Nicely done, Matt Nichols. you rose to the occasion and nobody can say you never won one in the clutch.
2. WHY THE BOMBERS WON: They were hungrier than us. And I say ‘us’ because I’m talking about the fans too. Bomber fans are wayyyyy hungrier then Rider fans have been in the last decade and don’t think the players and coaches don’t feel that urgency either.
That’s what happens in the playoffs. It’s all about who wants it more. And this time it was The Peg.
3. ROOSEVELT CATCH: I swear to you all that 2-point convert try was a catch. Namaan caught it, had control, hits the ground and then it pops out. In my world of common sense, that’s a catch. It would’ve totally changed the complexion of that final drive. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. But that play right there was the difference.
4. STAMPEDER JOY: No WAY did the Calgary Stampeders want to play the Roughriders. Saskatchewan is the only team they feared and now the stars are aligning for Bo Levi to get another ring. The big question is, can the Stamps get there without beating themselves up too bad in that Western Final like they kind of did in the last 2 years? Win or lose, Andrew Harris is going to wear down those Calgary linebackers.
That would be my concern if I were a Stampeder fan which, of course, I am not.
5. HAPPIEST MOMENT OF THE WSF: The 13th man banner NOT unraveling during the pregame. Hate that copycat promotion.
6. MIKE REILLY OFFSEASON PRIORITY: It would have been so epic to win a championship without a stud quarterback but, once again, it turned out to be the Riders' undoing. It took Chris Jones 2 years to get from zero to hero in Edmonton and he’s 3 years deep here now but still isn’t quite there.
In Edmonton he had Mike Reilly. Here, he should do everything he can, even if it means dumping some high-priced defensive stars, to get free agent-to-be, Mike Reilly. Willie Jefferson is a must-sign but after that, no-one should be untouchable when it comes to opening up cap space for our new star quarterback. Fingers crossed.
7. U OF S HUSKIES REDEEM U-SPORT, SORT OF: The U of S Huskies Canada West Championship win salvages what appeared to be a lost year for college football in our province. I’m still unnerved by the unbelievable stupidity of the nation’s governing body for University Athletics over the stripping of wins from the Regina Rams and their inability to apply common sense. But the Huskies probably were the better of those 2 teams anyway and we couldn’t have had a better result in the end.
Could always be worse.
8. CALGARY OLYMPICS: Former CFL Commissioner Doug Mitchell wrote an impassioned plea in a Calgary newspaper Friday to support the winter Olympic bid for 2026. He points out that 87% of the required infrastructure is already in still in place from the 1988 games and feels like the city has lost its optimism which could be re-ignited by the games.
It was easily the best argument for the Olympic bid I have seen so far. I hope they stick with it. At least for now.
9. WHO I HOPE TO SEE IN THE GREY CUP: Can’t see it happening but a rematch of Grey Cup ’84 in the same stadium between the Bombers and Ticats would be fantastic. It would feature the two longest Cup droughts in the league. I'm not optimistic about the Bombers getting by the Stampeders anytime soon but stranger things have happened.
10. BOOK OF THE WEEK: Can’t wait to tear into “Alou, My Baseball Journey”. The memoir of legendary Montreal Expo manager, Felipe Alou. Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero swear they never would’ve made it real far in the big leagues had it not been for Felipe. I just hope the 83-year-old icon gets one more crack to see his beloved Expos play ball when they return real soon.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)