106th Grey Cup

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106th Grey Cup
2018 Grey Cup.png
Ottawa Redblacks Calgary Stampeders
(11–7) (13–5)
16 27
Head coach: 
Head coach: 
1234 Total
Ottawa Redblacks 01132 16
Calgary Stampeders 71433 27
DateNovember 25, 2018
StadiumCommonwealth Stadium
LocationEdmonton, Alberta
Most Valuable PlayerBo Levi Mitchell
Most Valuable CanadianLemar Durant
National anthemBrett Kissel
Coin tossRt. Hon. Julie Payette
RefereeTom Vallesi[1]
Halftime showAlessia Cara
Attendance55,819
Broadcasters
NetworkEnglish: TSN
French: RDS
United States: ESPN2
Mexico: ESPN 3
AnnouncersChris Cuthbert (play-by-play)
Glen Suitor (analyst)
Sara Orlesky (sideline reporter)
Matthew Scianitti (sideline reporter)

The 106th Grey Cup (branded as the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw for sponsorship reasons)[2] was the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game for the 2018 season. It was played on November 25, 2018, between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Calgary Stampeders at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.[3]

In a rematch of the 104th Grey Cup, the Stampeders won 27–16, claiming their eighth Grey Cup Championship.

Host city[edit]

Selection process[edit]

On March 24, 2017, it was reported by several news outlets that the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos were bidding to host the 2018 Grey Cup game.[4][5] In previous years, the games would be awarded based on regional preference or ownership changes (such as Toronto hosting the 104th Grey Cup four years after hosting their previous one).[6] However, beginning with the 2018 game, the League announced it would conduct a formal bidding process based on the merits of the application to determine a host.[7] Calgary last hosted the Grey Cup in 2009 while Edmonton last hosted in 2010. Both cities had previously hosted the Grey Cup game four times. Edmonton was awarded the 106th Grey Cup on June 5, 2017 and Calgary was awarded the 107th Grey Cup on April 25, 2018.[8][9]

Despite having a new stadium, and not having hosted the Grey Cup game since 1996, it was reported that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would not submit a bid for the 106th Grey Cup due to ongoing lawsuits filed against the construction firms that completed the stadium more than a year behind schedule.[7] Tiger-Cats CEO, Scott Mitchell, relayed that the organization was focused on the lawsuits first and foremost, and once those were completed they would focus on hosting a Grey Cup in the near future.[10] Following the resolution of the lawsuits in 2018, the Tiger-Cats announced they would be bidding for the 108th Grey Cup.[11]

Grey Cup Festival[edit]

The Grey Cup Festival took place from November 21 to 25 in downtown Edmonton on Jasper Avenue. In February 2018, it was announced that the planned Festival would be over twice the size of the Festival held for the 98th Grey Cup, which was the last time that Edmonton hosted the event.[12] The increase in the size of the Festival was the result of a new initiative of the CFL to improve the Grey Cup experience and avoid previous situations where hosting teams underbudgeted the Festival.[13] The five-day event included a zipline from Jasper Avenue to Louise McKinney Park, artificial hills for tubing and skiing, as well as Grey Cup traditions like the team parties. A total of fifty unique events and twenty-eight musical acts were scheduled, and the Festival was expected to add over $80 million to the local economy.[14]

On October 11, 2018, it was announced that due to the proximity between the annual Santa's Parade of Lights and the Grey Cup Parade, the two would be combined into a single event. The combined parade was held on November 24.[15]

On November 8, 2018, Maritime Football Ltd. announced a Name-The-Team drive for its proposed CFL team in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During the East Coast Kitchen Party (an annual Grey Cup party put on by fans from Atlantic Canada) held on November 23, it was announced that the proposed team would be known as the Atlantic Schooners—reviving the name of a former conditional franchise that was awarded to Halifax in 1984 but which folded without ever playing a game.[16][17]

Ticket sales[edit]

On June 6, 2018 the Eskimos announced they had sold 51,000 tickets in only four days; leaving only a little more than 4,800 seats remaining for the championship game.[18] The game officially sold out in the days leading up to the event.[19] Two weeks before the game, it was announced that numerous Festival events, including the CFL Awards Ceremony, CFLPA Legends Luncheon, and the Grey Cup Gala Dinner, were either sold out or close to selling out.[20]

Background[edit]

Calgary Stampeders[edit]

The Stampeders finished first in the West Division for a third straight year with a regular season record of 13–5. They became the first team in the league to clinch a playoff spot in Week 13 of the regular season with a 38–16 victory over the Toronto Argonauts.[21] The Stampeders narrowly beat out the Saskatchewan Roughriders for first in the West and did not clinch the top spot until defeating the BC Lions in the final game of the season. That victory also prevented the Stampeders from entering the playoffs on a losing streak for the second year in a row.[22]

As the first place team in the West, the Stampeders received a bye in the first round of the playoffs and hosted the Western Final on November 18 against the third place Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Stampeders won the game 22–14 to become the West Division champions for the third straight year.[23]

