To describe the Redblacks win in one word: loud.
The Redblacks defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-28 Sunday in a thrilling game that had fans on their edge of their seats until the very end.
Fans ignited the stadium despite the cold and Bank Street pubs are expected to come alive with celebrations all evening.
“It is beyond amazing to see excitement like this surrounding a sports team in Ottawa,” said Dante Scaffidi, 29, a fan from Ottawa. “I don’t think anyone expected this quick of a turnaround. Amazing.”
And as the team celebrated their win on the field, toques were flying, horns were blaring, noise makers were spinning, and the shouting was incessant — the throats of many fans were hoarse but they didn’t care.
The Redblacks are going to the Grey Cup.
An exhilarating game — it was tied up by the Ticats with one minute and 34 seconds to go — was saved at 1:11 when the Redblacks made a 93-yard touchdown to secure the win. Great passes and great catches (one by the Redblacks that certainly would have been catch of the year had it not been ruled incomplete) marked the game.
For Ottawa fans, it was a moment in history as their city once again has a team that will compete in the Grey Cup. The last time an Ottawa CFL team made it to the Grey Cup was with the Rough Riders in 1981, and the last time they won the cup was 1976.
The team will face the Edmonton Eskimos in Winnipeg next Sunday for the 103rd Grey Cup.
Whether watching at home, at a bar, or in the stands, fans were not disappointed with the Redblacks’ play. Quarterback Henry Burris made a superb second touchdown (running it in on his own) and the team squeaked a three-point field goal in to take the lead with 10 seconds left on the clock moving in to the third quarter.
Earlier the Glebe was abuzz with red and black checkered shirts: Ottawa was out to cheer on the Redblacks. After a rough start in their first year (winning only two of 18 games and coming in dead last), the Redblacks pulled a 180.
Season ticket holders Doug and Bev Stinson have been fans of Ottawa football since the Rough Rider days of the ’70s and ’80s.
“I went to Montreal to see the Rough Riders compete for the Grey Cup.”
Unfortunately the couple won’t be able to make it to Winnipeg (or “Winterpeg” as they called it) because Doug Stinson already had to convince his boss to let him have today off for the game.
Not only a great day for Ottawa football, the Glebe businesses in and around Lansdowne were filled to the brim, drawing Ottawans from all over the city and even across the bridge as STO buses pulled up in front of the stadium.