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Inside the CFL: Week One storylines

Ted Michaels, CFL Editor

Hamilton, ON (Sports Network) - Several things jumped out and caught the attention of your intrepid reporter during the first week of the CFL's regular season: some that were good, and one that raises the red flag.

Feel good story number one:

Edmonton's Jason Barnes.

The Sacramento State product has endured a lot, and that's why you have to feel happy for him.

Barnes, in his fourth season with the Eskimos, suffered a ruptured spleen and a bruised lung in a game in Hamilton last year. There was speculation that Barnes' career was over due to the severity of the injuries.

After recovering, he failed the medical at training camp, due to a nagging heel injury.

The Eskimos later brought him back and clearly are glad they did.

He had five catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the 42-28 win at Saskatchewan.

Feel good story number two:

Winnipeg's Buck Pierce.

The health of the New Mexico State grad was questioned as the Blue Bombers headed into the 2011 season. The quarterback had suffered from concussions and a dislocated elbow last season.

Any questions about his health and toughness were answered, in a resounding fashion in Winnipeg's 24-16 win at Hamilton.

In the third quarter, Hamilton linebacker Jamal Johnson blitzed off the edge, and had a clear shot at Pierce.

The blindside hit knocked Pierce back and down onto the turf, jarring his helmet off his head.

After a few seconds, Pierce got up and went to the Bombers bench, unaided.

His teammate, defensive lineman Doug Brown, pointed out after the game, that the hit by Johnson could have ended a career, never mind a season.

Pierce came into camp in great shape.

Nice to see the hard work paid off for one of the CFL's nice guys.

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

Inexplicably, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats came out flat and laid an egg at their home opener against Winnipeg.

The Tiger-Cats lost the game to a team that had no business winning.

This, from a team that promised a bit more swagger this year.

In fact, running back Avon Cobourne said the defending Grey Cup Alouettes had to beat the Tiger-Cats to get back to the championship game, not the other way around.

So much for all that talk.

Quarterback Kevin Glenn did not have a great night, completing just 18 of 31 passes for 187 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

Glenn, who was pulled after he threw his third interception, faced the media after the game, and bristled when he was asked about it.

"Getting pulled, first game of the season, it just felt like a smack in the face. I felt disrespected. He's the coach, he makes the decisions, but I also have feelings. I have an opinion. I'm not ... questioning his decision I'm just telling you how I feel."

Whether intentional or not, Glenn opened up a can of worms with his statement. Head coach Marcel Bellefeuille, already under intense pressure to take the team past two eastern semi-final losses, couldn't have liked those comments. And he couldn't have liked an objectional conduct penalty that receiver Arland Bruce took in the fourth quarter.

Cobourne got involved in a shouting match with Bruce on the sidelines after the incident, and although both players downplayed the incident afterwards, one has to wonder if egos are starting to take over in the Tiger-Cat dressing room. And, one has to wonder, whose head will roll if the Tiger-Cats lose in Edmonton this week.

Is it only one game? Yes.

But, in Hamilton, perception is reality, and the perception in Hamilton is, an 0-2 start means more of the same.

And, if that's the case, will the fans vote with their feet?

Ted Michaels is the host of the Fifth Quarter, on AM 900 CHML.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? ted@900chml.com.

Ted Michaels is the host of the Fifth Quarter, on AM 900 CHML.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Ted Michaels at ted@900chml.com.

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