Kavis Reed takes the blame

From Monday's Vancouver Sun.

An Argo-Cat fan

Too-many-men penalty on final play will forever haunt Roughriders

By Vicki Hall, Canwest News ServiceNovember 29, 2009 10:03 PMBe the first to post a comment
StoryPhotos ( 1 )

Saskatchewan Roughriders wide receiver Jason Armstead sits in the dressing room after losing to the Montreal Alouettes 28-27 in the 97th CFL Grey championship Sunday in Calgary.Photograph by: Fred Greenslade, ReutersCALGARY — With tears in his eyes, Kavis Reed stood before the cameras Sunday and accepted all responsibility for the Saskatchewan Roughriders losing the 97th Grey Cup on a penalty for too many men.

As special teams coordinator, Reed said he is man charged with counting the number of players on the field.

The buck stops with the coach.

"I've got to shoulder the blame for it," Reed said in the middle of a near-silent Saskatchewan dressing room. "This is all my fault. It's something I've got to live with for the rest of my life. It's something that we have to live with for the rest of our lives."

The painful memory of the too-many-men penalty is already etched on the collective conscience of an entire province. After all, the franchise is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The Riders only have three Grey Cups to their name.

On Sunday, Rider fans flirted with glory, only to have their hearts shattered.

With just five seconds left on the clock, and Saskatchewan clinging to a 27-25 lead, Montreal kicker Damon Duval attempted a field goal from 43 yards.

The ball sailed wide right.

On cue, the Saskatchewan bench erupted with screams, hugs and tears all around.

Then someone spotted the flags. Fluorescent orange scraps of fabric littered the carpet.

Some how, some way, 13 Saskatchewan Roughriders had lined up for the scrubbed field goal.

The 13th man, in the form of the green-clad masses in the stands, was supposed to provide the edge that pushed them over the top.

The 13th man ended up costing them a championship.

"The disappointment of this loss is going to last each and every one of us for as long as we're on this planet," said Saskatchewan head coach Ken Miller. "Everyone knows — and even in our locker room — that we should have won the football game."

But they didn't. The too-many-men penalty advanced Duval to the Saskatchewan 33.

This time, he split the uprights.

Game over. Montreal 28, Saskatchewan 27.

Let the second-guessing and finger-pointing begin.

"I still don't know what happened," said defensive end Stevie Baggs, rendered virtually speechless for perhaps the first time in his life. "My stomach is still turning.

"I thought we won the game. I was like, 'Oh my goodness. We won.' And then I see flags on the carpet, and I'm wondering what was going on.

"Until we see the film, we still don't know who that extra man was."

Reed refused to reveal the identity of the culprit.

"That's not important," Reed said. "The player's name is not important. What's important is that a mistake was made, and ultimately I think that I'm responsible for that mistake."

That didn't stop fans and media types from tossing blame around.

For proof, look no further than Saskatchewan kick returner Jason Armstead's page on Wikipedia.

"On November 29, 2009, Jason Armstead was responsible for a crucial penalty during the final play of the 2009 Grey Cup.," the page read late Sunday night. "There were too many men on the field, and ultimately put the Montreal Alouettes in field goal position.

"They kicked the field goal successfully, allowing them to win."

Reed said he did deploy the field-goal block team on the Duval miss. With no time left for the Alouettes to run another play, there was no need to have a returner in the end zone.

But Armstead, a six-year CFL veteran, scoffed at the mere suggestion he might be the one to blame.

"What kind of question is that?" Armstead said. "Come on, ask a smart question. Don't do that. Ask a smart question."

With that out of the way, Armstead said he harbours no resentment at the player responsible. "We're going home," he said. "We win together and we lose together. It's as simple as that. It's a family here We win together. We lose together.

"We don't point no fingers at nobody. We lost. But the best team didn't win."

That's no comfort to Reed, an all-star defensive back with the Edmonton Eskimos from 1995 to 2000.

"A mistake was made that essentially cost us a Grey Cup championship," he said. "I've got to replay that for the rest of my life."

Why was Armstead even back there?

There shouldn't have been anyone in the endzone on that kick with the extra guy being up on the line for the block. If Armstead did a count as he's supposed to and saw the extra man, he should have run out of the endzone real quick. (if he had enough time that is)

At any rate, that play aside, Avon Cobourne, Jamel Richardson and Anthony Calvillo are the three reasons Montreal won.

Their comeback wouldn't have been possible without the heroics those three performed. Duval barely escaped being the goat of the century (shanked punts and the "missed" field goal at the end) and should be buying those three guys a steak dinner........ or even better, 3 whole Black Angus cows, butchered and delivered.

I think the officiating was good, and on close calls, the instant replay worked wonderfully. Each team escaped with a missed interference call so that department was even.

