Anyone who attended the showdown between the Calgary Stampeders and the B.C. Lions at B.C. Place did not leave home disappointed. The CFL truly offers the best entertainment value for CFL as a sporting event and is truly the greatest sporting organization in the world!
Those who were able to attend game witnessed Paul McCallum set a new CFL record for consecutive field goals in a season. The old record held by Dave Ridgeway was set at 28 back in '93. Paul came close last year when he reached 24. This year he would not be denied his moment in the sun. In fact he has been basking in the sun all season at the ripe old age of 41.
Tonight Paul tied Ridgeway's record at 28 by kicking a 47 yarder. No small feat [no pun intended] considering his age, his kicking range and the distance he had to kick the field goal. Paul wasn't finished. He went on to kick a 46 yarder and establish a new Canadian football record at 29! Later in the game he would add to this record by making it 30 consecutive field goals. But Paul still wasn't finished. With only 02 seconds left on the clock and the Lions down 31-30 Paul was called upon to kick one of his longest field goals: 53 yards! [His best was a 62 yarder but even he would admit that was rare for him]. With only two seconds left on the clock the game was on the line. 1st place was on the line. A chance to wipe out an earlier missed field goal that culminated in a 122 yard run back by Calgary to take the lead and what appeared like a victory was on the line. In fact the chance of finishing 1st by the end of the season may have even been on the line since Calgary would have gone up by two whole games. Only a handful of fans had left the stadium thinking Calgary would not be denied victory tonight. Everyone in our section was holding their breath.
The ball was snapped, Jackson set the ball, McCallum kicked it. And then there was silence.....silence that seemed to last forever. It was surreal waiting for the ball to either fall short, go wide, hit the uprights or......... drop through the uprights. And THAT IT DID. The ball just cleared the cross bar with a Calgary returner standing no more than arms length from the goal's anchoring post. Everyone looked for red nylon on the field but there was none! The Lions won their 7th straight game against a team that just would not lie down. The entire team cleared the bench in jubilation. Even Calgary players were congratulating Paul McCallum. Such is the greatest league in the sporting world. The Lions are in top spot at least for this week no matter what Edmonton does against Saskatchewan on Monday. Well done Paul McCallum. Well done B.C. Lions!