The Redemption Tour

Frank Stanisci
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@candidfranklive

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


TORONTO. - The 107th Grey Cup featured the two longest suffering teams and fans of the Canadian Football League and was the so called “Revenge Tour” for Zack Collaros. The Hamilton Tigercats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers have not won the Championship twenty and twenty nine years respectively.

Sunday night found the ‘W’ showered with champagne and glory. The ‘Hammer’ suffering will continue. Over the past few years the Bombers have fallen short, in different ways so this 32-12 victory was ‘sweet revenge’ for the whole Winnipeg organization.

The Ticats could not counter the Bombers smothering defense. Bombers forced 3 fumbles, 2 interceptions and 3 turnovers on downs. The Ticats did force 1 turnover on downs, clearly not near enough, losing the take-away battle 8 to 1. The Bomber defense had their revenge after losing both games this season against the Ticats and Zane Evans.

The offenses were fairly even except for the Bombers’ running back Andrew Harris angry approach to his game as he admitted in the post-game. Harris in the post-game noted all the negative press, internet and others motivated him. Harris taking the MVP, Top Canadian awards was a first for a Canadian. Harris’ 134 yards rushing also broke the CFL record for a Canadian. In the post-game interview Harris expressed where his detractors could put their negative commentary. Revenge was sweet and satisfying for Star of the 107th Grey Cup.

In the locker room led by the stogie and liquor swilling and soon to be clean shaven Coach Mike O’Shea the celebration went on for hours. All week Coach Paul LaPolice was hounded by the constant reminder of the 13th man loss in the 97th Grey Cup in 2009 as Saskatchewan Offensive Coordinator by the Media. His revenge for that loss complete, possibly burying the 13th Man talk forever.

The Ticats offense lost Brandon Banks before half-time and was rushed to the hospital on a stretcher. Concern for him has not been defined, the injury is either a serious hamstring or an aggravation of a season long shoulder injury. The Ticat offense could not mount an attack without “Speedy B”. In the 2014 102nd Grey Cup Banks and and the Ticats team were denied his kick return TD on a sketchy official’s call. The Calgary Stampeders went on to win the cherished mug. Banks’ revenge for that call was denied here in 2019.

Zack’s injury history since 2015 is well documented. Hamilton let him go to Saskatchewan in part concerned with his being prone to injury. In Saskatchewan he led the team to a winning record. In the first game the 2019 season Zack was the victim of head shot by Simoni Lawrence of the Ticats in Hamilton. While he recovered for the majority of the season Cody Fajardo given the chance excelled in Saskatchewan making Callaros expendable. Available, Toronto traded for Zack but Collaros never played a down for the Argos instead was traded to Winnipeg.

All Zack did since his trade to Winnipeg was beat the defending Champ Stampeders in the last regular season game, then again in the West Semi in Calgary the team that beat him in the 2014 Grey Cup, revenge, check.

In the West Final against Saskatchewan Zack did enough to win again punching their ticket to the 2019 107th Grey Cup against the team that gave up on him and traded him, revenge, and check.

In the Grey Cup Zack beat the team that gave up on him in 2015, injured him in the opening game of 2019 32-12, Zack Collaros “Revenge Tour” complete.