Many people thought I was crazy. Fans all over Canada said it would never happen. But on Sunday, November 24, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers finally won the Grey Cup for the first time since 1990 (coming just a point short of the 34 I predicted they would score in the game).
Not only did the Bombers win 33-12 and play better than most expected, they completely dominated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the entire game. On the ground rushing, on defence, and even on special teams, Winnipeg was the better team, and there’s no better way for a franchise to win it’s first championship in a really long time than to do so in a dominant fashion.
Many Canadians not think of Blue Bombers fans as cursed, like Toronto Maple Leafs or Vancouver Canucks fans are, mostly because the CFL isn’t taken as seriously as the NHL. However, Winnipeg sports fans haven’t had anything to root for since 1990. The Jets didn’t even play in Winnipeg for the majority of those 29 years, and in Canada, if you remove an NHL team from a city, it only makes the CFL team that much more important.
So, with the Blue Bombers finally getting the monkey off their back, I can’t help but wonder which Canadian team will be the next to win a title after a long drought, and which team’s fans are the most cursed.
The answer to the latter is easy, it’s fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Those who hate the Leafs will be happy that the fans are cursed, but it refuse to give them the cursed label, as that usually implies some sort of empathy is necessary.
Unfortunately, for me at least, nobody feels bad about the Leafs but Leafs fans. But since I don’t think we will be the next long-suffering Canadian fan-base to see our team win a title, I will gladly say we are cursed.
Look, it’s not my fault Toronto is the biggest city and the most-populous city in Canada and drives and commands the most media coverage.
It’s not my fault Auston Matthews is becoming more arrogant, and as a result, more hard to root for. Regardless, though the Leafs should, on paper, be the next team to finally win a championship, they are more interested in pointing blame at a different segment of the team each week than they are winning games.
So, who’s next?
The Hamilton Tiger Cats are the most likely team to do so (they haven’t won since 1999), since the CFL only has eight teams, but that’s not as fun.
The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Montreal Canadiens all have decent to pretty good teams and haven’t won in at least 25 years each, but both Calgary and Montreal seem to be punching above their weight, and while the Oilers will have two of the best players in the league for plenty of years to come in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, I just don’t see them getting enough from other players on their team to win a Stanley Cup.
Which leaves me with the Vancouver Canucks. Not enough is made, in my opinion, of how heartbreaking it must be that the Vancouver Canucks never won a Stanley Cup in the Sedin-twin era.
In fact, the Canucks last two Stanley Cup Finals appearances resulted in Game 7 losses. Vancouver fans have never experienced a championship, and to come that close only to suck pretty bad for the next five years is a tough blow to take and I can’t help but feel bad for them.
Yes, the biggest story would be a Leafs Stanley Cup run, but that’s not going to happen. Get it out of your mind now, and save yourself the pain.
The Canucks not only have great, exciting young players in Elias Petterson and Brock Boeser, they also have a really good defense and play a structured game conducive to winning in the playoffs. So there you have it, the Canucks will win next.
If you don’t trust me, the last time I predicted a team would finally win it all, I was right.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.