Those will be the two words going through my head over the next seven months.
What if Kevin Glenn didn't get hurt?
What if the Cats recovered at least one of the three Winnipeg fumbles in the first half?
Football is a game of inches, and the Bombers got all the inches this afternoon.
The game was won by Winnipeg Running Back Chris Garrett. For a guy who started the year as a third stringer, his play on Sunday was nothing short of remarkable. Hamilton simply couldn't stop him.
The Hamilton Defense allowed only 19 points (and I'll get to the classless call to score the final six points a little later), which is usually enough to win in the CFL.
But what if Hamilton had been able to scoop one or two or all three of the balls that the Bombers put on the turf? That would have flipped the field and given the Cats great field position. Not picking up those loose balls turned out to be a big difference.
At the end of the day, the Defense did enough, but it was Hamilton's Offense – the Offense that put up an impressive 52 points the week before – that let the Ti-Cats down in this one. Just one field goal in sixty minutes will never be enough to win.
But what if Glenn didn't go down with an injury in the third quarter? Glenn wasn't playing great, but he wasn't playing terribly either. One has to wonder, if Glenn had been able to finish the game if the final score might have been different? It probably wouldn't have been – it looked like it was just Winnipeg's day – but we'll never know.
Before I wrap this up I would like to address one final thing. I heard all week how dirty and low and classless it was for the Tiger-Cats to sign Terence Jeffers-Harris. The Bombers and Paul LaPolice upped that today by scoring a completely meaningless touchdown on the last play of the game. With the clock already at zero, Buck Pierce handed the ball to Chris Garret who scored a complete unnecessary touchdown. That was a low class move by the Blue Bombers. There was no need to score that touchdown; the game was already over (literally). I'm not one to complain about running up the score – this is professional football and it is the other team's job to stop their opponent – but I also don't think scoring when you absolutely have nothing to gain is the right thing to do. I lost a lot of respect for Paul LaPolice for doing that.
But regardless of what the Bombers did on the game's final play, the Tiger-Cats' 2011 season has ended. There is some good to take from 2011; the fact that the team got to the East Division Final is a step in the right direction.
But another promising season ends in disappointment, and that is tough to swallow. It means it will once again be a long winter in Steeltown.