunday, November 23, in Montreal.[2]

Television[edit]

2008 marked the first year in which the entire CFL schedule, including the playoffs and the Grey Cup game, was televised by TSN. CBC television did not broadcast any games, as the CFL and TSN began an exclusive five-year deal. This led some to criticize TSN, because the Grey Cup aired on a cable channel (TSN) while CTV—TSN's majority owner—broadcast regular-season NFL games. Because of obligations to other sporting events, concerns intensified after TSN began relegating some CFL games to its new digital channel TSN2 (which was not available to analog cable subscribers), while other sports, including the NFL, were broadcast.[3] In addition, TSN severely curtailed high-definition coverage for the final three weeks of the regular season, with only five of the twelve games being made available in HD.[4]

Montreal games, as well as the entire playoffs and the Grey Cup game, were televised in French by RDS.[2]

In the United States, a last-minute deal was reached between the league and its longtime American syndicator America One, which carried two games each week.[5] Internet broadcasts were also aired in the United States on ESPN360.

CFL in Ottawa[edit]

Main article: Ottawa Redblacks

On March 25, 2008, the CFL granted a conditional franchise—slated to begin play in 2010—to an Ottawa-based group led by Jeff Hunt, owner of the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's, under the condition that the group could secure a lease agreement with the City of Ottawa to allow the team to play at Frank Clair Stadium.[6] The franchise was based on the remnants of the Ottawa Renegades, but was to be a separate team. In November, it was announced that the 2014 Grey Cup would be granted to Ottawa, again based on the condition that use of Frank Clair Stadium could be secured.[7][8]

Competition with the NFL[edit]

2008 was the first year in which the National Football League played a regular season game in Toronto, as part of an agreement reached between the owners of the Rogers Centre and that league and the Buffalo Bills. The NFL accommodated the CFL by playing the regular season game on December 7, after the end of the CFL season, so that the leagues did not directly compete. A preseason game was also played in Toronto, on August 14, between the Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers, one day before the Toronto Argonauts played in the Rogers Centre, and concurrently with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' game in Winnipeg. The Bills' preseason game did not sell out, amid reports of exorbitant ticket prices and thousands of tickets being given away.

Marketing and Heritage Revisited[edit]

In an effort to expand the CFL merchandise line, it was announced that RBK would release vintage jerseys for each team, beginning with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The launch for the new apparel began August 29, 2008, with releases in Toronto and Winnipeg retail stores attended by Argonaut players Kerry Joseph and Arland Bruce III and Blue Bombers Kevin Glenn and Milt Stegall respectively.[9]

Attendance[edit]

Attendance in the CFL remained strong in 2008, averaging 28,914 per game and exceeded two million fans for the seventh straight season.

Records and Milestones[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pts = Points

Teams in bold finished in playoff positions.
X – clinched playoff berth
Y – clinched first place

West Division
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Y-Calgary Stampeders 18 13 5 0 595 420 26 Details
X-Saskatchewan Roughriders 18 12 6 0 500 471 24 Details
X-BC Lions 18 11 7 0 559 479 22 Details
X-Edmonton Eskimos 18 10 8 0 512 536 20 Details
East Division
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Y-Montreal Alouettes 18 11 7 0 610 443 22 Details
X-Winnipeg Blue Bombers 18 8 10 0 435 490 16 Details
Toronto Argonauts 18 4 14 0 397 627 8 Details
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 18 3 15 0 441 593 6 Details

Notes[edit]

  • A team that placed fourth in one division was eligible to "cross over" and claim the third playoff spot in the other division if they had a better overall record than the other division's third-place team. In 2008, this meant the Edmonton Eskimos got the third-place spot in the Eastern Division; however, Winnipeg retained home-field advantage for the Eastern semi-final even though Edmonton had a better win-loss record.

Grey Cup playoffs[edit]

Main article: 96th Grey Cup

The Calgary Stampeders were the 2008 Grey Cup champions, defeating the Montreal Alouettes 22–14 at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. It was the first Grey Cup for the Stampeders since the 2001 Championship (a game also held in Montreal). Stampeder quarterback Henry Burris was named the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player, and kicker Sandro DeAngelis was named the Grey Cup Most Valuable Canadian.

Playoff bracket[edit]

  November 8: Division Semi-finals     November 15: Division Finals     November 23: 96th Grey Cup @ Olympic StadiumMontreal, QC
                           
  East     W4  Edmonton Eskimos 26  
  W4  Edmonton Eskimos 29     E1  Montreal Alouettes 36    
  E2  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 21         E1  Montreal Alouettes 14
      W1  Calgary Stampeders 22
  West     W3  BC Lions 18    
  W3  BC Lions 33     W1  Calgary Stampeders 22  
  W2  Saskatchewan Roughriders 12  


CFL Leaders[edit]

2008 CFL All-Stars[edit]

Offence[edit]

Defence[edit]


Special Teams[edit]


2008 Western All-Stars[edit]

Offence[edit]

Defence[edit]


Special teams[edit]


[16]

2008 Eastern All-Stars[edit]

Offence[edit]

Defence[edit]


Special teams[edit]


[16]

2008 CFLPA Pro Player All-Stars[edit]

Offence[edit]

Defence[edit]

Special Teams[edit]

Head Coach[edit]

[17]

2008 CFL Awards[edit]

[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ William Houston (2006-12-20). "Grey Cup moves to TSN in new deal". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d "CFL rivalries kickoff 2008 season". CFL.ca. 2008-02-21. Retrieved 21 February 2008. 
  3. ^ William Houston (2008-02-29). "CFL people feel NFL gets major-league treatment, while Grey Cup is relegated to minors". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  4. ^ "CFL on TSN broadcast schedule". Tsn.ca. Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  5. ^ "America One Television". Americaone.com. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  6. ^ "CFL grants conditional team to Ottawa". TSN.ca. 2008-03-18. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2008. 
  7. ^ http://www.winnipegsun.com/Sports/Football/2008/11/21/7483441-sun.html[dead link]
  8. ^ Ottawa conditionally awarded 2014 Grey Cup
  9. ^ "Fans invited to kick it old-school". CFL.ca. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  10. ^ Allan Maki (2008-09-12). "Anthony Calvillo's resurgence has everything to do with playing for the sheer enjoyment". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  11. ^ "Simon sets franchise record in Lions win". CBC.ca. 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  12. ^ Canadian Press (2008-09-12). "Bombers veteran receiver Stegall surpasses Pitts as CFL's receiving leader". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  13. ^ Ron Sudlow (2008-09-14). "Roberts fifth player to reach 10,000 career rushing yards". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  14. ^ "Hamilton Tiger-Cats hang on for 44–36 upset win over Montreal Alouettes". Canadian Press. 2008-10-04. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  15. ^ "CFLapedia". 
  16. ^ a b "2008 East & West Division All-Stars". CFL.ca. 2008-11-03. Archived from the original on 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  17. ^ 2008 CFLPA Pro Player All Star Team[dead link]
  18. ^ "Hufnagel named CFL's top coach". CBC Sports. 2009-03-03. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  19. ^ "Als' Calvillo, Argonauts' Dorsey take CFL honours". Toronto Star. 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 

Further reading[edit]

Preceded by
2007 CFL season
CFL seasons Succeeded by
2009 CFL season