Sports

Third time’s the charm for the Calgary Stampeders

On Nov. 25, the Calgary Stampeders ended their Grey Cup losing streak with a 27-16 win over the Ottawa Redblacks.

The Stampeders brought their eighth Grey Cup home after two straight years of losing in the championship. Stampeders fans’ pride could be seen and heard throughout Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. 

“Every play was critical, I knew this game meant more than bragging rights,” said Sama Banaei, a longtime Stampeders fan who moved to Edmonton. He said that it’s been hard being away from home, but on Nov. 25, home was brought to him. 

Offensive lineman, Justin Renfrow, left, poses for a picture with a child during the Calgary Stampeders 2018 Grey Cup celebration rally outside the city hall in Calgary on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. The Calgary Stampeders won the 2018 Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photo by Patrick Concepcion)

“In the last minutes of the game, I knew,” said Banaei.

“The Cup was coming home.”

Calgarian Mike Hassel was carrying around a tinfoil duplicate of the Grey Cup while dressed head-to-toe in Stampeders gear during the game. 

He attended the Grey Cup in 2012, 2016, and 2017 – all of which the Stampeders lost.

Defensive Lineman, Cordarro Law, centre, signs a fans cowboy hat during the Calgary Stampeders 2018 Grey Cup celebration rally outside the city hall in Calgary on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. The Calgary Stampeders won the 2018 Grey Cup at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photo by Patrick Concepcion/The Press)

“This was a very sweet victory,” said Hassel. 

“We didn’t choke. Hopefully the Stamps can bring it back next year.” 

The Calgary vs. Ottawa game had many CFL fans divided, with Commonwealth Stadium hosting CFL fans from all around Canada. Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Edmonton Eskimos, and other jersey colours could be spotted all throughout the stands. 

The division was evident with some fans holding up signs that read “ABC, Anybody But Calgary.”

The anti-Stampeders signs didn’t bother one fan, even though her family is anti-Stampeders. 

“My whole family [are] Rider fans,” said Keandla Fellinger. 

Offensive Lineman, Quinn Smith throws a mini football to the crowd during the Calgary Stampeders 2018 Grey Cup celebration rally outside the city hall in Calgary on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. The Calgary Stampeders won the 2018 Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photo by Patrick Concepcion)

Fellinger is from Saskatchewan, but she is a Stampeders fan. She said that she had no doubt that this was the year the Stampeders would become champions. 

“I thought they were going to get it together,” said Fellinger. 

“I had to prove [my family] wrong for one year.”

Some fans didn’t have the chance to head down to Edmonton for the Cup, but still cheered at home and attended the championship rally at City Hall.

Bobby Sunwalk watched the game at home with her husband, and they both knew the Cup was coming home this year. 

“Third time is the charm,” said Sunwalk.

Sunwalk only had one thing to say to those who were holding up ABC signs.

“They better not come to our city next year with those signs. We’ll leave them embarrassed again.”

Calgary will host next year’s Grey Cup at McMahon Stadium on Nov. 24, 2019.

They will have a tough road to repeat, as CFL Most Outstanding Player, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, is speculated to be testing the National Football League next season.

Wide Receiver, Kamar Jorden, centre, raises up a sign that says “Always Bet on Calgary” during the Calgary Stampeders 2018 Grey Cup celebration rally outside the city hall in Calgary on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. The Calgary Stampeders won the 2018 Grey Cup at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photo by Patrick Concepcion/The Press)

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