One of the things that makes this a tough game to call is that although we know the players, and their playbooks, the ground rules for the game have not been publicized. One thing that we do know is that the Referee, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, is also a player on one of the teams. Plus he holds home field advantage.
Another thing that makes it difficult to guess the outcome is the possibility that one of the teams might walk out following the invocation and before the coin toss (see "Repent or we quit say bishops in gays feud: Anglican church could split in challenge to Welby's authority " in the Daily Mail).
In case there is no walkout and the game goes on, here is my breakdown of Canterbury Bowl 2016:
The Church of England will act as quarterback on offense and middle linebacker on defense, The Episcopal church (USA) will start an untested rookie at over paid and egotistical wide receiver on offense and at conceited cornerback on defense, the Anglican Church of Canada at punter and holder for extra-points, New Zealand at tight end and free safety, the Church of Wales at fumble happy half back and overweight nose tackle, and the Scottish Episcopal Church at cheerleader and ball holder.
The GAFCON Primates will play as a unit both on defense and when on offense (if they can find a quarterback and middle linebacker).
In fancy hats and flowing robes, the show will start with a parade of sort. Expect lots of smiles and photo-ops. The South team should avoid having pictures taken with the heterodox and steer clear of getting too close to the West's team who will want use the parade to weaken the South's fan base.
The pregame show:
Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America will be allowed to briefly set foot upon the turf and then will be escorted to the bleachers.
The coin toss:
After pleasantries are exchanged, and the Referee has explained the rules, there will be no coin toss. The referee will decide who gets the ball first and the direction in which they will play which of course depends on which way the wind is blowing.
Keys to the game for the West:
The West will probably get the ball first and should try to grind it out on the ground, hoping to wear the opposing defense down. The West will try to keep their over paid and egotistical wide receiver from spouting off and drawing attention from the Referee. Expect frequent opportunities for delay of game penalties to be overlooked by the Referee.
Keys to the game for the South:
On Defense, the South must present present a solid front and not get thrown off their game by the West's slow down game. They will need a strong middle linebacker to call the shots and should go into the game with a ball hawking attitude, looking for any opportunity for a turnover. If they see the ball go into Canada's hands, they should go for the either a strip or a hard hit. They will need to ignore TEc's rookie wide receiver because he is just coming off the Injured Reserve list and will probably be used more as a decoy than as deep threat. When on offense, the South should not expect to get many cheers from the stands or positive comments from the press-box. The South's best offensive plays may run the risk of drawing "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" calls from the Referee and having points taken off the board. The South should check the pressure on any softballs coming from the West, and should ignore distractions coming from the West's cheerleaders.
Since defense wins championships, I am going to go with the South in this one. and I predict that this will be the first and final Canterbury Bowl for them. I think the best the West can hope for is a draw and a chance for a rematch.
See you for the post-game wrap-up.