It's next year country

TROY WESTWOOD, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

Dead.

As a player, you never get used to how abruptly a season comes to an end. Today and tomorrow is all that exists in professional sport.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a film day followed by a week of practice preparing for the next opponent. Lose in the playoffs and tomorrow doesn't exist.

I hated that feeling.

Getting cut was very similar to the emotion felt after it dawns on you that your season is dead. Striving every day to be the very best. Thinking that I will be better tomorrow. The anticipation of game day.

Dead.

It's even that much more brutally abrupt when expectations are high heading into training camp. As an athlete, and a member of a team, you never think you are going to lose.

That perspective changes dramatically once you stand outside that circle. No one on the team would have considered the possibility of losing Saturday. Standing outside the circle, the chance of victory was 50/50.

There is nothing more thrilling in sport than the sudden death situation of a playoff game. The importance of every single play is magnified ten fold. Mistakes are not allowed.

On Saturday, Edmonton made fewer mistakes and their 2008 Grey Cup dream still has a heartbeat.

The 2008 Winnipeg Blue Bombers are history. Such a shame. The team had a swagger during training camp. The team knew it was one of the best in the land.

Something happened.

That something needs to be dealt with during the offseason.

A fool will cling on to the 6-2 regular season finish. A fool will ignore that five of those victories were against Toronto, Hamilton, and an indifferent Montreal. A fool will dream of Grey Cup victory in '09.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a big step to take to be on a level with the big boys of the CFL. A lot of work needs to be done. Some tough decisions need to be made. Some crucial decisions need to be made.

This is now a team in transition. Last year it was a team on the cusp of a championship. For some who played in the game on Saturday, tomorrow will never come. For some, football becomes yesterday.

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Can already feel the panic setting in at league headquarters.

How would Montreal deal with a Calgary-Edmonton Grey Cup?

Last year's Saskatchewan-Winnipeg clash at the centre of the universe seemed to go over pretty well. Maybe the battle of Alberta would work in Montreal as well.

Sure hope if it happens, that the league doesn't panic and switch to a one-division format with the top six teams going to the playoffs.

I think it is important to maintain the tradition of the East-West division alignment.


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