Arland Bruce: The Knight in Steel Armour For the Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Jonathan HamelinCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2009

The score between Hamilton and Calgary is 17-17; Hamilton is driving the ball with less than five minutes to go in the ball game. The Tiger Cats face a third and inch in Calgary territory. Back-up pivot Adam Trafalis comes in to the game for the sneak. But then, Tafralis fakes the sneak, drops back to pass, and throws a touchdown pass to Arland Bruce."

The game-winning touchdown catch was Bruce’s second touchdown of the game, putting him over 100 yards in the game, but perhaps more importantly, improving the Tiger Cats record to 6-5—a record that is signifying that Hamilton has finally found the star player they’ve been looking for.


Arland Bruce suiting up for the Hamilton Tiger Cats? It is something no one could have predicting heading into the season.


However, after disputes earlier in the season with Toronto Argonauts head coach Bart Andrus, who though Bruce’s attitude was detrimental to the team, the Argos shipped Bruce off to the Hamilton Tiger Cats.


While Hamilton was undoubtedly acquiring the services of a top notch receiver in the trade, fans wondered if Bruce’s attitude would be detrimental to the Tiger Cats, who were currently riding a two game winning streak.


Bruce didn’t immediately help the Tiger Cats offence, as he spent the first game returning kicks, but he soon began to emerge as a star in Hamilton’s offence.

In only his second start with the team, Bruce racked up a team-high 78 yards against the Edmonton Eskimos in the win. The Tiger Cats lost the next week in a valiant comeback effort against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, a comeback helped by Arland Bruce. Bruce had four catches for 98 yards and one touchdown catch that helped spark the failed comeback.


Bruce had 119 yards and two touchdowns two weeks later against the Edmonton Eskimos. In the Labour Day home and home series against the Toronto Argonauts, Bruce had games of 115 yards, and 48 yards with a touchdown.

Arland Bruce’s numbers have been impressive to say the least. He has around 600 yards since joining Hamilton and has finally given the team a solid receiving threat to compliment Prechae Rodriquez.


But, what has been most impressive about Arland Bruce in Hamilton has been his attitude.


Bruce was basically called out in Toronto for being a horrible team player. Then, Bruce was traded to a Tiger Cats team that had been historically bad for some years in a row. Many thought Bruce would be a poor team player in Hamilton as well.


But Arland Bruce has checked his attitude at the door ever since he has arrived in Steeltown. He was willing at first to have a limited role with the team until he got more accustomed to the offence and he has not caused any notable controversies among his team-mates.


Hamilton currently sits at 6-5, putting them at second place in the East. With Toronto and Winnipeg both struggling, Hamilton looks poised to claim a home playoff game. In their recent success, they have leaned on Arland Bruce.


For a Hamilton Tiger Cats team that has been struggling for several seasons, Bruce may just be the knight in shining armour the team has been looking for.