Seeing as most of my recent posts can be summed up by the phrase “WAAAA!! WHINE!! WAA, WAA, WAA!!,? and seeing as they are increasingly un-gridiron related, I thought I’d try to start a more topical thread, so here goes:
What do you consider to be the most crushing Ticat loss you ever experienced? Not necessarily in terms of how it affected the standings or the season, but for how it effected you personally. The 1989 Grey Cup comes to mind of course, as does the 1983 (?) Al McColeman game, but here are two others that I particularly recall:
1980 Grey Cup - As a 10-year-old kid, I attended the Eastern Final in this year, where I witnessed the Cats beat Montreal at Ivor Wynne to clinch their first Cup appearance since 1972. I still have the pictures (taken on my Kodak Instamatic with magnesium flash cube) of Leroy Paul, David Shaw and Obie Graves conversing on the sidelines, not 20 feet away from me! Incidentally, the crowd introduced me to some phrases that day that by comparison made “argos $uck!? sound like something you’d hear in church. Anyhow, by the time next Sunday rolled around, I was convinced that the penny-ante players on Edmonton, like Tom Wilkinson and some guy named Warren Moon, were no match for the superior talents of the Cats. Alas, Hamilton lost 48-10, the game was out of reach in the 1st quarter, and it would’ve been 48-3 had the Eskimos not put in second-stringers for the last quarter. Very taxing on the psyche of a child.
1993 Eastern Final – The previous year, the Damon Allen/Don McPherson-led Cats pulled out that dramatic semi-final win over Ottawa, only to get their butts kicked in Winnipeg the next week, as Bomber “fans? pelted them with giant chunks of ice (remember DB Corus Irwin (sp?) running up into the stands after them?). The next year, Allen was gone, McPherson flopped, the team was bankrupt, and they only made the playoffs cuz there was no cross-over rule (they went 6-12 or something). Yet, in the semi-final, they dominated Ottawa, largely because Todd Dillon and Dave Dinall had the game of their lives. This was also the year that Matt Dunigan in Winnipeg blew an Achilles tendon and was replaced by the controversial Sammy “son-in-law? Garza, rendering the Bombers ripe for the picking. I was already pumped up enough, but then, down at the family-friendly send off rally at City Hall that week, Earl Winfield took the mike and said (I kid you not):
“I know we’re having a good time right now and all, but I remember what happened last year in Winnipeg. And I just want to say, we owe these f*ckers.?
So then its game day, and Cats fans have gathered to watch the match on the big screen at Copps Coliseum. Pigskin Pete was there, the mayor was there, Sheila Copps was there; it was a real big deal. This was also the year I had decided to go to the Grey Cup (in Calgary) for the first time, never thinking that the Cats had a chance to be there. By the time the game starts, an evil Prairie wind of about 70 kph has kicked up, making it impossible for either team to move the ball against the wind. The game was also full of strange and heartbreaking plays: Dave Dinall fumbling at the worst possible time, Ken Evraire getting called for a pick (of all things) on what would’ve been a late 4th quarter go-ahead touchdown, and many, many others. Yet, with mere seconds left, Joey “Gitch? Jauch hauled in a Hail Mary pass and got out of bounds, putting the Cats within field goal range. As Ozzie trots out onto the field, the wind inexplicably dies for the first time all day, and I’m thinking to myself what a great year to start going to Cup. But then coach John Gregory calls a timeout for some reason, and by the time they get back on the field, the wind is back to gale force. Ozzie almost put it through anyhow, but alas, it fell just short of the crossbar and into the waiting arms of Bob Cameron to end the game. A crushing loss.