Stamps, Cornish like MOP parallels to 2008

Calgary Stampeders Jon Cornish attends team practice in Toronto November 22, 2012. (REUTERS)

Calgary Stampeders Jon Cornish attends team practice in Toronto November 22, 2012. (REUTERS)

Ian Busby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:48 AM ET

TORONTO - Grey Cup week is working out for the Calgary Stampeders just as it did four years ago, right down to awards night.

Jon Cornish lost out the most outstanding player award on Thursday night to a player on the team he will face Sunday in the Grey Cup.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

In 2008, Henry Burris wasn't named the MOP when facing Anthony Calvillo on Thursday, but Burris picked up the MVP in the Grey Cup on Sunday.

All Cornish needs to complete a weird cycle of parallels between 2008 and 2012 Stampeders teams is to do the same thing.

Cornish didn't go home empty-handed Thursday, as he collected the most outstanding Canadian trophy.

But he did have to watch as Toronto Argonauts returner Chad Owens took home the most outstanding player honours.

"I knew what was going to happen," Cornish said. "This is a guy who broke Pinball Clemons' record. It was a record that wasn't supposed to be broken. He had a tremendous season, both as a returner and receiving.

"The thing I like about Chad is he came into this league as a returner and he developed into a receiver. He took that opportunity and ran with it.

"He's also a great person. They respect him. They were here en masse tonight."

Cornish had a few important people in the audience as well.

His mother Margaret and her wife Andrea made it after coming from Israel on Thursday.

Cornish was raised by a single mother with his father never in the picture, and he considers her his hero, so it was extra special to have her in attendance.

"She's quite a remarkable woman," Cornish said. "She raised us five kids with a large age gap. My older siblings were able to baby-sit for us quite a bit. She had to work. She's a teacher. She made sure we had great educations.

"She worked to ensure we were given the best, even if she wasn't the most capable of giving us everything on a music teacher's salary.

"After we were all done (school), she went back to school. She got a masters of ethics and became an (Anglican) priest. That's what she wanted to achieve.

"That's my motivation my entire life."

Losing the MOP doesn't give Cornish extra motivation. He probably doesn't need it anyway.

He said he won't celebrate this being the top Canadian until after the Grey Cup because he is too focused on bringing back a title right now.

Those closest to him on the team certainly believe he's completely prepared to win the title, and that he never worried about the MOP.

"His No. 1 goal and focus has never stopped being football," fullback Rob Cote said. "This week more than ever.

"You don't hear a lot about how he's a hard-working kid. He's doing all the right things. You hear the weird thing he does here or there. The one thing he does more than anything is take his job seriously, and it's paid off for him."

If everything works out in the Stampeders' plans, no one will remember that Cornish took only one of two awards on Thursday.

What will become the story is how the two wins were so similar.

"Obama was elected that year," Stamps receiver Jabari Arthur said. "There was a crossover team in the East. We beat B.C. We're coming into the home team's stadium.

"There are so many similar things. I'm hoping the outcome would be the same as well. We hope history repeats itself too."

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter @SUNIanBusby


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