Its 1995, early in the regular season. We’re at the CryDome to see a Cats-argos game, and the fans are giving it to us cuz it wasn’t exactly Hamilton’s greatest year. In particular, a group of teenagers in front of us crossed the line from good-natured rivalry to being jerks by standing up and turning around to yell anti-Hamilton epithets while the play is going on, waving a giant argo flag that blocked the view of the game for several rows of fans, etc. Even other nearby argo fans were trying to explain to them that’s not how things work, but to no avail.
So, the Cats are already down by 3 scores when a wide open Paul Masotti snags a pass and starts running to the end zone. The only Cat within 30 yards of him is Sam Rogers, who to his credit kept up a hopeless pursuit. The previously mentioned argo fans had already turned around by the time Masotti was on the 20 yard line to yell “you guys $uck!! You guy’s f*ckin’ $uck!!? over and over. Glancing around him however, it was clear that Rogers had gained ground on Masotti, who had slowed to a trot at the 5 yard line. As Masotti turns his head at the 1 yard line to look for teammates with whom to celebrate, Rogers leaps through the air and desperately bats at the ball, knocking it loose and recovering it just outside of the goal line.
You’d think that’d be a lesson learned for those fans, but no. So, fast forward to the 4th quarter. The Cats have struggled back to tie the game, but with about a minute left, the dreaded argos start a drive from their own territory and end up down on the Cats 20 yard line with 2 or so seconds left on the clock. The argo kicker at the time is Wayne Lammle, which should have given us a glimmer of hope. But even if he misses, the ball goes out of the end zone for a rouge, we lose, and the argo fans get the last laugh. The argos line up for the kick, and again, instead of watching the game, these fans turn around to tell us we f*ckin’ $uck, ask us if we would like to go home and whine now, and then give us the cupped ear a la Hulk Hogan. Things were looking bleak.
The ball is snapped, and it is clear Lammle’s kick is gonna go wide (stop the presses!), but of course it’ll still sail out the back of the end zone. Or will it? Lee Knight (praise be his name also) who is standing with Ozzie at the back of the end zone, leaps up and gets vertical by at least 3 feet, snags the ball with the tip of his fingers, and quickly punts the ball with no time left on the clock. But not only did the punt not go out of bounds, it ends up in the hands of Masotti! Knowing that not many get a second chance like this, Masotti goes to punt it back in. He only had to kick it 20 yards, then its game over and argos win by 1 point. Oh, except for one thing:
The game stays tied, its overtime, and in the two 5-minute halves that commenced (I dearly miss that OT format), the Cats clobbered the argos. We quietly walked out, glowing with self-satisfaction and feeling that all was right with the world.
In the grand scheme of things, it was a totally meaningless game. But oh, what a game.