There was no party on Portage Avenue and Main Street on Sunday night.
As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers looked to add a third CFL championship under their belt in four years, they fell to the Montreal Alouettes. In front of a crowd of nearly 29,000 at the Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ont., the Bombers ended their season to a surprise comeback by Montreal.
For fans at home, it was a disappointing end. But they’re still holding out for a return of the Grey Cup to Winnipeg.
Quinn Smith, a Winnipeg resident, said that while he and his friends were sour at the loss, the game itself was really well played.
“We’ve got to get the cup back… I think we’ve got a great foundation (moving) forward. (We can) continue being a great team for years to come,” said Smith, speaking on the Bomber’s next season.
“I don’t think it’s the end of the road yet.”
Smith added that the team needs to be fired up for a potential return to the final next year.
It’s something that Ahmed Nur also agrees with. For Nur, another Winnipeg based fan, it stings to see the Bombers losing after coming so far.
This year’s matchup marks the fourth straight Grey Cup appearance for the Bombers. Last year they lost to the Toronto Argonauts, after winning the cup in 2021 and 2019.
“Last minute, losing in the end? It hurts,” said Nur. “We were hoping to go to Portage and Main after the game. I was going to take the day off today, but here I am at work. I guess we have to move on.”
Nur said that for the team to reach the finals every year since 2019, it means something. He added that now it’s all about reclaiming the championship.
In examining the game, Derek Taylor, voice of the Bombers for 680 CJOB, said that the result was a surprise. But unlike last year, he said, the result was “self-inflicted.”
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“Montreal’s a team that averages about 21 offensive points a game. They scored 21 offensive points in the second half against the team (on Sunday) … that was absolutely a surprise,” said Taylor. “The biggest surprise was that the Bombers defence was never able to find its feet against the Montreal Alouettes.”
Taylor added that the Bombers could go into next season looking at possible turnovers with players. He also echoed the sentiments of fans, noting that the team could see itself back in the cup final for a fifth year.
— with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian
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