What a night!! Once again, the CFL saved its best for last!
For the second straight week, we saw Ricky Ray march down the field with the game on the line and get it done---which wasn't as maddening for Rider Nation this week, and we saw fans going "What are you doing?" in a game involving the Calgary Stampeders.
The Toronto Argonauts are Grey Cup champions on what was classic Canadiana. In a game played in our Nation's Capital, the snow fell, and Shania Twain came into TD Place on a dog-sled being escorted by a Mountie. All that was missing were Bob and Doug and the cheerleaders handing out Tim Horton's hot chocolate to everyone. It was spectacular!
While the Argos win, all everyone will be asking today is "What were you thinking Bo Levi?"
Like him or not, the Calgary quarterback became a victim of his own greed. Why he threw the ball into double coverage from the Argos 24 needing just a field goal to send the game into overtime is something only BLM can answer. At the end of the day, it was the wrong decision as the Argos go from worst to first.
Where do you start with this one?
- While the game will be remembered for BLM's ill-advised throw at the end and the Ricky Ray drive to get into FG range, it should also be remembered for the Kamar Jorden fumble which at the end of the day was the biggest play of the night.. The Stamps could have lit the celebratory cigars and broken open the championship T-Shirt box, but Cleyon Laing made the play punching it out of Jorden's hands with Cassius Vaughn taking it the rest of the way. It was the ultimate 14 point swing.
- The conditions weren't optimal, but I didn't think the play was affected. Both teams were able to run their offences. It wasn't like wind or rain was playing havoc with the game-plan. The presence of the snow was overblown in my opinion.
- Is this it for Ricky Ray? Will he do what Henry Burris did last year and call it a career? Would you blame him? What more does he have to do?
- Shania was spectacular. End of story!
- TSN once again did a fantastic job in bringing the game to CFL fans across the country. Chris Cuthbert showed why he is the gold medallist when it comes to p x p in Canada. It was a first-class effort all week from the three-letter.
- Should I be surprised at the post-game comments from Marquay McDaniel or should I just attribute it to Calgary's arrogance? Perhaps a little of both. Why did McDaniel choose to throw Jorden under the bus yet stay silent on what Bo Levi did? Why did McDaniel give up chasing Vaughn at the 20 yard line. I think we have learned a lot about the "teammate: Marquay McDaniel is.
By the way, how about this picture of Ambrosie from the Spirit of Edmonton Friday night courtesy of TSN 1260 (Edmonton) Jason Gregor.
What will the win do for the Argos? Does it move the needle? Does Toronto even know what happened last night? If I had walked down Yonge Street or Front Street and visited the many sports bars, would the game have been on. I would like to say yes, but would I be right? I don't know. This has to help somehow doesn't it? The Leafs need to have Ray and the Argos and the Cup at Air Canada Centre for some kind of ceremony. They have to do whatever it takes to put the Cup front and center in the country's biggest city and start selling this team to the GTA. It won't be easy, but in the end this could be a huge shot in the arm for the CFL. Time will tell.
--Regina, you may not know it, but a nice little story is happening over at the University. Steve Burrows has the mens basketball program at a level of prominence for the first time in a long time. I've been a huge supporter of Cougar basketball for a long time as you know. Year after year after year, Dave Taylor's women's team has gotten a majority of the ink and for good reason as they have been one of Canada's best programs with many national appearances. The men's team is now just as good and are taking some of that ink saved for the ladies which I'm sure Taylor and crew don't mind one bit.
It was a sign of how good this team was this weekend as undefeated Lethbridge came to town and promptly took the bus back to southern Alberta with not one, but two losses as the Cougs made it 7 straight wins which is something they haven't done since the 05-06 season. No one player is the star either. Brian Ofori might be the face of this team because of his dunks, but it is a balanced squad with Alex Igual, Brandon Tull and new faces Shaq Harris and Shawn Lathan getting it done. There was optimism when Burrows took over the program five years ago from James Hillis. James now sits in the crowd and beams with pride as his sons Ben and Sam keep the Hillis name going. It is great to see. The first half of the season ends next weekend in Vancouver for both, but it is safe to say there will be some tremendous basketball from both the men and women at the CKHS in 2018. Get out and watch if you can.
--The Pats are home after a US road trip which was not a banner one---especially the finish. After getting spanked 6-0 by Tri-Cities, Regina found themselves down 4-0 to Spokane before finally losing 7-3 Yes, at one point they allowed 10 straight goals. That is not good. The team is one game above 500, but everyone knows the Cale Fleury acquisition was not the end of what will be done as this team gets ready to defend its Eastern Conference crown and host the Memorial Cup. What does John Paddock have up his sleeve and when does he start showing his cards? I think you've got just over a month to wait. While it doesn't look that way now, this team will be more than ready come playoff time and in May when you need one good week to win it all.
--The Swift Current Broncos showed everyone how serious they are at being in Regina in May. You have to know both the Pats and Warriors took notice of the big nine-player swap Swift Current made with Calgary to make what is already a good team a whole lot better. They just got some secondary scoring to go along with the Steenbergen, Gawdin, Heponiemi line. Meanwhile, those in Moose Jaw are starting to talk about this being the best ever team in franchise history. I remember that talk being had last year and how did that end up. Records don't mean a lot if you don't win it all at the end of the year. The Pats will be the first to tell you that after last season.
--Two Saskies continue to have the St. Louis Blues as one of the top teams in the league. You have to love what Jaden Schwartz is doing as he continues to be one of the best players in the NHL at the one quarter pole while Brayden Schenn may be the steal of the year coming over in a trade with Philly. Meanwhile, one continues to shake their head at the inability of the Edmonton Oilers to win and the ugliness they trot out. The effort in Buffalo was putrid, and while a win in Boston did happen Sunday, it is obvious something is not right with this squad that just may go from being a Stanley Cup finalist as many predicted to having another top 5 draft pick. Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets seem to be finally living up to expectations. If I were a Jets fan (ewwww!!), I'd be awfully excited at what this team has. Laine, Schiefele, Wheeler, Connor, Hellebuyck, Byfuglien, Trouba and others are putting it together.
--That's all I got. For some reason, I think Rider Nation will be walking around with an ear-to-ear grin after the events of Sunday night. I can't really blame them.