Argos have earned it

on November 2017 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

There is plenty up for grabs this Sunday as the 105th Grey Cup takes place in our nation’s capital. Last year’s finalists the Calgary Stampeders, try to take that one extra step as they face the Eastern Champion Toronto Argonauts. Calgary has quite the talented team and is a huge 7 point favourite and what may be more important, they remember the sting of last year. The Stamps were big favourites then too but wound up losing in overtime. They have vowed it would not happen again and seem to be much more focused than they were last year.

It would be ironic… and really, really funny if the Stampeders wind up losing this year. Not because I hate them or anything, but it would mean that they lost to Toronto while playing in Ottawa, and last year lost to Ottawa, while playing in Toronto. That might be too painful for Western fans to take. Regardless of the outcome however, the people of Toronto – that’s right, I am talking to you specifically 416 and 905ers – really need to support this team. They have earned it. We need to respect this team, for they have earned that too.

It has been easy over the past years to be critical of the Argonauts and of the CFL. It was considered a mickey mouse league and still is by some people. Despite the rich history that the Argos have, they haven’t been able to make much of a dent into this city’s sporting landscape over the past couple of decades. Despite some good TV numbers, they have not really been “the cool kid” in this Toronto sporting landscape. They are way behind the Maple Leafs and the Blue Jays in popularity and have also fallen behind the Raptors and even Toronto FC who averages almost double the attendance of the Double Blue.

Forget for a second why their popularity dropped or more accurately is dying off. Forget about the mistakes, miscues and the ‘Murica expansion the CFL had tried. Forget about terrible fan experience through the Rogers Centre years and most importantly, forget about the few idiotic soccer supporters who are spewing the #NoArgosAtBMO hashtag. Those are completely misguided individuals if they think they represent all TFC fans with that garbage. But again, forget all of that… for now.

For now, for this weekend, just concentrate on your Toronto Argonauts. Reminisce about how this team, your team, the team that represents your city, has conducted itself. Think about it.. And be proud. Proud? That’s right… proud.

The Argonauts finished in last place last year with a 5-13 record and didn’t make the playoffs. In January they fired General Manager Jim Barker and just three days later Coach Scott Milanovich quit to join the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. At the end of February, the Argonauts hired GM Jim Popp and Coach Marc Trestman. That by the way was two weeks AFTER free agency had already started and most of the desired players taken. Could any team dig themselves any bigger of a hole than the Argos did before this season started? No.

Yet here they are. After 9 long months. After finishing first in the East with a 9-9 record and after a last minute touchdown win over Saskatchewan. Here they are. The Toronto Argonauts have earned their spot in the 105th Grey Cup and have more than earned our attention.

So now, here we are. I know you most likely didn’t attend an Argos game this year. That’s all right, neither did I. I know you most likely didn’t watch them on television but even that is OK, neither did I. But again, forget all that. Forget everything other than paying attention to them this Sunday.

The Argonauts have managed to get this far without us, and for that they completely deserve our respect. But win or lose this weekend, they need to know that this city is appreciative of their efforts. There is plenty of room on the bandwagon, trust me, I just jumped on. Here is your chance to also participate. Watch the game, cheer them on, talk about them on social media, talk about them with your friends and families and keep howling that one, positive word…AAARRRGGGOOOOOOOSSSS!

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