From delirium to despair in 10 seconds

TV and movies have a standard “fork in the road” storyline in which two outcomes are presented from one single plot. It’s a “what if” scenario that delivers a happy and unhappy ending with serious consequences to the characters in the production.

TV and movies have a standard “fork in the road” storyline in which two outcomes are presented from one single plot. It’s a “what if” scenario that delivers a happy and unhappy ending with serious consequences to the characters in the production.

Sunday’s Grey Cup game provided the two choices in the last two plays of the game: Happiness and unhappiness were measured by different team jerseys in both scenarios.

The final outcome was an unhappy ending for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and their heartbroken fans. Happy ending defected with no remorse to the Alouette side.

The happy ending for the ’Riders was blindsided by a boneheaded special teams blunder when 13 guys showed up for a table meant for 12. The 13th guy and Roughrider special teams coach Kavis Reed are not likely to be forgotten in Saskatchewan football folklore for this event.

The good thing is that ’Rider fans will now be able to bury the 1972 and ’76 Grey Cup disappointments behind this game because this Grey Cup was worse than those Tony Gabriel specials. Gabriel was a Ti-Cat receiver in 1972 and he played a big role in a late game drive for a Hamilton field goal and subsequent Grey Cup victory for the Tabbies. I don’t have to remind ’Rider fans about his role in the 1976 Ottawa victory over Saskatchewan.

But this was different.

The game was over and the ’Riders were the 2009 Grey Cup champions by virtue of a missed Alouette field goal on the last play of the game. This was the happy ending and ’Rider fans got to revel in about 10 seconds of absolute joy usually found on the top flight of the spiritual stairs in every organized religion. Then the bouncers arrived and threw every ’Rider fan on the planet down several flights of stairs on the way out the door.

Suddenly the room at the top was hijacked by Alouette fans and they got to bring along a Grey Cup for the celebration when Alouette kicker Damon Duvall got a second chance to win the game. Nature despises a vacuum so the joy that was sucked out of the room by the sudden exit of crushed ’Rider dreams rushed back in a nano-second with the Montreal fans.

This loss stuns me as a ’Rider fan. They blew a Grey Cup because of a clerical error from the sidelines, but there were other moments that also led to the final result.

The ’Rider defence allowed two touchdowns and a field goal in the last quarter.

The decision to concede the crucial single did not sit well with me because one point meant all the difference against a team like Montreal.

This game was lost on a very stupid play but the damage was already done in the second half by a lackluster offence led by a ’Rider quarterback who felt the intense heat of a championship game.

No offence meant serious pressure on the ’Rider defence — cue the collapse. Now a new generation of ’Rider fans can feel the searing pain of a horrific Grey Cup loss because Kermit was right: It’s not easy being green.

Local freelancer Jim Sutherland writes a twice-weekly CFL column. His final column of the year will be published on Friday. He can be reached at

Just Posted

Parenting: Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience

Wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be unpleasant experience

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month