Johnson: Glenn will wear defeat, but there’s plenty of blame to go around

 

Mistakes, penalties, confounding play calls . . . Stamps botched this one

 
 
 
 
Calgary Stampeders quarterback Kevin Glenn was never able to find a rhythm against the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup.
 

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Kevin Glenn was never able to find a rhythm against the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup.

Photograph by: Colleen DeNeve

If anyone was expecting Kevin Glenn to be curled up in a fetal position, fists stuffed into his mouth, weeping silently in a dark corner of a dark, silent dressing room, they were disappointed.

“Man, you guys are making it seem like somebody died,” said the feel-good-story-gone bad. “I mean, like ‘Wow!’ We lost a game.

“We lost six of them in the regular season. It just so happened this was the Grey Cup. And there’s a ring involved. Something you can look at, and say ‘We won a Grey Cup. We got a ring. And nobody can take that away from us.’

“That’s the tough part.

“But, like I said, it’s not the end of the world.”

Behind the crestfallen quarterback, hanging in his locker, a photocopied piece of paper with a rallying cry: Seize the Moment.

This was supposed to be the night Kevin Glenn put all the old demons to bed. Destroy the stereotype. Silence all the naysayers. Check himself out of the big-game leper colony.

All the players got beat. All the coaches got schooled.

Defensive schemer Chris Jones, his jaw wired shut all week, exacted his revenge. Scott Milanovich, the raw head-coaching rook, takes the measure of a master.

But Kevin Glenn will wear most of it. That is the way of the world. The resilience and he displayed in cutting the B.C. Lions down to size a week ago will be conveniently forgotten.

“He had a rough start, obviously, then he got into a little bit of a groove,” adjudged Stamps’ coach John Hufnagel. “Then . . . I don’t know. There were some throws that were” — pause — “uncharacteristic. That’s all I can say.”

“We weren’t in a rhythm tonight,” Glenn said, hanging in for the entirety of the media scrum, a professional to his fingertips. “It seemed when we did, we put field goals on the board instead of touchdowns. When we had chances to put seven points on the board, we didn’t.

“This could’ve been any game where we didn’t have It just so happened to the 100th Grey Cup. So it feels bad that we couldn’t put more points on the board, put out a better display of our offence. ’Cause we know we’re better than that.

“But tonight, it just . . . didn’t happen.

“You can’t kick field goals all game and expect to win.”

His numbers — 14-for-27 for 222 yards and a pick — weren’t odious. Just not near enough to win

“I mean, it’s frustrating,” he conceded. “But when these kind of things happen, you go from your highest highs to your lowest lows.

“I don’t know of any other job where that can happen to you.

“You’ve got try and filter it and think about the positive things we did this year.

“To try and filter it somehow and try and think of the positive things we did this year. To try and overshadow this big loss. ’Cause right now this is very fresh in our minds and nobody’s happy.

“Right now, I can’t stop replaying the game in my head.”

The game ended with Glenn on the sideline and Bo Levi Mitchell at the helm. There were sideline reports of a rift with Maurice Price and a miffed Marquay McDonald giving his quarterback the cold shoulder.

“We’re all competitors,” said Glenn. “(McDaniel) might’ve been upset but we didn’t argue on the sidelines. If that’s what you’re getting at. There was never an incident between me and Marquay.”

Glenn’s major mistake came with the score line 7-3 in the second quarter, Argo DB Pacino Horne scooping up a searching pass and returning it 25 yards to The House.

“They kind of undercut the route on Nik,” sighed Glenn. “I tried to put it high and outside, so the defender from the outside couldn’t get it. The outside guy fell off his guy, dove around and caught the ball. I didn’t even think he caught it. I thought it hit the ground. It was a helluva catch. Those kind of things happen. You

“If I’d left it inside, it would’ve been picked. I have to give the receiver a chance.”

Where do you start dissecting a carnage this vast, this heinous, this unexpected?

Too little pressure to disturb the scant remains of Ricky Ray’s hair. Way too much mule-kick from Chad Kackert. Way too much Dontrelle Inman. Slipshod tackling, a blight they’d avoided a week ago out in B.C. On 3rd-and-one from the Argo 51, Matt Walter? Nice kid, Matt Walter. And, yeah, it’s worked before. But, like, really? In a Grey Cup? Third-and-one? With the league’s best running back at your beck and call?

On second-and-goal a yard from the Argo end zone, an end around to Romby Bryant? Again, with the best running back in the league at your beck and call? An end around? REALLY?

Talk about killing yourself with cleverness . . .

Down 15 with time ticking relentlessly and deep inside Toronto territory, only to settle for yet another Rene Paredes field goal? Talk about killing yourself with conservatism . . .

Too many penalties (Keon Raymond latching onto DB Matt Black, negating Larry Taylor’s 105-yard kick return for a touchdown being the most obviously damaging). Too few big plays.

And Glenn unable to deliver the fairy-tale finish his many supporters so desperately wanted.

“It’s always a missed opportunity,” he said softly, shaking his head.

“’Cause I feel we had a team to win this game. They outplayed us today.

“You always feel it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t win.

“We’re not in the business of moral victories.”

Kevin Glenn was right. Nobody died.

Just seemed that way is all.

George Johnson is the Herald’s sports columnist. E-mail him at gjohnson@calgaryherald.com on Twitter/GeorgejohnsonCH

 
 
 
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Calgary Stampeders quarterback Kevin Glenn was never able to find a rhythm against the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup.
 

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Kevin Glenn was never able to find a rhythm against the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup.

Photograph by: Colleen DeNeve

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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