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Rick Zamperin: Grey Cup win won’t solve Argos’ issues

Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray (15) passes against the Calgary Stampeders during first half CFL football action in Toronto on Thursday, August 3, 2017.
Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray (15) passes against the Calgary Stampeders during first half CFL football action in Toronto on Thursday, August 3, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The Toronto Argonauts are going to win Sunday’s 105th edition of the Grey Cup because the league wants them to win.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that claim over the last few days.

The thinking, at least in our black and gold-dominated city, is that whenever the Argos win a big game or a championship, it’s because the refs handed it to them, or the league pulled some strings and allowed poor old Toronto to celebrate.

Hogwash!

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There’s little doubt the Canadian Football League wants to see the Boatmen flourish, why wouldn’t the league want that?

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The CFL wants all its members’ clubs to be successful.

The thing is, winning Sunday’s title game against Calgary isn’t going to be the magic pill that drives fans into BMO Field by the thousands next season.

It won’t hurt, but its impact will only go so far.

You’ll recall that Toronto won the 100th Grey Cup in 2012 in QB Ricky Ray’s first season in Double Blue, a championship that did little to entice the Toronto sports fan from becoming a hardcore Argos supporter.

Click to play video: 'Canadian football broadcaster talks about attending 60 Grey Cups' Canadian football broadcaster talks about attending 60 Grey Cups
Canadian football broadcaster talks about attending 60 Grey Cups – Nov 23, 2017

The franchise has simply fallen further down the list of things Torontonians pay attention to on a day-to-day basis.

They are never going to reach the level of rabid fans the Maple Leafs enjoy, or the raucous diehards who support the Blue Jays, Raptors and Toronto FC.

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The Argos will find their place again, and if it’s fifth on the average Toronto sports fan’s depth chart, then so be it.

But if the Boatmen win on Sunday — and the funny thing is my gut tells me they will (mind you, I may have eaten something funky this week) — it won’t be because the officials or the league conspires to make it happen.

No, Toronto will have earned it.

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