Realty One

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


CALGARY - The Calgary Stampeders face a long winter thinking about the Grey Cup that got away.

On the same day the Ottawa Redblacks held their Grey Cup parade in the national capital, the Stampeders were still coming to grips with the reality it wasn't their parade.

"The last two nights of sleep have been waking up from plays going differently and thinking we still had a Grey Cup to go play and go win,'' quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell said Tuesday at McMahon Stadium.

Added offensive lineman Derek Dennis: "Still reliving plays in my head. Playing the woulda, coulda, shoulda game.''

The heavy favourites lost the CFL's championship game 39-33 in overtime to the Redblacks on Sunday in Toronto.

The Stampeders were built to win in 2016 and mostly did with a 15-2-1 record, but not when it counted the most.

Calgary's defence gave up a season-high 534 yards and Mitchell threw three interceptions Sunday.

But the play under the microscope happened when Calgary, trailing by three points on their final drive of regulation, got to second and goal from the two-yard line.

Instead of Mitchell staying on the field to throw or run the ball in - or giving the ball to running back Jerome Messam for a second consecutive carry - coach Dave Dickenson put the ball in the hands of rookie quarterback Andrew Buckley.

The move wasn't without precedent as Buckley rushed for eight touchdowns in short-yardage situations during the season, and had just scored on a one-yard dash earlier in the fourth quarter.

But Buckley was tackled for a one-yard loss by Ottawa's Abdul Kanneh. Calgary kicked a field goal to tie the game, but lost in overtime.

"Monday morning quarterbacks operate when the play doesn't work. When the play works, it's forgotten,'' Dickenson said. "That one play will never define that game, but it certainly causes some regret.''

Stampeder general manager John Hufnagel, who handed the coaching reins to Dickenson this year after eight seasons in the job, did not second-guess him.

"I've been in that position. I do truly understand the reason it was called,'' the GM said. "The only bad thing about the play was that it didn't work.''

Mitchell said his post-game comments were edited to make it sound like he was critical of Dickenson's decision. Both he and Dickenson insisted Tuesday there wasn't friction between them.

"Dave knows I will always ride with him,'' the quarterback said. "He's one of the greatest coaches in this game.

"The ball was still in my hands in overtime. Just didn't finish.''

Added Messam: "It was more than just the one play that put us in that position. You can't place any blame on coaches on anything like that. We just didn't show up. We just didn't win.''

Why they didn't will be the talk of the CFL until 2017.

Calgary had dominated the B.C. Lions - the league's No. 2 team - in the West Division final just a week earlier. The Redblacks were an 8-9-1 team in the regular season.

"They looked faster than us. They looked more physical than us,'' receiver Marquay McDaniel said. "That's the part I don't understand.

"It's going to be a long year to try and get back to that point.''

McDaniel is one of "25 or 26'' Stampeders who will be free agents and many of them starters, according Hufnagel.

Dennis, winner of the CFL's offensive lineman award, CFL sack-leader Charleston Hughes, punter Rob Maver and kicker Rene Paredes are among them.

"This locker-room will be no where near the same next year,'' Mitchell said. "There's a lot of free agents not only in our locker-room, but in a lot of others. In a nine-team league, that's going to create a lot of change.''

The Stampeders lost their chance to go down in history as one of the CFL's best teams ever. Mitchell will have a sour taste in his mouth when he thinks of 2016.

"I think we did great things, I think we did positive things, but in the end we lost to a sub .500 team in the Grey Cup,'' Mitchell said.

(Canadian Press)


Anonymous said...

Answer - Stampeders lost. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Friction exists between mitchell/dickenson. He has now asked to be traded to skrrs. murphy on it like a fly on rancid meat at the behest of chris. riderville don't want him here, too whiney they say. dd the guy they want to stick with because he's a (past) hero in their eyes.

Anonymous said...

That's sure good reading!!!

Anonymous said...

If you are a Stampeder or a fan of them, now you almost know how we as Rider faithful felt in 2009. The Grey Cup was so close and then gone. Only for us the Grey Cup was given to us then taken away due to penalty. You'll get over it, sort of, maybe.

John Knight said...

I hope they don't get over it. Good on ya. LOL. Arrogance catches up with you and he who laughs last laughs best

Anonymous said...

The stamps will win 3 more greycups before the riders win another

Anonymous said...

To find the answer Stamps just have to look in the mirror. For Stamp fans it's just Karma putting you in your place.

Anonymous said...

For all the abuse handed out during the 2009 Grey Cup outside of McMahon stadium, I for one can say, Good on them. I couldn't be happier they lost.

Anonymous said...

The real proof of how the Stumps are viewed by most CFL fans was evident by the crowd noise at the game and how it was clearly in favor of Ottawa. Every fan of another club, except the Stumps, was all in for the RB's to win. So really, if the Stumps were not the arrogant group they are, then perhaps Karma would not have taken such a large bite out of them. Really, to be down all game with a chance to win in the end, and yet another choke happens, it just proves the Stumps were not the best team that day on that field. Could not have happen to a more deserving group.

Anonymous said...

The stamps are still much better off than those lowly oskee wee wees from loserville... they have been scratching their heads and searching for answers since before the Millennium!!!

Anonymous said...

After the way Mitchell crapped the bed the entire game he shouldn't be second-guessing Howdy Doody or anyone else. The reason no other fans can stand the Stamps isn't because of their record but their arrogance and lack of respect for any other team or fan base. Mitchell had to get one more shot at the RBs by saying "in the end we lost to a sub .500 team in the Grey Cup". A total lack of respect for the team that just handed them their asses. What a putz showing his true colors.

Saskslam said...

As a Rider fan living in Ottawa it felt pretty good to see the RBs put the Stamps away. My degree of dislike for the Stamps had waned - after Nik Lewis, Cornish and others had left. But now, I was quite happy to see BLM with that look of confusion - blaming his receivers. Of course the sour grapes were expected "We lost to a sub 500 team" "We had the right play call - the RBs defence kind of fell into it". Such arrogance!
Kind of like how the RBs offence fell into your end zone 5 times on Sunday!

donna Campbell said...

All I can say is "I love to see Cowgary lose"

Anonymous said...

Karmas a good way of putting it...just like Riders sucking all season cause the are cheaters!!

Anonymous said...

It must be tiring having so much hatred for Rider fans and the nation. How does it serve the story to resort to name calling and being childish. The Stamps were beat by the better team that day and when it all settles out, they will go down in history as a top notch team that couldn't get it done when it mattered the most. Nothing new about that.