Revised Expectations

Many experts were predicting a TiCats appearance in the 100th Grey Cup. Many fans bought into it which was extra tantalizing since the big game is being played just down the QEW. I saw comparisons of the Lancaster-McManus-Flutie combination with Cortez-Burris-Fantuz. We had assembled the best receiving corps and an old fashioned gun-slinger in a pass first league. There were some questions, but which contending team doesn't have any?

Of course, our high hopes have crashed before in the Caretaker era (Taafe-Maas-Lumsden-Printers) so we all should have known better. The four game losing streak was more frustrating than disappointing as every game we led in each fourth quarter only to lose by a single score, with an undropped challenge flag being a factor in two of them.

The loss in Skydome was particularly troubling. It put the team in a must-put-a-winning-streak-together scenario. The big win against Edmonton seemed like the start of it. Last week I allowed myself to actually expect not just a win in Winnipeg, but a convincing one. As we know the exact opposite happened.

So now at this point in the season, in order to make the playoffs, the TiCats have to go on a phenomenal win-streak while the Eskimos and/or Riders stagger down the stretch since they currently hold the last East Division playoff spot in the dreaded cross-over format. The good news is this is the CFL - by the end of next month we could be hosting the EDF. The bad news is this is highly unlikely. Such events require a drop of good luck, and when was the last time we saw that fall out of the Heavens?

What is a beleaguered fan to do with his high hopes? I'll attend the games (might as well since I paid for them already) but with no expectations - none. The TiCats can get blown out of each remaining home game and that's fine. They can win them all and make the playoffs too...and that's fine. Because this emotional rollercoaster has been so long and I've learned after the highs come lows, the safe plan is to not expect anything unless some minor miracle happens and the black and gold do get into the Grey Cup game.

Thankfully (in a bizarre fashion) we get a respite next year. Due to civic incompetence there won't be a normal home-game schedule. There may be a couple games at Skydome, most will probably be at Western U, which although a financial hit for Bob gives the fanbase a time-out. Some time to lick our wounds, catch our breath, and hopefully return for another chapter of TiCats football this time in a new stadium. Hopefully the furlough brings a renewal that gets caught up in the freshness of new sightlines, new seating, amenities, new promise and just maybe fulfillment.

Basically, I've written this year off. My enjoyment of the remaining games will be the old stadium, the memories, the league itself, and an opportunity to turn off the rest of the world for a few hours. If nothing else this year's TiCats have been a distraction.

Oskie Wee Wee,

Very well said, Ock.

I hope to go down to London for a game next season if they do in fact play there. I went to Western, so it would be doubly enjoyable... watch the Ticats, tour the campus, head to the Ceeps for a beer.

Don't write the season off just yet.

I've always rooted for the underdog, I guess I'm a Rocky fan too, but we have to take the rest of this season, one weekend at a time. I didn't say one game at a time because the rest of the teams will have a dramatic impact on our remaining season. In this league, as anyone knows, that in any night, in any game, anything can happen. I am not giving up all hope yet, but I'm not overly-optimistc either. We, as loyal fans, have to hope against all hope, (that's all we have right now), until the hourglass runs dry, and then, and only then, turn our attention to next year.

Now, let's start with Montreal on Friday, eh?

Oh, no Steve, you're a Western grad? I try really hard to like you. Just like my brother-in-law who did his undergrad at Western, he's a lawyer too (kidding...kinda). I went to Fanshawe for a year while playing hockey in London. Our running joke was the Western girls intended on marrying a Western grad but didn't mind getting some wildness out of their system with us college guys first. 8) 8) Where did you go to law school?

Longtimefan, by saying I've written the season off I mean that I've extinguished my expectations. Sorry, I should have made that clear. Believe me I'll be thrilled if they even make the playoffs let alone advance. My point is coming into this season I expected more than this...I still have hope but it's now under tight guard.

Ottawa U. But I still have more friends from Western, and more attachment to the school. Liked both cities though... good places to live.

Fanshawe?.. you must have spent time at the OxBox. I did too once in a while, but more at the Ceeps... it was crawling home distance.

I feel the same way... always hoping for the best for (and from) the Ticats, but disappointed after higher expectations this season. I hope we'll make the playoffs; I don't think it's likely.

I hate the ARGOS so much that I am routing for the ALS now!

Here's a take on our situation by Rachel Grey in today's Globe and Mail:

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My b-i-l did his law degree at Queens and feels the same way about UWO. When the two schools compete he cheers for the Mustangs.

Oxbox...don't recall. I was there in London in '87. I had good fake id but one place it didn't work was Fanshawe's Thursday night pub. However, I did stagger home from the Friday afternoon pub more times than I'd like to admit.

I was ready to give up, but woke up this morning feeling excited for tonights game.

The reality is that there is a potential of 12 points left to pick up and the TC are 2 points behind Edmonton that has a hard time putting on score up a game and 4 behind Toronto short Ray for probably close to a month. They just need to start playing as a team and winning their home games.

We can't keep losing and think that the other teams will keep losing in the east to keep us in the running. I think that one
more lose by us will make it very difficult to recover, period. :thdn: :thdn: :thdn:

Although there's still a chance, 8&10 might get us in, the reality is this team is a failure. Top - Down. There's still a chance a playoff birth could spring new life, new vitality, new execution, but forgive me if I don't hold my breath. There's a better chance this team allows a cross-over. So it's over, kiss the old stadium goodbye, and appreciate the fact we have a CFL team. There's always next decade.