Stevie Baggs took the high road knowing full well the Ticats are one road win away from a berth in the Grey Cup.
Perhaps if the circumstances weren’t what they are, the veteran defensive end would have reacted differently.
Instead, he took last week’s demotion in stride and is preparing to play this Sunday.
A casualty of the CFL’s ratio, Baggs was not part of Hamilton’s 42-man game roster for its overtime win over Montreal.
The way Rob Rose provided an inside push, the decision not to play Baggs turned out to be the right call.
“It was difficult not to play,’’ said Baggs, who addressed the matter for the first time on Wednesday. “I’m glad we got the win. I’m a competitor and it was difficult.
“That game was a barnburner, but we made enough plays to win.”
By not having Baggs on their game roster, the Ticats also were able to dress six import defensive backs in a game that would turn into a shootout with neither secondary capable of making plays.
Winnipeg is a team that uses the run to set up its play action and it’s highly unlikely the East final will feature 96 points.
“I respect the decision,’’ said Baggs of last Sunday’s move. “I wanted to be there for my team, but that’s what he (head coach Marcel Bellefeuille) decided to do.”
KHARI'S CAREER CIRCLE
Khari Jones has a chance to complete a career circle, a feat that won’t earn him many fans in the Peg. It was 10 years ago this week that Jones helped beat the visiting Tiger-Cats in the East final, a win that vaulted Winnipeg into the Grey Cup played in Montreal, where Calgary upset the high-powered Blue Bombers.
This Sunday, Jones will be on the opposing team calling plays for Kevin Glenn as the final game to be played at Canad Inns Stadium takes place.
“Hopefully I’ll have the same memories from this game,’’ Jones said. “It’s a nice feeling to know you’ve come full circle.
“There are a lot of memories playing at Canad Inns, but the best one was the 2001 East final when we beat Hamilton.”
Eddie Steele grew up idolizing Jones and would routinely attend Bombers games.
“That stadium is nothing new to me,’’ the defensive lineman said. “It’s going to be a cool and neat feeling playing in the very last game, especially being from there.”