Top 10 Grey Cup 102 Thoughts… AND MORE!

Congratulations to the 2014 Calgary Stampeders, the best team in the Canadian Football League. The Stamps trimmed Hamilton 20-16 in Grey Cup 102 at Vancouver’s BC Place.

The Stamps lead wire to wire in the game and despite not scoring any points in the second half did enough to capture their seventh Grey Cup in franchise history.

From the broadcast, both on radio and television, here are some of my observations from the 102nd Grey Cup.

– TSN turning point #1… Nic Grigsby fumble. After holding Calgary at bay in their opening possession and getting a couple of first downs the Ti-Cats lost 29 yards on the fumble but that wasn’t all; The Tabbies also lost a tonne of confidence thanks to a poor third down kick that followed the fumble not to mention the play seemed to rattle their psyche and confidence.

– Turning Point #2… the hit that knocked Calgary punter Rob Maver out of the game was huge for the Ti-Cats. Nothing against ReneParades but considering he hadn’t punted in a game situation in six years had a definite impact in the game. His low, returnable, non-directional kicks allowed Hamilton to set up some dangerous looking returns (including the touchdown that was called back). The importance of the position was magnified with one blind-side hit.

– The officials for the most part called a good game. However, the taunting penalty called on Buddy Jackson of the Stampeders was marginal at best. One of the human elements of officiating is knowing the game situation. The flag thrown for stepping over the tackled Ti-Cat was weak and should have cost the Stampeders a touchdown.

– Again I reiterate that the officials did a very good job in the game, however, the play before the taunting one of the Stampeders defensive lineman’s heads was completely turned around by a hold that went uncalled. That in my mind is much more dangerous and impactful than stepping over your opponent.

– The Imagine Dragons were alright as a halftime act. The only thing that is for sure is that it’s a good thing that BC Place had some of that crowd noise that they pump through the public-address system when the opposition has the ball (especially the Riders) left over. Pumping that through the TV feed made it seem like at least some of the people enjoyed the performance or better yet actually stuck around for it.

– I thought it was interesting that both teams followed the script and came out individually when introduced as opposed to the Saskatchewan Roughriders who blew the whole thing up by coming out as a team last year. To be truthful I fully expected one if not both teams to do the same. However, from what I have been told both teams were warned about it and the fine for doing so would be through the roof. Note to CFL teams do not mess with TSN’s pre-game timing. Bad Riders.

– That being said the TSN broadcast I thought was pretty good. Chris Cuthbert is the best in the business and he proved why again. What I don’t understand is why the reverse-angle and down-low camera angles were so fuzzy. Was TSN using cell phone technology to shoot them back to the truck?

– One more on the broadcast and TSN I’m sure has realized that they need to use James Duthie more. His hosting abilities are out of this world and his quick wit is a welcome addition to the overall presentation.

– Great stat! In 2014 Bo Levi Mitchell never threw more than one interception in any game. Not sure but I don’t think that Henry Burris threw fewer than two per game.

– Speaking of great, the national anthem was the best performed anthem that I have heard in eons. Nikki Yanofsky along with the 102 member choir did what they were supposed to. They went out sang the song and got off the field. Great job!

– One more great job. Nice of TSN to drop the name of fellow Weyburnite and all round good guy Mike Hoffman! The O-Line Coach of the Weyburn Eagles that has assisted in developing Brett Jones and Brendon Labbatte got some well deserved recognition!

– One more to TSN and I like the salute to our troops that they do with Glen Suitor. Couldn’t they maybe have cut to a ship, and aircraft carrier or an airstrip from somewhere in the world to bring that message and image home? Instead Suitor was forced to rush through his shout out in between plays somewhat tarnishing the message.

– I would submit that with the few answers that Orlando Steinhauer had for the Calgary offence in the first half he didn’t do much to help his cause to be the next Head Coach of the BC Lions. However, his ability to adjust at halftime and shutout the Stamps in the second half made a big statement.

– Speaking of being shutout in the second half after putting up 20 points in the first half did you notice that not once did TSN show Quick Six, the Stamps touchdown horse? For that matter I don’t think the horse galloping the sidelines at McMahnon has been shown on TV for the last few seasons. The horse was a staple of an CBC broadcast which may be why TSN has shied away from the shot.

Quick Six

– While we may not have seen the horse we definitely were inundated with the image of NFL Hall of Famer Steve Tasker. His son Luke had a solid game but the moment of the game for me was when TSN cut to him in the stands and he was gone. Wonder if he was trying to beat traffic or if he had an adverse reaction to a concession hot dog?

– Can’t believe that Taylor Reed is being singled out for his illegal block penalty on the Brandon Banks Punt Return that wasn’t a touchdown… There are penalties on almost every punt in the CFL whether it be illegal block or no yards. His was a block in the back but there were ample other opportunities for Hamilton to score but they could not come through in the red zone, which to me was the story of the game.

– When it comes to Brandon Banks would you want him on your team? I know I wouldn’t! His emotional breakdown after his return touchdown was called back in my opinion was selfish. He took himself out of the game and was unavailable when his team was attempting to make a last second push. That kind of individualism is not the recipe for success in football.

– What was wrong with the CFL this season was captured in the final moments of the game. Hamilton Head Coach Kent Austin did not call a timeout and had his challenge flag at the ready on the final play so that he could request a review for pass interference. The CFL took a collective sigh of relief when the ball was partially batted down at the line of scrimmage thus making a PI call futile.

– I like the call of giving the Most Outstanding Player Award to Bo Levi Mitchell. His command of the game and character and poise were on full display throughout the game.

Bo Levi Plaque

– That being said is there any way that the CFL could strike a deal with an automobile company to give a car or another sponsor for golf clubs or something? The plaque looks a little cheap.

– Not sure about giving Andy Fantuz the top Canadian award. What about a Calgary offensive lineman. They were the true difference in the game. Despite not being able to open up holes for Jon Cornish.

– How about the game plan of Dave Dickensen to use Cornish as a decoy throughout the game? That took some stones to essentially sit a player that had he been healthy would have been the Most Outstanding Player, again.

– Talk about kicking a guy when he’s down. The Tweet issued by the Toronto Argonauts, who didn’t make the play-offs, towards their arch rival’s from Hamilton was on the classless side if you ask me. Heck I didn’t know that the Argos had any employees left after making cuts in the communications, promotions and game day staff this season. Heck the Argos have three twitter followers for every one of their fans that actually attends their games.

Too Soon

– Speaking of attendance 52,056 was the official number to take in Sunday’s game in Vancouver.

– Among those 52K was members of the Seattle Seahawks. Thought it was a classy gesture to see quarterback Russell Wilson shaking the hand of David Braley.

– Seconds after the final gun sounded and the trophy was presented the speculation was on regarding the future of winning coach John Hunagel. Reports earlier indicated that he would leave the sideline and hand the reigns of the team over to Dave Dickensen. However, he was quick to point out that he will be back next year. So much for that inside scoop!

– AND when it comes to the cup I think that I can stop my annual call to Kelly Bates. Annually I message Bates on the anniversary of him breaking the Grey Cup. I see that the Stamps broke it again this year. So Kelly you are officially off the hook! lol.

– Having said all this. Grey Cup 102 was a good game, the right team won and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the two teams back in the not too distant future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *