other Argo article:
Despite a disappointing loss in the East Championship to end the 2005 season, all is well and looking promising in Argoland. If 2005 was any indication of where this team is heading both on the field and off the field, 2006 should be remarkable.
It has been synonymous with championship clubs that they typically experience one of two things when coming off a season in which they reigned supreme: They either go onto repeat as champions or they slowly, or in certain cases rapidly, make a steady decline down the success ladder until they finally reach those inevitable words that organizations and fans alike dread hearing - â€œrebuilding modeâ€?.
The Argonauts however, do not qualify for either of those categories. Sure, they fell just short of engraving their name on Earl Greyâ€™s mug for the second consecutive year, however, pardon the 33-17 loss at the hands of the rival Montreal Alouettes, one could argue that the 2005 season both on the field and off was more successful than 2004 and one could also argue that the 2006 season is almost assured to supersede 2005.
The Argonauts enjoyed their most successful regular season since the days of Doug Flutie, Robert Drummond and Paul Massotti; posting an 11-7 record and finishing atop the East Division for the first time since 1997.
The year 1997 also marked the last time that three Argonaut receivers had recorded over 1000 yards in one season, until now. Receivers Arland Bruce III, Tony Miles and Robert Baker> all recorded 1000-yard seasons together and all of them recorded career highs in yards, receptions and touchdowns.
Defensively, the Argonauts led the league in numerous categories and fielded one of the toughest secondaryâ€™s in the league. Guided by their leader Mike Oâ€™Shea, the linebackers all had career years. Kevin Eiben and Michael Fletcher both shattered career numbers and received Player of the Year nominations, while Chuck Winters proved that the defence would not skip a beat when veteran LB Antonious Bonner went down with a season ending knee injury.
And then there is Damon Allen. The ageless wonder remarkably put up his best numbers in 21 years as a CFL quarterback. Last yearâ€™s MVP honour in the Grey Cup proved that Allen was a tremendous talent even after breaking his leg. However, 5,082 yards passing, 461 yards rushing and a total of 37 touchdowns (rushing and passing) proves that he is arguably the best player the Canadian Football League has to offer. If his stats were not enough, his hardware should convince any naysayer that watches Canadian football.
Along with being named the leagueâ€™s Outstanding Player, Allen also received Player of the Week and Month honours, an All-Star vote and was named the winner of the Rogers CFL Fansâ€™ Choice Award.
Off the field, the Argonauts experienced success not seen in over a decade. The organization averaged over 30,000 patrons on the year saw over 44,000 fans pack the Rogers Centre for the Scotiabank East Championship in November.
The Argonauts also had another precedent setting year in the community with the unveiling of the â€œStop The Violenceâ€? initiative. An addition to the Argonauts already successful community program â€œHuddle-Up Against Bullyingâ€? Program, â€œStop The Violenceâ€? is a community-wide response to the violence that has rocked the city of Toronto. The program saw heroes on the football field such as Chuck Winters, Michael Fletcher and Kenny Wheaton become heroes in the community by sharing their stories and encouraging youth to participate in community events rather than violence.
Although the season did not end as intended on the field, it surely did off the field with the announcement that the 2007 Grey Cup game and the 2007 Vanier Cup games will be held one after another on the same weekend at Rogers Centre. Sunday, November 25, 2005 was a monumental occasion as the 95th Grey Cup was awarded to Toronto for the first time since 1992.
The 2005 season was a tremendous one that unfortunately ended prematurely; however, if 2005 is any indication, 2006 should be a season of great promise!