Ottawa Redblacks[edit]

The Redblacks placed first in the East Division with an 11–7 record, returning to the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Led by quarterback Trevor Harris, the Redblacks clinched first place with a victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 17.[24] During their season, rookie kicker Lewis Ward broke the professional football record for consecutive field goals, surpassing NFL kicker Adam Vinatieri with his 45th consecutive field goal in Week 16.[25] Receiver Brad Sinopoli also set a league record for catches by a Canadian, with 116 worth 1,376 yards.[26]

As the first place team in the East, the Redblacks hosted the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Eastern Final after the Tiger-Cats defeated the crossover BC Lions in the Semi-Final. The Redblacks handily defeated the Tiger-Cats 46–27 behind Harris throwing for six touchdowns, a CFL playoff record.[27] With the victory, the Redblacks advanced to the Grey Cup for the third time in four years.[28]

Head-to-head[edit]

Calgary and Ottawa met twice in the 2018 regular season, with Calgary winning both games. Their first meeting took place during Week 3 in Calgary and saw the Stampeders win 24–14. Two weeks later, the teams met in Ottawa, where the Stampeders routed the Redblacks 27–3.[29] The 106th Grey Cup was the second championship match-up between the two teams, following the 104th Grey Cup which was won by the Redblacks in overtime.[30]

Game summary[edit]

Prior to kickoff, Calgary (CGY) won the coin toss and chose to defer to the second half, with Ottawa (OTT) choosing to kick the ball. Due to the freezing temperatures in Edmonton in the days prior to the event, the turf was slippery throughout the game, with Stampeders defensive lineman Ja'Gared Davis commenting that he had never played on a field with as little traction.[31] The two teams opened the first quarter with quarterbacks Bo Levi Mitchell and Trevor Harris exchanging interceptions. Following their interception of Harris' pass, the Stampeders opened the scoring in the last third of the first quarter with a 21-yard touchdown run by running back Don Jackson and a successful conversion by kicker Rene Paredes to put the Stampeders up 7–0. The Stampeders would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.[32]

While the Stampeders began the second quarter with possession, the Redblacks would score on their following possession with a field goal by Lewis Ward, making the score 7–3. However, four minutes later the Stampeders would respond with another touchdown, this time courtesy a 17-yard pass from Mitchell to Lemar Durant, extending their lead to 14–3. The Redblacks would finally score their first touchdown of the game at the 12:35 mark of the second quarter with a successful pass from Harris to receiver Julian Feoli-Gudino, who caught the 25-yard pass at the 30-yard line and proceeded to run it into the endzone. The Redblacks opted to go for the two-point conversion rather than the kick to make the score 14–11.[33] However, two minutes later Stampeders punt returner Terry Williams would score the final touchdown of the first half following a 97-yard punt return, setting a Grey Cup record for longest punt return. The previous record had stood since the 83rd Grey Cup in 1995 and was set by Chris Wright of the Baltimore Stallions.[34]

In comparison to the first two quarters, the third quarter was a quiet one offensively, with the two teams both managing a successful field goal to make the score 24–14 going into the fourth quarter.[32] The Stampeders would kick another field goal three minutes into the fourth to increase their lead to 27–14. Facing a thirteen-point deficit, the Redblacks make an offensive push and made it to Calgary's seven-yard line before an attempted touchdown pass was knocked down by Stampeders linebacker Jamar Wall, forcing a turnover on downs.[33] Despite conceding a two points to the Redblacks as the result of a safety, the Stampeders managed to hold their opponents scoreless for the remainder of the game, allowing them to win with a final score of 27–16.[32]

With his two successful field goal kicks, Stampeders kicker Rene Paredes became the all-time Grey Cup leader in field goal percentage, having successfully made all 11 of his field goal kicks throughout five career appearances in the Grey Cup. The previous record was 9-for-9 and was held by former Toronto Argonauts kicker Mike Vanderjagt.[35]

Scoring summary[edit]

Rally for the 106th Grey Cup, held on 27 November in Calgary, two days after the game.

First quarter[32]

CGY – TD D. Jackson 21 yard pass (Paredes convert) (4:49) 7–0 CGY

Second quarter[32]

OTT – FG Ward 30 yards (12:50) 7–3 CGY
CGY – TD Durant 17 yard pass (Paredes convert) (8:47) 14–3 CGY
OTT – TD Feoli Gudino 55 yard pass (Beaulieu two-point convert) (2:25) 14–11 CGY
CGY – TD T. Williams 97 yard punt return (Paredes convert) (0:20) 21–11 CGY

Third quarter[32]

OTT – FG Ward 41 yards (7:20) 21–14 CGY
CGY – FG Paredes 34 yards (3:53) 24–14 CGY

Fourth quarter[32]

CGY – FG Paredes 29 yards (12:25) 27–14 CGY
OTT – Safety Maver (0:32) 27–16 CGY

Broadcasting[edit]

The game was televised in Canada by TSN (English) and RDS (French),[36] and in the United States on ESPN2.

