Sunday the 2017 CFL season comes to close as the Grey Cup (or at least the pieces of it that remain intact following someone inevitable breaking it) will be handed out to either the Stampeders or the Argonauts. Clearly I would have much preferred writing this post if the Riders were in the game but then again I would probably also be in full party mode and even less coherent than normal so there’s that. Either way I always enjoy the Grey Cup game regardless of who is playing. So let me regale you with my thoughts on the game.
On one side you have the CFL’s best team in the regular season. They’ve had 10 or more wins in every season since 2008. They have the League’s best defense and well, we all pretty much hate their guts outside of residents of Calgary (and even a lot of them hate them too). On the other side you have the best team in the CFL “My mom says I’m cool” division. They haven’t been to the Cup since they won in 2012 and Ricky was old even then. We are all pretty much ambivalent to the Argos outside of residents of Toronto who likely aren’t aware the Argos exist but could name you the starting line-up for every Maple Leaf team that failed in win a Cup in the preceding 50 years.
This is a battle of 2 heavyweight defenses and arguably the best two front 4’s in the CFL. Going to be a tough night for the O-lines and QBs. As good as Toronto’s D is overall, when they decide to try there is no better defensive group then the Stamps. I expect a low scoring affair. Not great news for a guy who got stuck with both teams needing to score over 48 in the office charity Grey Cup pool. The big challenge for Calgary’s D will be shutting down James Wilder. If they can make him a non-factor then Toronto is in big trouble. Without the balance he brings (both as a runner and pass catcher) the Calgary D-line will start teeing off on Ricky Ray. Given that it would probably take until Grey Cup 106 for Ray to run way from pressure, keeping that from happening is Trestman’s #1 priority. Also need to find a way to get SJ Green involved. HE was very quiet in the East Final but in championship games your studs need to be your studs. I expect Calgary will lock Tommie Campbell on him.
For Calgary their offense revolves around 2 guys. They need Messam to pound along the ground and McDaniel to be Bo’s security blanket. Certainly guys like Finch, Jorden and Daniels have big play ability but in a game they will likely be a defensive battle the reliable chain movers like Messam and McDaniel will be the keys to victory. I give the edge to the Calgary O-line here as no QB faced less pressure than Mitchell.
If we are being honest with ourselves, we want to see two things on Sunday. #1 Calgary lose. #2 – Dancing Sharks and backflipping snowmobiles…. Or… or…. Dancing shark doing back flips on a snowmobile. Give the people what they want! It’s actually for this reason my attempts to launch a career as a halftime show planner failed.
Them - Umm… Mr Prophet do you have any ideas that don’t involve mascots or snowmobiles?
Me – First off I don’t see the need for any other ideas. Second, of course I have other ideas.
Them – That we can show on television?
Me – I’ll just show myself out.
I will be cheering for the Argos on Sunday but if I was a better man (something you all know is true), I would unfortunately be betting on the Stamps. I think the Stamps D grinds out a close victory. Say 20 – 15. But it would sure be nice if old man Ray had some magic left in him.
Enjoy the game.