Dynasty Denied: Bombers drop second straight Grey Cup

HAMILTON — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers could not complete what would have been an era-defining championship run.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2023/11/19/dynasty-denied-bombers-drop-second-straight-grey-cup

Accolades to the Montreal Alouettes for playing well and winning the Grey Cup.


A very satisfying win for Montreal. Nice to see A Lemon Drop by one of my favorite players. That MACK was amazing.


Dynasty? I get the CFL needs to sell this but please stop. Winnipeg is a good team, that is all.

In the 1990s the Stamps went to the Cup FIVE of TEN times and won two. Dynasty? Yeah, no. Same thing in the 2010s. 5 of 10 times! Won two. No “dynasty”. Win 5 in a row and then you’ve got something. Not before.


I find the term “dynasty” to be annoying. Yes, Winnipeg has had a good team for the last 4 or 5 years - they won the CUP twice - none of this makes them or any other team a dynasty. This term was pushed by the media to create hype - stop it! These teams created enough hype on their own - and so did the Hamilton Grey Cup Committee for doing a standup job of promoting the teams and the game.


Completely different football landscape pre-SMS. You can’t compare teams that won 5 in a row back in the day to today.

Winnipeg has been the model of excellence in this league for the past 5 years. Four straight Cup appearances and 2 Cups and the division title to boot. I’d say dynasty, just like Calgary was prior to that.

And I don’t think the Bombers are done either. I think they come back leaner, meaner, and younger next year.


Prohibitive favourites the last 3 Cups. Won one in OT. Ahead by 9 in the 4th Qtr with a 3rd straight GC staring them in the face & couldn’t get it done. Ahead by 3 in the 4th with a minute left, Als 2nd & 18 and 63 yds to go & they blew it. I predicted a Bomber win with an asterisk attached - would the moment be too big for them? Dynasties are defined by championships & the Bombers, for all their domination, have been pretty ordinary in the big game.

I feel for all the Bomber fans - I really do. BUT - my $$$ were on the Als. Just, AGAIN. giving way too big a spread on a team that has a problem covering come GC time. Four years now the 11 win teams are champions. Congrats to the Als, Fajardo & Maas.


You don’t need to feel sorry for this Bomber fan. My previous favorite team (NFL) went to four Super Bowls (not consecutive) in the sixties and seventies, all four losses, but haven’t been back since. I’m not happy with the last two Grey Cups, but can you imagine how grateful I am for the two they won? Can you guess what the coach of that NFL team had in common with Mike O’Shea?


Congrats first to Les Allouette!
Congrats to Winnipeg Blue Bombers for showing everyone else how to build a team with a strong mix of fair priced local talent ,Players who want to be there ,not easy.Congrats.


I’m no math expert, but 4/4 is a heck of a lot better than 5/10.


Here’s hoping. I think it’s done for us for a bit. Which is better for the league. Been a fantastic run. Still can’t believe Fajardo and Maas won a Grey cup together.


I don’t necessarily agree with you. Look, since the CAP was agreed upon in 2006, the Als 2006-2010, SK 2007-2010, Ott 2015-2018 all have had 3 or 4 appearances over a 4-5 year stretch. The past 9 years have been dominated, first by Calgary with 3 straight appearances in that stretch & now Winnipeg. People who think that 1 year deals & the CAP have made it harder aren’t looking at the historical record. It has been an almost a continuous stream of clubs taking turns making multiple GC appearances over a 4-5 year run. This is the norm.

The Bombers have to make changes. They have 8 players who are 32, soon to be 33, or older - all starters. They have the highest payroll in the league. The good news is by dropping some of them, there will be money to get fresh blood. Unlike bygone years, you couldn’t go out & restock with free agents. You had to rely primarily on scouting them. For those who say it is impossible to do that in this new CAP era, what are you looking at? The Bombers & Stamps have done just that.

The FA era has allowed teams to make long runs. The Bombers are the poster boys for this. How many of their core players were brought in by the club? Collaros (via Argos), Jefferson (via Riders), Bighill (via BC), Demski (via Riders), Kolinowski (Argos), Neufeld (Riders), Hardrick (Riders), Bryant (Stamps).

The Bombers may not be done yet. :smiley: Or BC & the Argos may be the next team to make a 3 or 4 year run.

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I think the Bombers being “that team” is done. Power is switching to BC, Toronto and Montreal.

I am intrigued to see what Winnipeg does this off-season. Need to get younger. I still think they will be competitive (I am guessing 2 seed in the west)
Will be a fun time. Can’t wait for next year! :grin:

I agree that it is unknown how the Bombers will do going forward, but we will see within the next few months. Because they are the #1 sought after player destination with the #1 team culture I expect they will do quite well as has been the case of late.

