I would like to add my two cents' worth.
I know a lot has been made about the "13th man" (i.e. too many men) costing the Riders the cup. Technically, it was the play that sealed the deal for the Riders and Als in regulation time. However, that is not the reason the Riders lost the GC this time around.
The Riders came to play, no doubt about that. Their fine bunch of Canadian receicers and Darian Durant were working on all cylinders, especially in the first half. However, while they had the Als on the ropes in the first half, they failed to seal the deal. A 14-point lead against a 15-3 team (could have been 16-2!) is simply not enough. Several first half Rider drives ended in field goals when touchdowns would have been better. Also, the Als' D came up big when they had to to keep the score from getting out of hand.
In the 2nd half, the Als hit their stride much better. Mind you, the Als were still struggling with stupid penalties and the league's leading scorer having a horrible day at the office, but the Als O started clicking, and the Riders couldn't answer. The fact is that the Als clawed their way back bit by bit to get within a few points. THERE, I humbly submit, was the turning point. The last play, while very embarrassing, meant that the game was lost in regulation time. I thought we were heading into overtime when either the Riders or the Als could have won. In the second half, it was a toss-up who would come out victorious.
One thing for sure - the Riders are a great football team, but the Als, at least this year, were better, and it was their year. Next year - who knows? I hope that the Argos and the Ticats get their act together to make it an even more competitive league. I love the NCAA, the NFL, but I think my heart remains with the CFL.