Argonauts steal of Chris Jones costly for Stampeders in Grey Cup game

Argonauts defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones, who was once with the Stampeders, was a key...

Argonauts defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones, who was once with the Stampeders, was a key difference in the Grey Cup win for Toronto. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency file photo)

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:53 AM ET

CALGARY - With all due respect to MVP Chad Kackert, nobody had a bigger hand in the Calgary Stampeders’ Grey Cup demise than Chris Jones.

And that’s a sad injustice given the shady way he departed McMahon Stadium with one year remaining on his contract with the Stamps.

It was Jones who was Calgary’s ace defensive co-ordinator for four years until he abruptly quit last November, landing with the Toronto Argonauts days later.

Understandably furious, the Stamps filed tampering charges, prompting the CFL to rule in their favour with a $5,000 fine for the Argos.

It’s a paltry sum opening the door for every team in the league to poach personnel given the laughable penance.

That $5,000 helped the Argos buy the 100th Grey Cup Sunday, as it was Jones’ gameplan that was the biggest reason the Stamps were never in the game.

Intimately familiar with the Stamps’ offence as his unit practised against it for four years, Jones was the only defensive co-ordinator in the CFL able to figure out a way to stop rushing champ Jon Cornish.

In the Argos’ three meetings with the Stamps in 2012, Cornish was held to 39, 43 and 57 yards, daring pivot Kevin Glenn to trying beating the Argos with his arm — a task he fell woefully short of.

Almost as shameful as Jones’ actions and the CFL’s bush-league response was the fact Jones declined all media interviews leading up to the big game.

No accountability there.

He obviously wasn’t all that comfortable having to explain his actions.

The party line from Argos head coach Scott Milanovich was that Jones called his former Montreal Alouettes co-worker to congratulate him on his Toronto posting. One thing led to another, and the next thing anyone knew, they were working together in the Big Smoke.

Only in the CFL could it be allowed to happen, and only in the CFL could it cost a club a championship.

Now for more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering how anyone can disagree with the notion the Stamps were not only outplayed but their coaches were clearly outcoached.

SECOND & SHORT

Forty-seven of the 100 Grey Cup games have been played in Toronto. Yet, by all accounts, this is the first one that received any significant level of traction from the locals. The city that sees itself as a trend-setter was only four or five decades behind the rest of the country in terms of recognizing the game as a wonderful celebration of Canadiana. Better late than never, I guess … Unsure how happy a 33rd birthday it was for embattled Joffrey Reynolds on Grey Cup Sunday, watching his former team stymied by a swarming run defence … One of the many good things that came out of the Stamps’ 2012 season was the emergence of Bo Levi Mitchell, making the quarterbacking picture all the most interesting next season. But no, he didn’t have the type of experience necessary to supplant Glenn any earlier in Sunday’s game.

QUESTIONABLE CONDUCT

Anyone still think Eric Tillman will supplant Jim Barker as Argos GM? Didn’t think so … Would it have killed Milanovich to crack a smile after the game or, at least, pretend he was having fun? … So now that Toronto mayor Rob Ford has been ousted from city hall, does Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi still really have to wear an Argos jersey in council, as per their Grey Cup bet? … Even though he didn’t dress for the game, how good did it feel for Ken-Yon Rambo to see his new team beat the team that released him? … Best sign at Sunday’s game: “100 years, 0 lockouts.”

eric.francis@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ericfrancis


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