The Bombers have created a dynasty and are in the position they are in because of great management and team culture. This is in spite of the challenges of free agency, not because of it as you maintain. It’s a testament to the Bombers organization from top to bottom that players such as Lawler will play for less to be there and players such as Bighill and Jefferson moved their families and now make their permanent home there.

But you can’t compare today to the past and specifically the 80’s Eskimos or the Bud Grant Bombers, two previous dynasties. All those teams had to do was identify talent, which they did well just like today’s Bombers.

The biggest plus for them was not having to face a salary cap. If the Bombers had that luxury they would outspend other teams to obtain the best players and in their current position of the most profitable team in the league they could easily do so.

They would also not have lost anyone to free agency and would have both Sayles and the Stove (unfortunately injured) and many others. Their best ever addition, Zach Collaros, came via a wily and brilliant trade, not via free agency.

They also wouldn’t have lost anyone to the NFL. Most notably Alford and Nichols would currently be forming what would likely be the best pass coverage duo in CFL history.

It is much harder now to win or to become a dynasty. Comparing today’s Bombers to the dynasties of the past is a fool’s game and tells us nothing. No comparison is oussubke. Past teams had 3 major advantages, the biggest one being no salary cap.

Going to 4 Grey Cups (and counting) in a row is unprecedented in the salary cap era in any sport and in fact only one CFL team aside from today’s dynastic Bombers has ever done so. Ask the “greatest team of all time” Argos how tough it is to even get to 2 Grey Cups in a row. Despite their razor thin loss yesterday you are in fact witnessing a historical dynasty. I doubt that any team will go to 4 Grey Cups in a row in the next 50 years if ever again in a salary cap era. I’m not sure you appreciate how difficult and next to impossible that is. What if it is 5 or 6 in a row? I also don’t buy the argument that one play (namely stopping that 3rd and 5 yesterday) would turn the Bombers into a dynasty because they would have won 3 of 4 instead of 2 of 4. Dynasties are made over time and not defined by one play.

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I think the first order of business for Winnipeg is getting younger at O-line and linebacker. Collaros shouldered a lot of the blame, but to me that line has to do better in pass pro. In the second half, we were getting significant pressure even when only rushing three or four players.

Then linebacker. Bighill is a first-ballot Hall of Famer but he was banged up and got beaten badly in pass coverage, particularly on that Spieker TD.

I don’t think the Bombers need some massive overhaul. Just careful, targeted upgrades and an injection of youth.


Definitely will need some pieces, largely due to age and wear and tear. Fortunately Winnipeg is the #1 preferred destination among players. I read a comment either by you or another Als fan about how it would be nice after last year for some players to now want to come to Montreal and I think you will find that satisfyimg, but also may run into the winner’s salary cap curse a bit with everyone wanting raises. I don’t think you will need players to take home town discounts just yet but if you continue to win you will.

Winnipeg needs some new blood on the O line. Bryant might retire. They also need interior D line help. Never recovered from losing Sayles and the Stove to free agancy or at least didn’t adequately replace them. A new punter couldn’t hurt either but you guys are probably saying the same thing after yesterday.

Winnipeg’s strengths include the best set of receivers and best running back in the game. Also the best DB of this generation (Nichols). Also awesome is near rookie Holm. Expendable is never should have been an all star Houston who true to form picked off a pass yesterday, but got beat for at least 3 big plays, the last two of which cost the Bombers the game. The Als coaches are no different than any other coaches in the league in that they would never throw to Nichols with the game on the line or generally ever.

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Agreed. That guy is a true shutdown DB. Not flashy, just all business. Probably gets fewer picks because offences target him so rarely.

I don’t think my Als have a guy of that coverage caliber in their secondary – Ruffin would be the closest – but IMO we have better talent across the board in the back 5. As in there is no weak spot with Ento, Sutton, Dequoy, Evans, and Ruffin.

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These teams may have the two best secondaries in the league and are pretty close.

But Nichols is a generational talent. There was a great article about that recently posted by someone but I can’t find it off hand.

Interceptions and tackles are irrelevant stats when the other team is afraid to throw the ball to whomever you are covering. That is Nichols. I counted one short pass completed against Nichols yesterday which is slightly above average. The coaches around the league know who the best is and that is why he isn’t thrown to. You can’t get a higher compliment as a DB nor is there better evidence as to who is the best. I have personally only seen one or maybe two of his caliber in 50 plus years of watching the CFL. Montreal picked on Houston at the end of the game as they should have and were successful. Had they been foolish enough to try Nichols the Cup would be in Winnipeg today.

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You’ve missed one.

Montreal’s quick march after you went up 10-0 in the first quarter, Fajardo hit Austin Mack over the middle for 31 yards. It was against Nichols.

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Aah yes. Vaguely remember that. Wasn’t that the one where there was obvious OPI against Nichols? I just thought that to myself and let it be at the time. Nichols was complaining and rightfully so if we are thinking of the same play. I would have to see it again to be sure.