2019 107th Grey Cup Preview

Frank Stanisci
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@candidfranklive

Monday, November 18, 2019


Redemption Bowl

The 107th Grey Cup in 2019 will be played in Calgary on the last Sunday in November, at the home of the most dominant team in recent CFL history. The irony is the least dominant teams in recent, maybe not so recent memory will be playing for the Canadian Football League Championship.

The Hamilton Tigercats have not won since 1999, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers not since 1990. In other words not this century for either. One of these teams and their fan bases will finally taste victory after so many disappointments.

The 102nd Grey Cup featured a loss that many, Ticat fans and players would like to forget. Central to the disappointment was Brandon Banks, whose kick return TD was called back on inconsequential contact. Banks fell into a deep spiral of hurt that affected him all of the following 2015 season. It degenerated so badly for Banks he accepted a pay cut. Banks showed a strength of will to become one of the most magical players since and in the past 4 years.

Both teams will be riding the arms of replacements for their season opening starters. Hamilton’s Dane Evans came in for Jeremiah Masoli and has been solid and routinely has shown the composure throughout the 2019 Season as a winner.

Evans’ counterpart played only part of the opening game with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, ironically in Hamilton on opening day where Collaros was concussed by Simoni Lawrence. While sitting out his injury in Sask Collaros lost his starting job to Cody Fajardo.

Zack was traded to the Toronto Argonauts never playing for the Double Blue. Argos new GM Pinball Clemons quickly traded Collaros to the Bombers where an injured Chris Streveller created an opening under centre. Collaros has been a reflection of his MOP standard he set in 2014 before his injury parade began.

While receiving is a strength of the Ticats the Bombers running game is a Peg strength. The record-breaking running back Andrew Harris is complimented by QB Chris Streveller’s quick strong legs and a short pass and run gamer Nik Demski who can run out of the backfield as well.

The Coaches Ticat Orlondo Steinauer and Bomber Mike O’Shea for the 107th Grey Cup know each other well and were on the 2012 100th Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts Champion. They have won as players but now get to do it as Head Coaches on their first visit to the big game as Head Coaches.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are 10 and 14 in Grey Cups and are tied with the Edmonton Eskimos with their 25th Grey Cup appearance. Hamilton is 8 and 12 and in their 21st Grey Cup. Hamilton and Winnipeg have met 8 times in the Grey Cup with Big Blue 6 wins to 2 for the Black and Gold.

The Tigercats have dominated all year while the Blue Bombers have had missteps but with a new arm comes, new hope. The Eastern Champs are the favourites this year, not the west for a change. Being the favourite is no guarantee. No Grey Cup is predictable, no lead or great season is safe.

The 2019 107th Grey Cup can be billed as the redemption bowl for the teams as a whole, the organizations and many of the players on both sidelines. Years past losses, failed attempts to get to this point have stung fans and players alike.

For one team the thirst will be quenched finally in this Century, for the other not this year once again, being so close yet so far.