My Alouettes are out, so frankly, I don’t care who wins the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto. I think there are good storylines both ways and no matter who lifts the Grey Cup around 10 p.m. on Sunday night, it’ll be good for the CFL – as long as it’s a close game.
The Toronto angle
The most obvious positive story would be the Argos winning the centennial championship in front of a packed house on home turf. The BC Lions won the championship at home last year and averaged over 30,000 fans a game this season. Granted, Toronto doesn’t have a basically brand-new stadium to help with the draw, but winning a title at home and being competitive long-term would certainly help them better their 2012 attendance average of just under 24,000.
Another good story would be Scott Milanovich winning the championship as a rookie head coach. From all of my dealings with him while we were both working for the Alouettes, Scott is simply a very nice, hard-working, pleasant person who deserves to win. He is of the Trestman-Calvillo-Cahoon mold, which is to expect a lot of people and treat them well. I’d be very happy to see him raise the Grey Cup over his head on Sunday.
The Calgary perspective
I’ve always had a grudge against the Stampeders, and I’m not really sure why. It might be because they were my “favourite” team when Doug Flutie played for them and Montreal was absent from the CFL, so they feel like an ex-girlfriend I never really liked but settled for because it was the easy way out and now I just don’t like to see their face anymore.
Can anyone honestly tell me Winnipeg is better off all these years later than had they stuck with Kevin Glenn under centre?
But something changed for me when they traded Henry Burris to Hamilton last winter. I have nothing against Henry Burris the person – I’ve been told he’s actually a wonderful guy – but I can’t stomach him as a player. I’ve routinely called him the most over-rated player in the CFL, and I stick by that. Frankly, there are better judges of talent than me and I’m probably wrong, but that’s just how I feel. Now that he’s a Ticat, I’ve become more indifferent towards the Stamps than anything else. I guess now if I ran into them on the street, I’d ask how they’re doing, say they look nice, and move on with my life.
Except for Kevin Glenn. I can’t help but cheer for Kevin Glenn (and Anwar Stewart – but I’ll get to him later).
Glenn just tugs at my heartstrings. He got royally screwed in Winnipeg, and he got royally screwed in Hamilton. He was well on his way to getting screwed in Calgary, but for Drew Tate’s broken wrist. Glenn almost had his shot at glory in 2007, but a broken arm led him to watch from the sidelines as the Blue Bombers lost to the Roughriders in the same stadium in which he’ll battle for the Grey Cup this Sunday.
Then the Bombers went and dumped him. Can anyone honestly tell me Winnipeg is better off all these years later than had they stuck with Kevin Glenn under centre? (And Doug Berry on the sideline, for that matter) And it looks to me that for all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Burris being swapped to Hamilton for Glenn that the Ticats are just as eliminated now as they were with their old QB. This guy just can’t catch a break.
Now’s his chance and I hope he’ll seize the day.
The other cherry on the sundae if Calgary pulls off the win on Sunday would be seeing Anwar Stewart win another championship. I really enjoyed being around “Stewie” while working at the Alouettes. He never big-timed me, he always treated me like a colleague and not a servant, and was just a generally nice person. This is a guy who came from nothing and made himself into one of the best defensive players of the last decade. More importantly, he made an impact on the community and regularly makes people around him feel important.
I’d be truly happy to see Anwar Stewart win a title.
So what’s the score?
I guess I have to make a pick one way or another, so I’ll go with this: Glenn comes out with majors on his first two drives; Ricky Ray responds and keep the game close. Glenn throws an ugly interception that turns into three points for Toronto and the announcers start focusing on why he’s “never been able to go to the next level” or “win the big one.” He’ll then promptly suck it up and torch the Argo secondary for over 200 yards in the second half and go on to change his legacy from “almost-but-never- quite” to Champion.
Stampeders 32, Argonauts 26