Blue Bombers beat Tiger-Cats to win first Grey Cup in 29 years

Andrew Harris ran roughshod over the Ticats defence, quarterback Dane Evans was running for his life and sacked six times, and Hamilton’s vaunted offence sputtered in a 33-12 loss.

“It just sucks man. Honestly it is just terrible. Not the way we would have pictured it. Not the way that we wanted it and it’s all because of us,” he added.

Drought over, pants on: Bombers deliver a Grey Cup win for the ages

Hamilton came into the game as the favourite after compiling a CFL-best 15-3 record and finishing atop the East Division standings. The Ticats were also 2-0 this season against the Bombers, who took third in the West with an 11-7 mark.

Holding three quality CFL opponents to 39 points is remarkable. And the taming of the Tiger-Cats was one for the ages. Winnipeg forced a whopping seven turnovers, including two interceptions by quarterback Dane Evans, three fumbles and three stops on third down, including a couple when the game was still very much up for grabs.

Hamilton also boasted the league’s top-scoring offence (28.2 offensive points) and stingiest defence (17.9 offensive points) during the regular season.

Holding three quality CFL opponents to 39 points is remarkable. And the taming of the Tiger-Cats was one for the ages. Winnipeg forced a whopping seven turnovers, including two interceptions by quarterback Dane Evans, three fumbles and three stops on third down, including a couple when the game was still very much up for grabs.

“Winnipeg played a better game today and that’s why they’re champions,” said Ticats coach Orlondo Steinauer, who held a lengthy team meeting after the game.

“I told them I was proud of them. That they needed to keep their head up. At some point they’ll be able to reflect and let their emotions out. There’s nothing wrong with that,” said Steinauer.

“Really excited for our players. For them to play so well in the game that mattered most. Theyre not going to have any regrets, going over plays they wish they had. Winning helps that anyway. But they just really played very very well. Im excited for them,” said coach Mike OShea.

“I wanted to make sure they touched each and every person in the room and in the organization because it’ll never be the same. It’s going to sting and the bottom line is we didn’t play like champions tonight.”

How else to explain what co-ordinator Richie Halls group was able to do not only on Sunday night in the Grey Cup, but in the two playoff games prior to it. The Bombers surrendered 14, 13 and 12 points in their victories over Calgary, Saskatchewan and Hamilton.

Hamilton linebacker Simoni Lawrence said he believed the Cats would still find a way to come back in the game right up to the final whistle. He said the off-season is going to be tough.

“I’m not one for moral victories or nothing,” said Lawrence. “We play this game to win the championship and anything other than that you should go back home and cry a little bit.

The Grey Cup victory ends a woeful 29-year drought for Winnipeg and it also allowed superfan Chris Matthew the opportunity to finally put pants on again. Eighteen years ago, in November 2001, Matthew made a bet with friends that he wouldn’t wear pants again until the Bombers won the Grey Cup. He didn’t expect it to last for nearly two decades.

“When May hits it starts all over again but the only tough part is getting through the off-season and just staying focused and motivate myself to come back better and improve but it’s going to hurt until the season starts.”

Defensive lineman Ja’Gared Davis was playing in his fourth straight Grey Cup after he joined Hamilton from Calgary in the off-season. He said the team will improve and needs to use it as motivation for next year.

Inside the locker room Bombers players sprayed champagne and smoked cigars, dancing around to music. A number of players tried to sneak-attack a Gatorade shower on their head coach Mike O’Shea, who was prepared for it. He grabbed the jug and dumped on his players before getting soaked by the second wave.

“Use it for motivation for the simple fact that we will get back. You don’t want to feel this hurt and this bad again. All the guys are hurt. All the guys are hung low,” Davis said.

And, when the biggest game of the year finally arrived, the Bombers were their best. But getting to this point hasn’t been easy. After starting the season 9-3, the Bombers lost four of their last six games. But when the post-season arrived, the coaching staff implemented a playoff motto.

“I’m telling them to pick it up because the next time we get back here we’re going to be on the other side of the tape.”

“This is my beautiful daughter Kelley Brielle Jefferson,” he said. “I just had to come out here and give it my all. I had my dad, my mom, my wife and my daughter. I couldn’t come out here and play a mediocre game in front of my family.”

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Instead, they have very fresh memories of an unseasonably mild November night in Calgary, when homegrown running back Andrew Harris scored two touchdowns and ran for 134 yards, kicker Justin Medlock kicked six field goals and the Bomber defence took the ball away from Hamilton’s offence seven times and sacked quarterback Dane Evans six times.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have earned some long-awaited Grey Cup redemption. Heres what else you need to know to start your day.

To diehard fans, it’s a cause for celebration and form of closure to alleviate decades of frustration. Portage and Main is probably swelling with fans by the time these words wind up online — and North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty, who led the campaign to keep the intersection closed to pedestrians, can’t do a thing to stop it.

1. Grey Cup: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to win the 107th Grey Cup, ending the longest championship drought in CFL history.

So did the 28-season Grey Cup drought, which was a statistical improbability. In a league with only eight or nine teams for most of its recent existence, you have to absolutely excel at failure — or be cursed with exceptionally poor luck — in order to wind up without a championship for nearly three decades.

2. McKenna video: Liberal cabinet minister Catherine McKenna said shes not apologizing for an emotional video she posted on Twitter speaking about her kids while clearing out her campaign office.

No longer will it automatically bring to mind the injury that kept quarterback Kevin Glenn out of the 2007 championship, won by the arch-rival Saskatchewan Roughriders. No longer will it bring fans back to the 2011 Grey Cup, when the Bombers were simply outclassed by a superior version of the B.C. Lions.

3. Combatting superbugs: In the wake of a report that predicts the deaths of nearly 400,000 Canadians in the next 30 years to antibiotic-resistant superbugs, a Canadian academic is urging pharmaceutical companies to do more.

4. Chess set: A carved rock found in 1991 in southern Jordan by a Canadian professor and archeologist could be the oldest chess piece ever found.

The Blue Bombers have won a Grey Cup for the first time in 29 years, thanks to a 33-12 victory over an excellent Hamilton Tiger-Cats squad that most of the big brains in football expected to prolong the misery of the Winnipeg Football Club and its long, long-suffering fans.

5. #PatientsAreNotFaking: Twitter users are sharing their stories of not being believed by doctors after a U.S. health-care worker made a viral video mocking certain patients.

Stray sweetheart: A stray dog in Ontario has generated a lot of love across the internet after she was found sheltering five kittens from the cold last week.

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