In life, we sometimes get a second chance if the need arises. If you have the will and the intestinal fortitude, you can make the most of that 2nd chance. The same can be said on the athletic field.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Vick got a 2nd chance and he is making the most of it. He is being considered as an MVP candidate in the NFL. A few short years ago, no one thought Vick would ever play professional football again as he sat in a prison serving dogfighting charges.
Eric Tillman got a 2nd chance. Legal problems forced Tillman to give up a job that he truly loved, but after a year out of the game, he got a 2nd chance and he is making the most of it as there are signs the Edmonton Eskimos are already on the road to respectability.
Damon Duval got a second chance. The Montreal kicker could have been the Scott Norwood of the CFL after missing a potential game winning field goal in last year’s Grey Cup only to get a 2nd chance---one that he made the most of.
While players get an opportunity to right a wrong and capitalize on a 2nd chance, so do teams. The Oilers got beat by the Islanders, but they got a 2nd chance and they made the most of it to start their dynasty years. The Penguins got beat by the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final, but Pittsburgh got a 2nd chance and made the most of it.
What I’m getting at here if you haven’t already realized it is the Saskatchewan Roughriders also have a 2nd chance staring them right in the face. They remember the heartbreak and the pain they suffered almost one year ago when they lost the Grey Cup thanks to that infamous too many men on the field penalty. Chances at championships don’t come every day. A great season in 09 meant nothing as the team started back at square on when the first of two-a-day practices started last June. There was no guarantee that the Riders would get an opportunity to right the wrong from last November. No guarantee that they would ever feel redemption. Many players that walked off the field in Calgary last November were on that same field last weekend earning their 2nd chance. They have accomplished what they wanted. They have gotten back to the Grey Cup and they will play the same team that ripped the trophy from their hands. While they wouldn’t publicly admit it, you know the fire of last November’s pain still burns a hole in the guts of those who played.
Like Vick, Tillman, Duval, the Oilers, the Penguins and many others, the Riders will not fail. The 98th Grey Cup will not come down to a field goal. It will be over before the final gun sounds. It won’t be a Rider runaway, but it will be a Rider victory. This team is too good and too motivated to have what happened last year happen again. Get ready to invade the Green Mile Sunday night and get ready to be at Mosaic Monday to greet your football team because they will be coming back from the Alberta capital with a little souvenir that they will share with you.
Saskatchewan 34 Montreal 23 -MVP Weston Dressler