It is not often you can sit down to breakfast in the UK and catch the end of a CFL game. With game one of the 2018 season however that is exactly what happened. I was able to watch Mike Reilly & the Esks prove that old CFL adage ‘no lead is safe’ to be completely apposite. As they rallied from behind to win in the 4th quarter I was able to look on agog as I ate my pre-work Weetabix.
This is the earliest date a CFL season has ever kicked off. The previous record was a June 15 start in 2004 between Saskatchewan and Toronto ( won 21-10 by the Argos). There has been some ongoing discussion about moving the season to an earlier start and finish to avoid the arrival of some bitter Canadian winter weather. It seems somewhat ironic then that this game, the earliest a CFL regular season game has ever been played, was disrupted quite a bit by the weather.
If you stayed up to watch this kickoff classic in the UK then it was already well into Friday morning when the game got going. Then the weather hit. Kickoff was at 7:35 p.m. in Canada – or the wee small hours here. When the game ended it was at 1:17 a.m. in Canada and breakfast time here.
The game eventually took five hours and 42 minutes to complete due to two separate lightning delays. This meant it was the second-longest game in CFL history trailing only the 1962 Fog Bowl between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Most UK fans probably opted for sleep and a morning catch up as it was still a work day. Imagine then the surprise to still find the game in play at breakfast time here! I can heartily recommend the CFL and a bowl of cereal as a great way to start your day. Especially with a game as entertaining as this.
What a game to kickoff the new season with this was! A real back and forth contest between two teams that were definitely game ready to start the season. As for the outcome of the game itself, the reigning Canadian Football League’s Most Outstanding Player Mike Reilly picked up where he left off passing for 408 yards and a touchdown and rushing for two more as Edmonton rallied to overcome the Bombers 11-3 in the fourth quarter and ultimately come away with a 33-30 victory.
Despite the manner of the loss, Winnipeg fans will have been encouraged by the start made by their rookie QB Chris Streveler who was deputising for the injured Matt Nichols. Streveler completed 15 of 28 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns & two interceptions whilst also rushing for 30 yards.
Having such a great contest to kick off the season only whets the appetite for further CFL action. Although we shouldn’t expect the treat of watching over breakfast again any time soon!
Highlights of the game areon the CFL website (cfl.ca): https://www.cfl.ca/games/2466/edmonton-eskimos-vs-winnipeg-blue-bombers/#videos
Image from cfl.ca