The Toronto Argonauts will play in the 100th Grey Cup game in their own building.
In fact, because two road teams won the Eastern and Western Conference finals, the 100th Grey Cup game will get a home team.
It will be Toronto and Calgary in the 2012 Canadian Football League championship game this coming Sunday evening.
This past Sunday, in front of 50,000 in Montreal, the Argos beat the Alouettes 27-20 in a game of mistakes and turnovers. In fact, Montreal could have tied it late but Brian Bratton dropped a perfect pass from Anthony Calvillo that hit him right in his chest – in fact it hit the breast plate of his shoulder pads, bounced into the air and fell to the ground.
Meanwhile, Sunday night in from of 40,000 in Vancouver, Calgary started quickly, quarterback Kevin Glenn threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns and the Stampeders held on to beat the B.C. Lions 34-29.
Neither game went according to form. B.C, was favored by six while Montreal was favored by 5 ½, but apparently, the Lions aren’t as good as we thought and the Alouettes’ run is just about over.
“That’s a great team and a great defence,” Kevin Glenn said of the Lions “I mean, they’re good and they show it. For us to get a win against them in this house is big for us. Big. But the biggest one is next week.”
Glenn, one of the game’s most inconsistent quarterbacks played perhaps his finest game as a professional. The product of Detroit, went 15-for-24 for 303 yards and touchdown passes to Marquay McDaniel (68-yard pass-and-run play on the game’s second play), Maurice Price (29 yards on a broken play) and Romby Bryant (a 57-yard beauty). He beat the defending Grey Cup champs in from of 43,216 of their own fans and now he’ll get to play in the game that eluded him in 2007.
That was the year he led the Bombers to the Grey Cup against Saskatchewan, but broke his arm in the Eastern final and had to miss the Grey Cup while Ryan Dinwiddie started and lost.
“You can’t say enough about what we did today,” Stamps safety Eric Fraser told the Calgary Herald. “The offence was big, too; the offence had big touchdowns. But to hold those guys to (five) field goals until the last minute of the game? You know what? That says a lot about the group of guys we have here. It’s just unbelievable.”
In the East, the Argos simply made fewer mistakes than the Alouettes.
“Look at how quiet it is. It’s a sick feeling,” Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo told Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette. “You work so hard, play 19 games, put yourself in position to host the East final and come up short. It’s a sick feeling.
“I feel bad for everybody in this locker. We all fought so hard to get that first-round bye and wasted a great opportunity. It’s a tough feeling.”
It’s very likely that the brilliant Calvillo played the final game of his 19-year CFL career on Sunday. He was good on Sunday, but not great, and as he did all season, he looked old: A 40-year-old hanging on to a boys game.
Trouble is, his backup, Adrian McPherson isn’t very good and without Calvillo, Montreal has a very shaky future. Winnipeg a team that was 6-12, beat the Alouettes twice this season. That’s not good.
Calvillo completed 20-of-34 passes for 303 yards, no touchdowns and two back-breaking interceptions. Calvillo is a man who has 29 career post-season touchdowns, but he has none against the Argos.
“I’m not thinking about the future. I’m more sick and disappointed in myself,” Calvillo told the Gazette. “Right now, I just feel like crap, mentally disappointed. You’re expected to go out and make plays, as a leader. I did, but didn’t do enough and hurt the team by throwing those interceptions. You have the ball in your hand, you have to make plays — and I just didn’t make enough.”
In a nutshell, he was horrible, but he could have saved the day if Bratton had caught a pass that hit him in the wrong place – his chest.
On the other side of the football, Argos quarterback Ricky Ray went 28-for-37 for 399 yards, one TD and no INTs while runningback Chad Kackert carried 13 times for 139 yards and a touchdown.
On this Sunday afternoon, Toronto was better and that long, ugly 9-9 CFL season was meaningless. The Argos will go to the Grey Cup and we might just have witnessed a legend’s final game.