After a stunning defeat in the most important game of the Canadian Football League season, all that is left for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and their fans is to “wait til next year.”
The phrase was once the unofficial slogan of the old Brooklyn Dodgers.
Baseball’s trolley dodgers, as they were once referred to, won the National League pennant in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953, only to lose each year in the World Series to the crosstown powerhouse New York Yankees.
That year finally came in 1955, when Brooklyn bested the Bronx Bombers in the Fall Classic in seven games.
The Tiger-Cats’ Grey Cup ineptitude isn’t as maddening as the stretch the Dodgers endured in the 1940’s and 50’s. Nonetheless, there is no joy in Mudville — or in this case, Hamilton.
In a one-game, winner-take-all championship final like the CFL’s Grey Cup, the result brings with it a finality, and a cold one at that for the losing squad.
The players, coaches, front office staff and fans will carry the weight of losing against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the final until at least next spring, when training camp starts and there is a renewed hope for another title run.
But until then, Sunday’s 33-12 loss is going to sting, and sting hard.
Despite winning a team record 15 games and going undefeated at home for the first time in the franchise’s 150 year history, 2019 just wasn’t Hamilton’s year.
All we can do now is wait til next year.