Monday, November 28, 2005

Just another day in the CFL

Colby Cosh on yesterday's Grey Cup game:

Edmonton Eskimos 38, Montreal Alouettes 35 (OT). Let me be the first to say it: the question is not whether this was the greatest Grey Cup game ever--the question is whether it was the greatest football game ever, period.

Well, I went to the game and I disagree slightly. The first half was a little dull, as neither team could move the ball consistently. The second half and the overtime made the game one of the top five Grey Cups of all time.

As long as we talking about opinions, I would say that this game compares to the Grey Cups in 1976, 1989, 1994 and 1996 for excitement. I think, though, that the 2005 Grey Cup is particularly special to Colby because his beloved Eskimos won the game. (For a similar reason, the 1994 Grey Cup, which the B.C. Lions won by the margin of a late Passaglia field goal,remains my favourite Grey Cup of the two games that I have seen in person.)

I'd certainly agree, though, that a neutral observer might see the 2005 Grey Cup as the best ever. My mother, who was there with me, could hardly talk at the end of the game because she was so excited.

Colby, though, had the advantage of seeing the game on TV. I was on the other side of the field from the two moments that he cites in the post. I didn't have the benefit of colour commentators explaining why A.J. Gass' offside penalty in overtime was so brilliantly timed, for example.

Anthony Calvillo's attempt to throw two forward passes in the same overtime play,only to have the second one dropped in the end zone was just bizarre to watch. It was something I had never seen before, and I have to wonder if the "no two forward passes in the same play" rule is one of those obscure rules that no one ever thinks about. Would the ball have been ruled dead if Calvillo had run for a touchdown instead?

At any rate, Colby is right to write that any Grey Cup game that can make my mother almost pass out from being over-excited, is a great one.

One last note. Did Colby notice the loud boos when Paul Martin came in to do the coin toss? They were certainly the loudest boos that I heard during the game, but the jeers may not have come across as that loud during the CBC telecast.