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History When Winning The West

Published: Tuesday, Nov 5th 2019, 2:11pm

By: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)

There has been a lot of talk over the past week or two, regarding the Roughriders team history when finishing 1st in the West. So much so that where was some brief talk about wanting the Riders to finish 2nd instead of 1st because 1st is a bad omen. The last 2 times the Riders have finished 1st, it has lead to the ultimate heartbreak for the men in green and white. We all remember 2009 and the too many men penalty. If you don’t, don’t worry. With the Grey Cup in Calgary again for the first time since 2009, and the Riders finishing 1st since 2009, you will likely be reminded of it weekly for the next 2 weeks. Prior to 2009, the last time the Riders finished 1st, was 1976. I dare you to mention the name Tony Gabriel to some of more experienced fans. I wasn’t even born yet when 1976 happened, and I grew up knowing to shudder at the name Tony Gabriel.

I thought it would be interested to go back through the history of the team and see just how bad the run of bad luck has been for the team when finishing 1st overall. So let’s go season by season.

2009 – Lost in Grey Cup to the Montreal Alouettes

1976 – Lost in Grey Cup to the Ottawa Rough Riders

1970 – Lost in West Final

1969 – Lost in Grey Cup to the Ottawa Roughriders

1968 – Lost in West Final

1966 – WON Grey Cup over the Ottawa Roughriders

In the 6 times we’ve finished 1st in the West, the Roughriders have made the Grey Cup 4 times, winning once and losing twice in heartbreaking fashion.

If you go back through our short Grey Cup winning history, our wins have come while finishing 1st (once), 2nd (twice) and 3rd (once). All that’s missing is the elusive crossover Grey Cup title.

What does all this mean? Absolutely nothing. This is a new season, with a new team that seems to thrive under pressure. The pressure on them to win the West Final will be intense on November 17th at Mosaic Stadium, but nothing they have shown would lead me to believe they aren’t up for it. Win that, and we can head to Calgary and try and exercise the demons of 2009.





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