The Province

GREY CUP: Stampeders shake off the doubts, defeat Redblacks 27-16

Remember when McManus and friends hung out with reporters all week?

- ED WILLES @willesonsp­orts

After an interestin­g Grey Cup, here are the always uninterest­ing Monday morning musings and meditation­s on the world of sports.

People of Mexico: Sunday’s Grey Cup game was not a completely accurate representa­tion of the CFL. There’s usually less falling down. The playing surfaces, for the most part, have less ice. As for the officiatin­g, sorry, you’ll just have to get used to it.

But you got a taste of the Canadian game. Lots of crazy stuff. An element of unpredicta­bility. Big plays, great athletes, lots of beer and Calgary is usually very good.

The whole experience can be a lot of fun. Plus there’s Regina, you guys will love Regina, especially in November. Bienvenido­s. Mi casa es su casa.

In a column about those things which make the Grey Cup unique, colleague Steve Simmons reported this week that Argos running back James Wilder borrowed a suit from a reporter to wear to the CFL’s award banquet.

Not bad, but here’s my favourite tale from Grey Cups past: At the 2001 game in Montreal, Hamilton’s Danny McManus, arguably the CFL’s best quarterbac­k, showed up with Cody Ledbetter (his backup), Carl Coulter (the Ticats’ centre) and placekicke­r Paul Osbaldisto­n, and immediatel­y started hanging around the Football Reporters of Canada suite. At first, it was fun but the four Ticats hit it hard that week and got to be a nuisance.

At the time, the direct NFL comparable would have been Peyton Manning showing up at a Super Bowl with Indianapol­is Colts’ teammates Jeff Saturday, Adam Vinatieri and Mark Rypien, drinking with reporters for a week and the reporters getting tired of them. These things happen only in the CFL.

The Seahawks changed the entire complexion of their season with their gritty win in Carolina on Sunday.

The 6-5 Hawks now have five games left on their schedule, four at home and one away against the lowly 49ers. If they get to 10 wins, they’ll secure a wild-card spot, which likely means they’ll have to beat Minnesota on Dec. 10 at CenturyLin­k Field.

But, wherever they go from here, this season might represent Pete Carroll’s finest coaching job in Seattle. In one year he’s essentiall­y rebuilt the defence and resurrecte­d the offence with a power running game while returning to the core principles of his Super Bowl teams.

They’re not the power they once were but they’re as tough and resourcefu­l as their predecesso­rs. At one point on Sunday, the Seahawks had surrendere­d 475 yards in total offence to Cam Newton and company but were still in a one-score game.

Damned if they didn’t find a way to win it.

They might not be able to hang with the NFL’s real powers but Seahawks’ fans couldn’t ask for much more from this season. The buzz is back in Seattle and those four home games will be a party.

Seen it a lot over the years but it was still special watching Adam Gaudette score his first NHL goal, Saturday night in Los Angeles. Thought his transition to The Show would be a little smoother but the kid can play. He just has to learn how to process the game at NHL speed but look two years down the road with Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson and Gaudette as the Canucks’ centres and there is reason for optimism.

On a related subject, watched Canucks draft pick Jett Woo on Saturday afternoon and the Moose Jaw Warriors’ defenceman is a serious prospect. He’s still only 18 but with Tim Hunter, the Warriors’ coach, coaching Team Canada, Woo seems like a lock for the World Juniors.

That tournament should excite the faithful for a couple of reasons — Quinn Hughes, Michael DiPietro — but it should also be Woo’s coming out party in this market.

Somewhere along the line, the William Nylander miniseries became the ‘Franco is still dead’ story of the NHL.

Despite the breathless reporting the ball hasn’t moved one inch on this one for five months. But, thankfully, it’s heading to a resolution this week and it represents a great test for Kyle Dubas.

The Leafs’ rookie GM has a legitimate Stanley Cup contender on his hands and his best option, both short and long term, is trading the player. Nylander is a legitimate point producer but he’s either the Leafs’ fourth or fifth best forward depending on how you feel about Nazem Kadri.

Kasperi Kapanen, meanwhile has scored 10 goals this season, all at even strength. Move Nylander and let someone else pay him.

And finally, that was compelling stuff from Ken Dryden, who appeared before the government’s standing committee on sports related concussion­s last week. Gary Bettman has received a pass on this one from the courts — as witnessed by the puny $19 million settlement awarded 318 players last week — the Players Associatio­n and the media, but Dryden held the feet of the game’s gatekeeper­s to the fire.

“The problem is no longer one of awareness,” the former goalie said. “There is plenty of awareness. The problem is sports decision-makers who don’t take this awareness and act.”

Among other things, Bettman has maintained there’s no connection between concussion­s and chronic brain injuries, a position which is both shameful and laughable. The league’s commission­er is doing what he does best, protecting the business interests of the NHL. But sometimes there are more important considerat­ions than profits.

 ?? — THE CANADIAN PRESS ?? Ottawa Redblacks wide receiver Diontae Spencer, right, fumbles the ball while tangled with Calgary Stampeders linebacker Riley Jones during Sunday’s Grey Cup. There’s usually less falling down in CFL games, Mexican first-time viewers might need to be told.
— THE CANADIAN PRESS Ottawa Redblacks wide receiver Diontae Spencer, right, fumbles the ball while tangled with Calgary Stampeders linebacker Riley Jones during Sunday’s Grey Cup. There’s usually less falling down in CFL games, Mexican first-time viewers might need to be told.
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