Sunday, 21 October 2012
Calgary 34, Hamilton 32
Just when I think the Cats can't find a new way to lose, they go and botch a gimme field goal with no time left. It was stunning sitting in my chair watching as the final two minutes unfolded. The Cats were down by eight after having just squandered a golden opportunity when Bakari Grant fumbled as the Cats were driving for perhaps he game-winning score. Instead, Calgary scooped up the loose ball and scored to extended their lead to eight. Hamilton marched down the field to score and get the game within two. Then they ran perhaps the worst two-point play every attempted and the game was over. The Cats were going for the onside kick, but that never works.
Oh, expect when it does! Luca Congi's kick landed right in the hands of Onrea Jones (who had a great day on special teams) and the Cats had a chance with a little less than a minute left to win a game that could completely turned their season around. Henry Burris fired a deep one to Chris Williams that put the Cats in field goal range with about 45 seconds left. The Cats ran twice to run the clock out and get Congi in a position to kick the winner from 32 yards out. Then the unthinkable happened.
In a play that ripped the heart out of Ti-Cat Nation, Andy Fantuz couldn't place the ball on the kicking tee, and instead of making a chip shot that could have changed the entire tenor of this season for the Ti-Cats, the Cats scrambled to make a play. Fantuz was tackled and the clock was at zero. The Cats, despite picking up seven Calgary turnovers, lost 34-32.
I know I just wrote a bunch of words about the game, but I do feel genuinely speechless. I don't know how to put into words how I feel after this loss. I'm not angry that they lost. I'm also not the negative guy who knew this would happen. I feel now like I felt when the Cats lost to the Argos in the 2010 East Division Semi-Final. I feel empty.
It almost feels cruel that there are still two games left because this one truly felt like a season ender. The Cats still have a chance to make or host a playoff game, and we still have next week's closing of Ivor Wynne Stadium, but this loss tonight makes me feel like the season is over. But with two games left and a slim chance to make the playoffs still out there, the season isn't over. I will continue to hold out hope that they can get into the playoffs and become the first 7-11 team to win the Grey Cup.
But all hope aside, this does feel like the end. And while I know we will say good bye to Ivor Wynne Stadium next Saturday, I feel like we all just said goodbye to Hamilton's Grey Cup chances in 2012.