The 104th CFL Grey Cup is here. The Calgary Stampeders battle the Ottawa Redblacks on Sunday in the finale to the 2016 CFL season. As this is the biggest game of the year we at Last Word on Canadian Football are prepared with our final wave of Bold Predictions. Our writers are split on everything from how the game will play out to who will win. Now to the biggest and boldest predictions of the season!
Bold Predictions for the CFL Grey Cup
Last Quarterback Standing
Football is a team sport, yet there is no more important position than quarterback. Teams without one nearly always find themselves on the outside looking in, even if they are perfect everywhere else.
On the flip side, even a terrible team with a top-notch passer can never be counted out when the chips are down. Nowhere will this be more apparent than this year’s Grey Cup where two of the league’s best quarterbacks, Henry Burris and Bo Levi Mitchell will continue to lead their teams. In such a massive game the final result will come down to the team with the top man under centre, and that man’s last name is Mitchell. The 2016 Most Outstanding Player will show why he is the best player in the league.
Weather will be a factor
In all pro sports played outdoors, weather always plays a factor. The 104th Grey Cup is no different. The Ottawa Redblacks, a week removed from playing in a snow-filled match-up, will have the advantage should the white stuff fall again. Not that the Calgary Stampeders aren’t used to the cold -it’s usually colder in Calgary than in Ottawa – but the Redblacks already have that one-game experience in the cold.
It shouldn’t be snowing, but there’s still a possibility for that to happen. The temperature will be hovering around 2°C, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Should that become snow later in the game, the Redblacks could have an opportunity to control the game, especially with the recent emergence of Kienan Lafrance. The Stamps will need to control the game while the weather is favourable, and not try to look for a comeback win with snow falling.
Burris puts a stamp on his Legacy
What more can you say about Henry Burris? The Redblacks quarterback is third all time in passing numbers, and is now poised to compete for his third Grey Cup ring. Don’t forget to throw in five All Star nods as well as a bevy of other records. The man is a Hall of Famer without question, but adding another championship should help cement his legacy as one of the greatest.
While Mitchell may be the future of the CFL there should still be at least one more ride left in Burris’ 41-year-old legs. This writer predicts that the Redblacks shock the world and the pundits to win one with Smilin’ Hank at the helm.
Calgary will win the Grey Cup with a final score of 31
The Calgary Stampeders have had a roller-coaster year. The Stamps came close to beating a CFL record for most wins in a season and finished with a 15-2-1 record. The team also went unbeaten at home and swept the Shaw CFL Awards with five winners. The dark cloud that does hang over the Stampeders is the loss of their teammate Mylan Hicks, who was shot outside a nightclub in September. The franchise has dedicated all their wins since to Hicks, and Jerome Messam even dedicated his Most Outstanding Canadian award to his fallen teammate. The Stamps also wear a sticker with the number 31 on their helmet, which is the number Hicks wore.
Earlier this week, the Stamps said they will try to win this game in memory of Hicks, whose mother will be in attendance. My bold prediction is that Calgary will win the Grey Cup over Ottawa and their score will be 31.
Redblacks don’t become the 09-10 Riders
Remember those 2009 and 2010 Saskatchewan Roughriders? Yes, that team who lost back-to-back Grey Cups against the Montreal Alouettes. Definitely not a fun experience losing two Grey Cups in a row, but at least they weren’t the Buffalo Bills, who lost four straight Super Bowls. The 2016 Redblacks will try to not be that team.
The Redblacks will be motivated from last year’s Grey Cup loss to avoid losing a second-straight championship game. The team is filled with veterans who have steady heads and a few Grey Cup rings of their own. Ottawa will be prepared mentally and physically to try and win this one. Look for the Redblacks to buck last year’s trend and take home the Cup.
Don’t overthink it, Calgary wins it all
Deciding who would win this game was a difficult decision. But there’s a simple method: don’t overthink It. Sports fans don’t always like it when it’s already known who will win, uncertainty and suspense is better.
Yet as much as a sports-addled mind tries to find reasons that the Ottawa Redblacks can win the Grey Cup, the same answer keeps popping up: Calgary wins. Offence, Defence, special teams, coaching, mentality, it doesn’t matter what’s compared, the Stamps are the best. Calgary wins the game by at least 10.
Have some Grey Cup predictions of your own? Let us know in the comments below.