2009 CFL season

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2009 CFL season
Regular season
Duration July 1, 2009 – November 8, 2009
Playoffs
Start date November 15, 2009
East champions Montreal Alouettes2009-11-22
West champions Saskatchewan Roughriders2009-11-22
97th Grey Cup
Date November 29, 2009
Site McMahon Stadium, Calgary
Champions Montreal Alouettes
2008  CFL seasons  2010

The 2009 CFL season was the 56th season of modern professional Canadian football. Officially, it was the 52nd season of the Canadian Football League. The Montreal Alouettes won the 97th Grey Cup on November 29 with a last second 28–27 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The 19-week regular schedule, issued February 3, 2009, began on July 1, which was only the second time in league history that a CFL season started on Canada Day, with the first occurring in 1998.[1] The playoffs started on November 15 and two weeks of pre-season games began June 17.[2]

CFL news in 2009

Arena football suspension and moves for expansion

In February unexpected news was made when an American group, led by ex-NFL receiver Oronde Gadsden, announced their intentions to pursue a franchise in the CFL.[3] Citing the suspension of the 2009 season of the Arena Football League and the demise of NFL Europe as a potential opportunity for growth the US market, Gadsen's group highlighted either DetroitWindsor or Rochester, New York as possible locations for a new team. Reaction from the CFL with respect to Gadsen's intentions was mixed, however, with league head office iterating a reluctance to return to US expansion while Montreal Alouettes owner, Robert Wetenhall, welcoming the concept of bids involving border regions (Wetenhall's Alouettes spent two years in Baltimore in the 1990s, though under American ownership; Wetenhall purchased the team after it moved to Montreal).

The mayor of Moncton, premier of New Brunswick, and league commissioner Mark Cohon met in February to negotiate a deal that would see the city host a regular season game annually over five years, beginning in the 2010 CFL season.[4]

Rule changes

Several main rule changes were proposed for 2009 by fans at the request of CFL commissioner Mark Cohon. The following changes were implemented:

  • The elimination of the option for the scored-upon team to scrimmage from its 35-yard line after field goals. This is said to add excitement by preventing a team up by six points to scrimmage and take a knee three times to effectively end the game with one minute to go. Although it had good intentions, the results for this rule change was not as expected, and for the 2010 CFL season, the league reverted to having the option again.
  • Kickoffs being from the 25-yard line rather than the 35-yard line following a safety: the average kickoff in 2008 went 60 yards downfield, while the average kickoff return was 21 yards, making the option between scrimmaging and receiving kickoffs a wash.
  • Removing the restriction that a quarterback must take the snap from the centre. This effectively legalizes the wildcat offense (where a running back takes the snap) in Canadian football, which had long been legal in American football.
  • Video replays for coaches challenges will now ordinarily be reviewed at a command centre in the CFL's office in Toronto rather than in the video replay booth on the field. As well, if a team is successful in its two replay challenges, they will be awarded a third one.[5][6]

Other rule changes considered included moving the kickoff back 10 yards for all kicks (not just following safeties), and moving the ball back during conversions.

Hall of Fame induction weekend

For only the second time in its 39-year history, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction weekend events did not take place in Hamilton, Ontario, the home of the museum. It took place in Winnipeg from September 24 to 26, finishing with the tribute game between the Blue Bombers and Argonauts on September 26.[7]

Bye weeks

Byes in the two weeks preceding the Labour Day Classic games were retained, however the byes were changed so as to ensure that each pair of Labour Day Classic opponents will have equal rest as opposed to splitting the byes by division.

CFL retro

West Division Retro Jerseys
East Division Retro Jerseys

As the league approaches the 100th Grey Cup, the CFL celebrated the sixties with all eight teams wearing retro-themed uniforms from that era at different points in the season. All teams wore their retro uniforms in Week 3.[8] The Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders were the only teams to wear both home and away retro uniforms, while the remaining teams wore one set of uniforms. The BC Lions wore their black alternate jerseys in combination with their retro pants and helmets for a "retro look," but did not introduce new home retro jerseys.

Records and milestones

Regular season

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

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

East Division
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Y-Montreal Alouettes 18 15 3 0 600 324 30 Details
X-Hamilton Tiger-Cats 18 9 9 0 449 428 18 Details
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 18 7 11 0 386 508 14 Details
Toronto Argonauts 18 3 15 0 328 502 6 Details
West Division
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Y-Saskatchewan Roughriders 18 10 7 1 514 484 21 Details
X-Calgary Stampeders 18 10 7 1 514 443 21 Details
X-Edmonton Eskimos 18 9 9 0 469 502 18 Details
X-BC Lions 18 8 10 0 431 502 16 Details

Notes

  • Saskatchewan earned first place in the West due to their winning of the season series (2–0–1) against Calgary.
  • B.C. qualified for the playoffs in place of Winnipeg due to the "cross-over rule," as B.C. finished with more points.

Grey Cup playoffs

The Montreal Alouettes were the 2009 Grey Cup champions, defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders, 28–27 on a field goal by Damon Duval at Calgary's McMahon Stadium on the last play of the game. It was the first Grey Cup for the Alouettes since 2002. Alouettes' runningback Avon Cobourne was named the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player, and slotback, Ben Cahoon was named the Grey Cup Most Valuable Canadian.

Playoff bracket

  November 15: Division Semifinals     November 22: Division Finals     November 29: 97th Grey Cup
McMahon Stadium – Calgary
                           
  East     W4 BC Lions 18  
  W4 BC Lions 34*     E1 Montreal Alouettes 56    
  E2 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 27         E1 Montreal Alouettes 28
      W1 Saskatchewan Roughriders 27
  West     W2 Calgary Stampeders 17    
  W3 Edmonton Eskimos 21     W1 Saskatchewan Roughriders 27  
  W2 Calgary Stampeders 24  

*-Team won in Overtime.

CFL Leaders

2009 CFL All-Stars

Offence

Defence

Special teams

2009 Western All-Stars

Western offence

Western defence

Western special teams

2009 Eastern All-Stars

Eastern offence

Eastern defence

Eastern special teams

2009 CFLPA Pro Player All-Stars

Offence

Defence

Special teams

Head coach

2009 Gibson's Finest CFL Awards

References

  1. ^ http://www.cfl.ca/article/let-the-2009-season-begin Let the 2009 season begin
  2. ^ "CFL to kick off on Canada Day". CFL.ca. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  3. ^ Naylor, David."Ex-NFLer wants CFL to expand to U.S.". Globe and Mail. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  4. ^ Huras, Adam (2009-02-10). "Officials keen on CFL games in Moncton". Telegraph-Journal. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  5. ^ Hornby, Lance (2009-06-10). "CFL goes to high-tech reviews". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  6. ^ "CFL Launches its Command Centre". CFL.ca. 2009-06-26. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  7. ^ The Canadian Press (2009-03-18). "Winnipeg to host Hall of Fame Induction Weekend". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  8. ^ http://www.cfl.ca/page/retroweek_schedule_103911
  9. ^ "CFLapedia". 
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