The 106th Grey Cup was awarded on Sunday as the Calgary Stampeders were crowned champions at the historic Commonwealth Stadium on a cold winter’s night in the city of Edmonton. The Stampeders were led by quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who was able to lead his team over the hump as they won their first Grey Cup since 2014, after losing the previous two previous Grey Cups. The Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks, who got the better of the Stamps in 2016.
There were many questions coming into this game, specifically ones revolving around the Stampeders, as the Stamps had lost the previous two Grey Cups after being the favourites in both games. Many doubted Bo Levi Mitchell, who has had considerable success in the regular season and holds the best regular season record as a starting quarterback in CFL history but has not had this success translate into the post-season. However, those doubts were quickly forgotten as the Stamps scored the opening touchdown of the game on a beautifully orchestrated screen pass that saw running back, Don Jackson, take the pass 21 yards to the house for a touchdown. The Stamps did not look back from the there as they continued to force the ball down the field.
In the end, this game really came down to turnovers. Any coach, player, manager, or anyone who knows anything about football will tell you that if you are able to win the turnover battle, you are more than likely going to win the game. That is exactly what the Stamps did, as they forced Trevor Harris, Quarterback for the Redblacks, to make many ill-advised throws that led to 3 interceptions, which tarnished any hopes the Redblacks had of winning this game. The final turnover numbers conveyed this reality as the Stamps took the ball away from the Redblacks six times, and only gave the ball away twice.
Aside from the game itself, there were many reports that cited major complaints from the players about the quality of the field in Edmonton as many players were not able to get their footing during the game. You could see it during the telecast as players were forced to change their shoes in an effort to combat the less than favourable field conditions. CFL on TSN analyst Milt Stegall said after the game, “I feel bad for the fans who watched this game because they definitely did not get their money’s worth.” The field conditions were definitely an issue, but both teams had to play in the conditions and the Stamps were the team that did a better job of making the necessary adjustments to win the game.
Sebastian Farkas is a third year Politics student and Sports and Wellness Editor of The Athenaeum