The Calgary Stampeders are relentless. It is their way. In recent years they have owned the CFL regular season in dominant fashion. Can they translate that into something more tangible? They want Grey Cup rings to show for that dominance and they want them now.
Calgary have qualified for the playoffs. Again. In fact they have made the playoffs every year since 2004, when they last failed to make an appearance following a 4-14 campaign. That was a different CFL world though.
The Toronto Argonauts (currently standing at 3-10) defeated the BC Lions for the Grey cup that year. Casey Printers QB of the BC Lions was the overall CFL all-stars QB choice and recent Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee Anthony Calvillo was named Eastern All-Star QB leading Montreal.
Over a 14 year stretch the Stamps have truly been dominant. Since failing to make the playoffs in 2004 they have gone a phenomenal 169-74-1 (including 11-2 so far this year).
They need to win it all
Still a sense of frustration hangs over the team and their fans though. They have achieved a great deal. They have been an unarguably dominant regular-season team. The problem is the playoffs. 2018 will be the Stamps 11th consecutive season with a winning record. Yet they only have 2 Grey Cups to show for it.
Fans of other teams are quick to point out that despite Calgary’s successes the last 8 Grey Cups have been won by 7 different teams. All of this has been heightened by the Stamps being upset by long-odds underdogs in the past two Grey Cups.
Each time since last winning it all in 2014 the Stamps have been dominant. They are 53-12-2 over that period (including this year so far). Relentless, but unfulfilled.
If they were to lose in another Grey Cup final then UK football fans would start subconsciously drawing comparisons with the 4 consecutive Superbowl losing Buffalo bills of the 1990’s. They were a great team, but ultimately it’s all about winning a championship. Those are the teams that are really remembered.
For the Stamps it’s all about redemption now – they need to be relentless in the regular season and the playoffs.
Image from cfl.ca