Unpredictability Rules Again (100th Grey Cup Preview)

The time has finally come after an entire year of talking about it the biggest Grey Cup game ever. It is the one game that everyone has been working up to since last year in BC as it has become one of the most important events in CFL history. The 100th Grey Cup is more than just another game for the CFL as there is a lot more at stake for the league. It is not a do-or-die type of game clearly as the league has never been stronger. What the game is for the league is a chance to showcase what makes the CFL great in a city that tends to forget about the sport. So far the CFL has been accepted by Toronto as the city is in a buzz for a major event. It may be that the NHL and the Maple Leafs are no longer around for the season or that the home team in the game but whatever it is football is finally the centre of the Toronto sports world. It was like this before as the ownership group of Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky, and the most visible owner John Candy helped the Toronto Argonauts become the talk of the town. For the CFL the 100th Grey Cup is a chance to grab this feeling again in Toronto and with the party already going on and still to come there will be plenty to talk about in the biggest city in Canada. What it all eventually comes down to though is the game and this year there is a good one. The unpredictability of the season made its way all the way to the final game of the season. The Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts were not supposed to be here and both beat the teams that were supposed to be here. But that is the only thing anyone could depend on this year as any prediction is an estimated guess at best. The season has been completely up in the air since the start as teams have lost when they weren’t supposed to and others won when they weren’t supposed to. Now there are two teams left and both could be teams that are supposed to win based on who you ask. This can only mean one thing as the Grey Cup this year will likely reflect the season as a whole as it will be another entertaining game to end an entertaining season.

 

Toronto Argonauts

 

 

 

 

 

The Toronto Argonauts have been trying to find a Quarterback since Damon Allen retired in 2007 and have failed miserably at that. Kerry Joseph, Cleo Lemon, Stephen Jyles, and a number of other QBs could not bring the Argos back to their dominant form. This offseason the Argos took another shot at finding their starting QB for the season and for the future. In a trade that surprised everyone the Argonauts added one of the best QBs in the CFL to the roster as a trade with the Edmonton Eskimos brought Ricky Ray. Ray changed the team but many believed it would take a year for the entire team to gel and become a contender. It did take almost a year but it wasn’t a full year. It wasn’t until week 17 when Ricky Ray returned from an injury and began showing what the Argos offence could do. Ray’s addition to the team also helped a number of other players including Chad Owens who had a career year with Ricky Ray under centre. The team continued to gel into the playoffs as they easily got past the Edmonton Eskimos and then beat the Montreal Alouettes in a tight game. They are the hottest team in the CFL right now and they hope that their streak can translate into a championship. The team is well-balanced with a great defence led by Marcus Ball that can shut down any team. The defence is not perfect though as they have seen times where they cannot stop anything. If the defence plays like they did in the first quarter of the Semi-Finals the Stampeders will rip them apart. On the other hand if the Argos defence can play like they did in the third quarter of the semi-Finals there is no offence that can beat them. Meanwhile the offence is on fire for the Argos as the connection between Ricky Ray and Chad Owens has become one of the best in the CFL. Add that to the running game of Chad Kackert and the offence is dangerous. If they can get into a groove there will be no stopping this offence but they have to be on the field to actually make an impact. If the defence cannot get the ball in the hands of the offence it will be a long day for the Argos.

 

Storyline:
Return Home and to Glory
– The Argonauts have not won the Grey Cup since 2004 and have not been the talk of the town since the 1990s but that can all change this Sunday because if they can win the Argos can quickly become the first championship team in Toronto since ’04 and give a city that is starving for a winner and early Christmas gift

 

Player to Watch:
Chad Owen, SB/KR
– There really is no question as Owens has been the best player all year on the team and is nominated for the Most Outstanding Player award after a season where he earned close to 4,000 all-purpose yards as the key to the offensive attack of the Argos

 

How They Win:
Shut down Jon Cornish
– Jon Cornish will be a key to the Stampeders offence as the balance that he can create makes it a tough day for any defence and if the Argos can make the Stamps one-dimensional they will make life easier on them in forcing Kevin Glenn to beat them

 

Calgary Stampeders

 

 

 

 

The Stampeders have been one of the more successful teams in the CFL over the past few years winning their last Grey Cup in 2008. Over the last few years the Stamps would try to find their way back to the Grey Cup but could not do it with the rise of the B.C. Lions. In an attempt to breathe life into the team the Stamps made the second most surprising trade of the offseason. They would trade away their franchise QB as they sent Henry Burris to Hamilton in exchange for veteran QB Kevin Glenn. As the Burris era was now over the Stamps would look to the young and very promising Drew Tate to lead them into the future. Then the worst case scenario happened as Drew Tate went down with a serious injury in week 2 as Kevin Glenn would need to take over the team for the rest of the season. Drew Tate would come back to the team at the end of the season and would get the start in the Semi-Finals where he threw the winning TD but also took a beating and ended his chances of playing in the Finals. Kevin Glenn stepped in once again though and led his team to a win in the finals for a berth in the Grey Cup.  Much like the Argonauts the Stampeders are very balanced as they have a good defence and a good offence. The defence is led by Charleston Hughes who finish the season second in the league for sacks. The pressure that the Stampeders can get through their defensive line helps the entire defence as it forces QBs into mistakes that are taken advantage of by the defensive backs like Keon Raymond, 5 interceptions this year. The offence is the highlight of the team though and is led by the explosive Jon Cornish who is almost a lock to earn the Canadian Player of the Year. Nominated for the Most Outstanding Player Cornish is the linchpin to this offence with 1,457 yards on the season. When Cornish gets going it opens up the passing offence where Kevin Glenn and the receiving corps go for the big play. The Stamps need this strategy to work for them as they hope that they can get out early and prevent the Argos from getting into a groove and put them in the hole quickly to help them win another Grey Cup.

 

Storyline:
Kevin Glenn’s Second Chance
– 5 years ago Kevin Glenn led the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the Eastern Finals but in the game broke his forearm forcing him out of a chance to play in the 95th Grey Cup now thanks in part to the injury to Drew Tate Glenn gets his second chance to lead a team into the Grey Cup

 

Player to Watch:
Maurice Price, WR
– Clearly Jon Cornish is the best player on the team as the MOP but it has been Price who has caught my eye all playoffs as he seems to be a favorite target of Glenn for the big passes and if the Argos can’t keep him in check they may be behind very early

 

How They Win:
Keep the Ball away from Owens
– The Stamps need to do this in multiple phases of the game as the Argos find ways to put the ball in their top playmaker’s hands as the Stamps need to cover him well and kick away from them in order to eliminate the most explosive player in the CFL from making a play that can change the game

 

100th Grey Cup:
Toronto Argonauts 41 – 38 Calgary Stampeders
– History favours the hot hand and with the chance that the Argonauts have to make an impact on the city and to get back into the CFL conversation they will take advantage although they will not run away with it as the Stamps will give them everything they can handle it what should be a great game

Comments
One Response to “Unpredictability Rules Again (100th Grey Cup Preview)”
  1. cflsteve says:

    If they want to promote the Argos and the CFL in Toronto the CFL should begin having the Grey cup at Rogers Centre on a regular basis. Toronto is the Media Capital of Canada, The largest metro Region, two team within that region (Argos and Hamilton), and have one of the top two facilities in the CFL. I know that other teams want to host the grey cup and they will get their chances but for the POP you want to get from the grey Cup the indoor facility in a Big Market on a regular basis would go along way to giving the CFL credibilty.

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