For the first time, a Spanish-language telecast was provided by ESPN Latin America for ESPN3 in Mexico, with Aaron Soriano on play-by-play and the Toronto Argonauts' Frank Beltre on colour. The move came on the heels of a letter of intent between the CFL and Mexico's Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional, which contained a proposal for partnerships between the two leagues and the possibility of a CFL game played in Mexico as early as 2020.[37][38]

Entertainment[edit]

On June 28, 2018, the CFL announced that The Reklaws would perform prior to the game as part of the SiriusXM Canada Kickoff Show, after their scheduled week 1 halftime performance at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg was cancelled due to inclement weather.[39] Canadian country singer Brett Kissel sang the national anthem.[40]

On September 29, 2018, the CFL announced that Alessia Cara would be the halftime performer.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CFL.ca Staff (2018-11-22). "Vallesi headlines crew selected to officiate Grey Cup Game". CFL.ca. Canadian Football League. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  2. ^ "Shaw, CFL announce Grey Cup sponsorship deal". Global News. May 8, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  3. ^ Scott, Morley; Mertz, Emily (June 5, 2017). "Edmonton officially named 2018 Grey Cup host city". CHED. Edmonton: Global Edmonton. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Stamps, Eskimos bidding for 2018 Grey Cup". TSN. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  5. ^ "Calgary, Edmonton to bid for 2018 Grey Cup: report". 3downnation. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  6. ^ "Toronto to host Grey Cup in 2016, Ottawa in 2017". Sportsnet. Rogers Media. September 4, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Edwards, Drew (March 24, 2017). "No Grey Cup bid until stadium legal issues solved". The Hamilton Spectator. Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  8. ^ "CFL awards 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw to City of Edmonton - CFL.ca". CFL.ca. June 5, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "CFL awards 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw to city of Calgary - CFL.ca". CFL.ca. April 25, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  10. ^ "Last hurdle the highest for Tiger-Cats". Toronto Sun. 2017-05-04. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Steven Milton (November 13, 2018). "Ticats one of three in running to host 2020 Grey Cup Game". Hamilton Spectator.
  12. ^ "Edmonton Grey Cup festival almost double the size of 2010 celebrations". The Edmonton Journal. February 18, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  13. ^ "JONES: New Grey Cup era ushered with elimination of money grab". Edmonton Sun. May 2, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  14. ^ "Edmonton ready to 'Bring the Heat': Grey Cup festival to host more than 50 events, 28 music acts". Edmonton Journal. September 28, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "Santa's Parade and CN Grey Cup Parade will be 1 Edmonton event". Global News Edmonton. October 11, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  16. ^ "Name for proposed Halifax CFL franchise is Atlantic Schooners". CBC News. November 24, 2018. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  17. ^ "Schooners, Admirals, Storm: Suggestions roll in for Halifax CFL team". The Chronicle Herald. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "51K Grey Cup tickets sold after just four days - Article - TSN". TSN. June 5, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  19. ^ "Grey Cup game does not live up to standard of festival". Edmonton Sun. November 25, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  20. ^ "Tickets to Grey Cup events almost all gone". Edmonton Journal. November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
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  26. ^ "How the Ottawa Redblacks became a model CFL franchise". Sportsnet. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  27. ^ "Record-setting Harris, Redblacks hammer Tiger-Cats in East final". CBC Sports. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  28. ^ "REDBLACKS earn Grey Cup berth with dominant win over Tiger-Cats". CFL. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  29. ^ "BRENNAN: Redblacks have 'grown' since putrid summer performances against Stamps". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  30. ^ "REDBLACKS play for second Grey Cup versus Stampeders". CFL. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  31. ^ "Field at Commonwealth Stadium was more ice than turf in Grey Cup". Edmonton Sun. 2018-11-26. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g "Play-by-Play, 106th Grey Cup". CFL. 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  33. ^ a b "Key moments from the Grey Cup". The Star. 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  34. ^ "Williams sets Grey Cup record with 97-yard punt return TD". CFL. 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  35. ^ "Paredes becomes all-time leader in FG percentage in Grey Cup history". CFL. 2018-11-25. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  36. ^ "Where to Watch: 2018 CFL Playoff broadcast schedule". CFL. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  37. ^ "Watch: CFL commissioner wants to bring the game to Mexico". National Post. November 23, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  38. ^ "CFL now targeting 2020 for games in Mexico". TSN. November 23, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  39. ^ "Long Live the Night: REKLAWS to play SiriusXM Kickoff Show". CFL.ca. June 28, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  40. ^ "Brett Kissel to sing 'O Canada' at 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw". TSN. November 1, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  41. ^ "Alessia Cara to headline 2018 Grey Cup halftime show". CBC News. Retrieved October 2, 2018.