His dreams of becoming an instant CFL hero were dashed in the Grey Cup game last year.
So Winnipeg quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie had to wait until now to begin erasing the bitter memory of that Grey Cup loss to Saskatchewan as he starts his first regular-season game against the Calgary Stampeders at Canad Inns Stadium tonight.
"That's just every game, especially when you don't win," said Dinwiddie, who will replace a struggling Kevin Glenn at the controls. "The games where you go out and throw 400 yards and five touchdowns, you don't remember. Being a competitive person, you always think there is something you could have done different.
"There were games that I lost when I was eight years old that I still think about those losses on occasion. They're always going to haunt ya."
Dinwiddie has been haunted by a Grey Cup Nightmare of throwing three picks and fumbling the ball away in the 23-19 loss to the Roughriders as he started his first CFL playoff game for an injured Glenn.
"What's most important for us right now is to get that win," said Dinwiddie, who completed 15 of 33 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown in the CFL championship. "The Grey Cup was last year and this year is this year. We've got to get that win and that's all I'm looking forward to."
Dinwiddie, 27, gets another chance to strut his stuff as the Bomber attack has been unproductive under Glenn.
"I'm excited for the opportunity and a chance to prove myself in the league," said the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Boise State product.
Dinwiddie should be inspired by the fact third-stringers have proven themselves in Saskatchewan (Darian Durant) and B.C. (Jarious Jackson).
"I don't see myself as a backup, I see myself as a starter, and I'm getting my first opportunity to prove it now," Dinwiddie said. "I'm confident, right now, that we can get a win."
Bomber linebacker Cam Hall, who played with Dinwiddie at Boise State, knows what the often-fiery pivot can do.
"Ryan is a very capable quarterback, a great competitor," Hall said. "He's the kind of guy who likes to go out and try to be a driving force on offence.
"He likes to get other guys motivated to play better and it's definitely what he can do. People have seen the type of spark that he can ignite. He did that a little bit when he filled in for Kevin in the second half of the game against B.C. (two games ago).
"Right now, the offensive guys are behind him and I think it's going to be a good move for us to go out and get our first win."
Head coach Doug Berry is certainly hoping Dinwiddie will be the spark to ignite the club's first victory.
"He showed that he is a capable quarterback in the Grey Cup game," Berry said. "A very motivated athlete to be good. He puts in a lot of time, a lot of film work, a lot of extra practice on the field. He is a very dedicated and committed player on the field that wants to be the best that he can possibly be."
After failing tryouts elsewhere, Dinwiddie can secure his future by seizing the day.
"You kind of embrace the moment better," he said. "You hope for an opportunity like this. You bounce around from team to team and you work hard, and sometimes, it just doesn't work out that way for you.
"But you've just got to keep working hard at it and now, I've got the opportunity to do it right here, and I'm excited about it."