The Edmonton Eskimos are back in Vancouver for the third time in less than two months to seek their first win under the new roof at B.C. Place Stadium.
If they win Nov. 20, they will get a chance the next week to get their second win — in the 99th Grey Cup.
The more times the teams play on the new synthetic turf field, the greater the odds that the Eskimos will finally win one. But will that win spoil the B.C. Lions’ ambition to finish the season as the home team in the Grey Cup?
Edmonton has rained on the parade before. Enough that you might suggest there is a green and gold jinx.
Every time the Lions have met the Esks in the West final of a B.C. Place Grey Cup hosting year, the Esks have eliminated B.C.
Nov. 23, 1986: Esks 41-Leos 5 in Edmonton (Mike Kerrigan and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats beat the Esks 39-15 in the Grey Cup).
Nov. 22, 1987: Esks 31-Leos 7 in Vancouver (Gizmo Williams and the Esks beat the Toronto Argonauts 38-36 in the Grey Cup.)
Nov. 20, 2005: Esks 28-Leos 23 in Vancouver (The Danny Maciocia-coached Esks beat the Montreal Alouettes 38-35 in overtime to win the Grey Cup).
What’s more, the Calgary Stampeders eliminated B.C. on Nov. 21, 1999, 26-24 at B.C. Place. The Stamps returned the following week to lose 32-21 to Darren Flutie and the Ti-Cats.
Could the Stanley Cup riot be a good omen?
The last year in which the Vancouver Canucks were losers and fans reacted by rioting in downtown, the Lions beat an Alberta team in the West final and won the Grey Cup at B.C. Place.
The Lions edged the Stampeders 37-36 in dramatic fashion in the snow at Calgary on Nov. 20, 1994. On Nov. 27, 1994, Lui Passaglia kicked the game-winning field goal on the final play to beat Baltimore 26-23. That remains the greatest sports moment in the history of 1983-opened B.C. Place and, arguably, the greatest 20th century moment in Vancouver sports history.
Vancouver was rocked by another Stanley Cup riot when the Canucks were losers on June 15, 2011.
Can the city end this year with a home-won Grey Cup as consolation?
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.