This one is for Papazoola and Wumper
Why is it that Ottawa, coming in from the cold can generate 3 Grey Cup appearances in 4 years, coming in cold turkey, basically an expansion team
while the storied Winnipeg franchise can barely put in a peek at the Grey Cup, mostly as eastern rubbish the last 29 years?
The excuse makers will invoke the “Eastern Privilege” excuse as their lead argument but I think eastern beast is only about 20% of the total answer.
Here’s the rest:
Far more professional approach to football - can’t even begin to compare Jeff Hunt and Marcel Desjardins to mopes and greens like Wad Miller & Kyle Walters. The Ottawa group is long on business experience and Desjardins is a far more calculated and knowledgeable GM than most people around here give him credit for. Funny, we could have easily landed this guy but instead chose corner boys like Lyle Bauer, Mike Kelly & Brendan Taman.
Football is their only business - in Wpg. they’re going with pro soccer, stadium rentals, rock concerts and misc. car deal closer shows. Football is football in the nation’s capital.
Upgraded coaching - I joke about Porky Campbell all the time, not the most verbal of CFL coaches but darn dependable, eerily conservative and knows what he’s working with talent-wise. Our guy is a bit of a rounder - far too loyal to obvious incompetence (Richie Hall, Addison Richards, Adario Bowman, Samuel Hurl, Fath Ekakitie, etc.) Loyal or good - choose one, you can’t be both
Organizational direction - hard to quantify but Ottawa has it more than we do
Drafting - we’re simply not that good. Ottawa doesn’t have magic but they’re better
Signing and identifying U.S./NFL talent - Ottawa has better scouting and southern contacts. We’re still in Joe Mack mode - just without Coffee Joe himself.
Now I don’t discount being an eastern beast gives slight advantage. Ottawa just has to work to be a legit 8-9-1, 9-9 or 10-8 team to secure a homefield eastern final. But thats part of the plan. No panic when they get to 5 or 6 losses. They know the deal. They plan it out. Would we have another GC appearance (or 2) if we were still eastern? You bet. But employing mopes like Matt Nichols, an itinerant hobo CFL QB as your starter doesn’t guarantee anything. Nor does putting all your chips in coaches like Richie Hall and key position players like Samuel Hurl.
One thing to winnipeg’s advantage is there’s a more relaxed and laid back attitude amongst players in Wpg cuz there’s no threat of getting axed due to excessive head coaching loyalty. That doesn’t happen in Ottawa but it sure impedes success here!