It certainly will not go down as a Grey Cup classic; the Saskatchewan Roughriders' utter domination over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats saw to that.
Still, there was something compelling about watching the Canadian Football League’s little franchise on the prairie stun the Tiger-Cats 45-23, Saskatchewan’s fourth league title played out before 44,710 frigid home-town fans.
After it was all over, the fans still had more to give, flooding the streets outside Mosiac Stadium where the wild celebration continued .
The Riders' appeal spreads far and wide – all the way to Rome in one case as Donald Bolen, the Saskatoon Roman Catholic Diocese Bishop, watched a live-stream broadcast of the contest near the Vatican.
Speaking of star power, how about the likes of Tom Hanks and Martin Short turning up in Regina to take in the game
Hanks said he originally was a Montreal Concords fan but morphed into a Ti-Cat supporter through his friendship with Short, who was born in Hamilton.
The pair even did the Oskie Wee Wee chant before the game.
The Roughriders got all the early breaks in this one, and you can’t help but wonder if Hamilton’s evening might have somehow ended differently if luck had of been on their side.
Darian Durant, the Saskatchewan quarterback, fumbled the ball on each of the Roughriders' first two offensive series but Hamilton could not recover.
Durant fell on his first fumble.
In the second, the ball popped up way into the air and then into the awaiting arms of Saskatchewan runningback Kory Sheets, who rambled 42 yards.
Three plays later, Durant found Geroy Simon deep in the end zone to give Saskatchewan a 7-3 lead it would never relinquish.
Sheets was the game’s dominant player, scoring two touchdowns while rushing for 197 yards, smashing the old Grey Cup mark of 169 yards set by Johnny Bright in 1956.
Sheets was crowned as the Grey Cup's most valuable player, which he says ends any debate about who is the CFL’s top running back.
The victory was also special for Simon, the CFL’s all-time leading receiver, who at the age of 38 had faded into the background for much of the season with Saskatchewan.
“Who cares about age,” Simon would say after the game in which he nabbed two TD passes and was able to strike his trademark Superman pose in a game for perhaps the last time.
It was not the homecoming that Hamilton coach Kent Austin, who led the Roughriders to Grey Cup victories as both a player and a coach, wanted to experience.
“We played a better football team today,” Austin said afterward. “They were just better than we were.”
Brady keys another incredible Patriots’ comeback
The Grey Cup aside, there was a pretty good matchup Sunday night in the National Football League where Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos hooked up.
Manning directed the Broncos to a 24-0 halftime lead before Brady found his footing, staging the biggest comeback of his career as the Patriots came back to stun Denver 34-31 in overtime.
The game, the largest comeback in New England history, is being dubbed “an instant classic.”
It was a game played in bitter cold that featured seven turnovers, and none bigger than the one committed by Denver’s Tony Carter, who saw a punt glance off his leg and recovered by Nate Ebner in overtime.
That led to a game-winning field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
"I hated the way that game ended, with us not getting a chance to get our hands on the ball,'' Manning lamented.Report Typo/Error
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