Stampeders QB Kevin Glenn can change legacyCan the former Bombers pivot finally win the big one?
By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency
|Stampeders quarterback Kevin Glenn. (STUART DRYDEN/QMI Agency)
WINNIPEG - I’ll begin today’s diatribe with a line from this space one week ago.
It was a prediction, actually, about the Calgary Stampeders and their quarterback controversy going into the CFL West Division semifinal.
You may recall the Stamps started youngster Drew Tate over veteran Kevin Glenn against Saskatchewan, even though Glenn is the one who’d led Calgary to a 12-6 record while Tate recovered from a shoulder injury.
We haven’t seen the last of Glenn this season, is the line that ended my look at the West semi.
Voila (insert back patting here), our old friend wearing No. 15 has been thrust back into the big chair for the West Final, as Tate suffered a cracked forearm in the semi.
Talk about poetic justice.
It was, after all, a broken arm that kept Glenn from playing for the Blue Bombers in the 2007 Grey Cup, a break that may have healed but left permanent scarring.
“He can’t win the big one,” is how the prevailing wisdom on Glenn goes, and for a quarterback that’s like questioning manhood.
The great ones are separated from the good ones by counting the rings on their fingers, and with Glenn the conclusion is he’s all bare thumbs.
Of course, he was less than a quarter from winning that ’07 East Final in Toronto, when a bobbled handoff to Charles Roberts led to the snap heard ’round Manitoba.
There are multitudes, me included, who believe the Bombers, with Glenn at the controls instead of the deer-in-the-headlights Ryan Dinwiddie, probably would have got the better of the Riders a week later in the biggest game of them all.
Oh, the domino effect that would have had, from the likely extension of CEO Lyle Bauer’s stay in Winnipeg to head coach Doug Berry’s, and onward, down the line.
The Bombers Grey Cup drought would have ended at 16 years, that teetotaller Milt Stegall could have wobbled properly off into the sunset after finally tasting a drink of booze from Earl Grey’s mug — and we wouldn’t have endured the Mike Kelly era, two years later.
As for Glenn, he’d have been able to take that ring and wave it in the face of every smart alec sportswriter he encountered for the rest of his career, sweet vindication for every can’t-win-the-big-one headline he was ever forced to endure.
Instead, he suffered the indignation of being cut by the Bombers a year later, then traded after three futile seasons in Hamilton, each one making that label appear more permanent.
By a simple twist of fate, or an awkward fall on an arm, Glenn’s chance at redemption, likely his final one, is at hand, and teammates can sense the significance.
“It’s kinda like, after all these years, he has the chance to go out and right a wrong,” Stamps receiver Nik Lewis told reporters in Calgary this week, suggesting a better grasp of this situation than of his own Twitter account.
If Glenn can get the Stamps past B.C. and finally win a Grey Cup, he’ll do more than right a wrong.
He’ll completely change the way he’s remembered.
Prediction: Calgary’s huge win over the Lions last month was no fluke.
That sound you hear emanating from the Centre of the Universe is CFL head office types mumbling prayers that the Argos knock off Montreal in the East Final and reach the 100th Grey Cup.
The league wants so badly to be taken seriously in Southern Ontario it cobbled together $1 million from the rest of the teams to help market the Argos and Ticats this season, remember?
That’s probably more than they spent on drug and concussion policies, combined.
The empty seats at the former SkyDome for last week’s semi suggests all the money in the world won’t make Toronto like three-down football.
Every city likes a winner, though.
Prediction: If there’s not an upset in the West, there will be one in the East.
And I wouldn’t rule out both.