Tuesday, November 28, 2017
ARGOS CELEBRATE GREY CUP VICTORY AT FAN RALLY
TORONTO - Cheering fans and jubilant members of the Argonauts packed Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square on Tuesday as the team celebrated its CFL-record 17th Grey Cup win.
Veteran quarterback Ricky Ray carried the Cup through an excited crowd, with many fans clamouring to get photos of the iconic trophy.
The 38-year-old Ray, who set his own CFL record by winning his fourth Grey Cup as a starting quarterback, is still determining his football future, but he was treated to chants of ``one more year'' by fans and teammates while addressing the rally.
"Only one? Why not two, huh?'' Ray replied to cheers.
The Argos - who missed the playoffs in 2016 and finished the 2017 season 9-9 - pulled off a surprising 27-24 comeback victory over the Calgary Stampeders in Sunday's snowy championship game in Ottawa.
But the win was no fluke, general manager Jim Popp said.
"We had the best record down the stretch,'' Popp told the crowd. "We beat four straight Western teams. We beat everybody in the league ... It takes a little luck, but I'm going to tell you, the belief in the room is why we won.''
Coach Marc Trestman, who was brought in with Popp in the off-season to turn the franchise around, praised the team's selflessness throughout what was expected by many to be a rebuilding year.
"(Just) 185 days ago, take a look, none of us even knew each other,'' Trestman said. "We came from different places, from different teams ... but we all worked together and it led to this moment.''
Also taking the stage at the rally was Toronto Mayor John Tory - himself a former CFL commissioner - who couldn't resist taking a playful dig at Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
The two mayors placed a Grey Cup wager on the game, and after losing the bet Nenshi had to wear an Argonauts jersey at a Calgary city council meeting Monday while reciting a poem extolling the virtues of the CFL champions.
"Didn't Mayor Nenshi look great in that Argo jersey yesterday?'' Tory said. "I told him to keep it, and we're going to send one to every other CFL mayor in the country, because next year some mayor in some city is going to be wearing that jersey again.''
It was Toronto's first Grey Cup win since taking the 2012 title with a 35-22 win over Calgary at Rogers Centre.