I didn't tune into a single Argos game this season until yesterday. That's not an anti-CFL thing, it's really much more of an anti-football thing. For the past decade, I've really only been interested in playoff football, be it of the CFL or NFL variety. But yesterday, when I got back form my son's hockey practice, I tuned in TSN to watch the second half of the Eastern Final between the Toronto Argonauts and the Montreal Allouettes.
I had heard all season about how this was the best Argos team in franchise history, and that's a very long history (150 years!) with many Grey Cups. It felt like we were one win away form the Grey Cup since Labour Day, as strange as that sounds, but in a league this size that's how it is. The Argos were so dominant this regular season, and quarterback Chad Kelly was so good, they were destined to host the Eastern Final long ago.
I tuned in hoping to see the Argos win so I could enjoy the Grey Cup next Sunday. What I saw was abysmal. BMO Field looked pretty full, and the crowd seemed into it, but the performance on the field was dreadful. The Argos lost by three touchdowns and the season came to a disappointing and abrupt end.
Many jumped on the "Argos just Toronto'd" narrative. Recent Maple Leafs and Blue Jays teams have thoroughly disappointed in the playoffs. Those two teams are firmly entrenched in "good regular season, shitty playoffs" territory, and after yesterday's football game, the Argos are right there with them.
But this "that's so Toronto" punchline is lazy and requires one ignore a glaring inconvenient truth. Against all odds, the 2019 Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship. So truly, this is a Leafs / Jays things, as the last championship for one of those teams was way back in 1993.
And besides, if you were going to throw the Argos in that pile, you'd have to acknowledge that they last won the Grey Cup (checks notes...) last season. That's right, the Argos were the defending Grey Cup champs.