Saskatchewan's defence just ran out of gas about 5 minutes too early and allowed too many crucial plays.

Awesome game!

My second favourite team didn't win but that's life. :slight_smile:


You summarized it perfectly. :thup:

Kavis Reed deserves a lot of props for manning up and shouldering the blame. I just hope Rider fans don’t dump manure on his lawn … or worse.

I agree, Kavis Reed took responsibility for the error without hesitation or waffling. I respect him for that.

I feel for the melon heads as this must be a painful experience. We had too few players on the field for the second last play of our season and they had too many. It's bizarre how this level of competition can fail to account for such basic procedures.

I agree with you. Good for Kavis. I've always had a lot of respect for him and this just shows me what a stand up guy he is. He is not the only one to blame here. I think the problem is that they really thought they had it in the bag and were pretty much already celebrating. In the excitement of it all these kinds of things happen. As Ock mentioned, it happened to us the other way. Much as I enjoyed the ending (sort of a la 1989 Grey Cup in reverse), I really feel for these guys. Has to suck to lose like that.

PS... If I were Kavis Reed's neighbour I'd probably be pretty worried right now. :wink:

The extra man on the field will follow all these players and coaches for years to come.
Everytime Sask lines up for a FG at a visiting team's field I am sure a leather lung will shout something out.

Kavis was a man and stood up for the mistake. But guess what as another post stated Armstead, or any other coach should be counting hemets at that point in the game!

The player ought to step forward to take the heat off Reed.
Ultimately the coach takes the blame, yes, but you're not a child and by late Nov. you should know exactly what to do and where to be on the field at such a crucial moment.

Maybe there is something in what deerhunter said here, zontar. :oops:

The field goal blocking team was supposed to on the field.

One of the usual players on field goal team
went out there when he wasn't supposed to.

Too bad, but I bet the players on that field goal blocking team
weren't familiar enough with the regular field goal team members

to tell that player that he shouldn't be on the field.

Mistake costs Riders a Grey Cup victory

By Murray McCormick, Regina Leader-Post

November 30, 2009

click here

Here is Kavis' explanation in his own words.

Kavis Reed, the Riders' special-teams co-ordinator, said it's up to him to make sure there are the proper number of players on the field.

"Mechanically I did the things correctly,'' said Reed.

"I tried to count as much as possible and it wasn't a in-the-heat-of-the-moment thing.

I asked people to verify the count and that mistake was made.

I can't put a player in that spot because

it's my responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen.''

Reed said the Riders were putting their field-goal block team on the field.

That meant some offensive players are substituted for the regular field-goal return team.

"I can't speak for the players if it was a heat-of-the-moment thing,'' said Reed.

"We're trying to make the decision to block it so he doesn't get a free pass at kicking it.''

Armstead was supposed to be there. There has to be someone there. When its a miss its still a live ball .

Just a question. . . to those who have suggested that Armstead, had he counted and seen that too many men were on the field, should have run off the field if he had time. . . wouldn't that have meant that the Riders would have been penalized for illegal substitution?

I had a feeling that the Als were going to, somehow, pull that one out. I thought they were the victims of a couple iffy calls -- that replayed catch, and the pass interference on the two point convert.

I thought that was an incredible game. You just can't script drama like that.

Like borehamgirl, I have a lot of respect for Kavis and this is an example of what a kind of a guy he is.

Here is another one.

When he was Defensive Co-ordinator here, we had a bye the 2nd last game of the season.

We won 3 games that year. There was a Cats on Cable T.V Show

at the End Zone Bar and Kavis was there on the Show.

I asked him why he wasn`t back home in Edmonton with his wife and young children.

He said he was here working an extra week on his game plan for the Ticats last game.

He said you may not understand but I really want to win it.


He also told me

He had planned to go into medicine after his short 4 year playing career.

Two all star awards as a D-back with the Edmonton Eskimos.

A coach asked him to help out at a training camp for 2 weeks.

He was hooked and decided to make coaching a career.

There should always be a place for a character guy like him.

Exactly! No one should bring Armstead into this at all. He was exactly where he needed to be and did the right thing on the miss.

For those who think he should not have been there.. did you just become a fan? Do you not understand CFL football? Sorry but it's pretty sad that people who call themselves football fans do not know that.

If he got off to the side of the field before the play was whistled in, no. If not, yes.

How about if he ran out the back of the endzone?

Zontar and zenstate nailed it. A missed fieldgoal becomes a punt and the rules for a punt come into effect. No yards, kicker can recover etc. You can't just let the ball lay in the endzone and you can't assume that if they did miss the ball would roll out of the endzone. You have to put a man back. I would look more at one of the players usually assigned to hold up players from the kicking team going down to cover the kick incase of a miss.

Not if the whistle had blown and the clock had started, but before, yes.