At Eastern Washington, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell will forever be remembered as the ultimate winner.
You can imagine what they think of him in Calgary, where Mitchell is taking the Stampeders to their third Grey Cup in the last four years.
Mitchell has raised the bar in Alberta as well,
“Honestly, I expect to be there every year,” Mitchell said after Calgary beat Edmonton last weekend to win the West final.
“It’s the mindset of our coaches – it means the world to me. I’m looking forward to having a shot at redemption.”
That’s been the buzzword in Calgary for a year, ever since a heavily-favored Stampeder team lost to Ottawa in overtime of last year’s Canadian Football League title game.
The redemption tour ends on Sunday, when Mitchell and the Stampeders face Toronto for the title. A win would be the second for Mitchell, who beat Hamilton, 20-16, in 2014.
Mitchell and the Stampeders are already in Ottawa for the title game, trying to focus. That’s simple, Mitchell said.
“As the week goes on, just turn down a couple more media requests and just stay in the room and even just tell family, because families start showing up around Friday-Saturday,” Mitchell said.
The Stamps are taking nothing for granted, not after last year and especially not after a narrow 32-28 win last week over Edmonton in the West Division final.
Calgary fell behind 14-0 to Edmonton and quarterback Mike Reilly, a Central Washington product who, like Mitchell, was coached by Beau Baldwin.
Mitchell and co. responded with a 22-point second quarter and never looked back.
“Very gritty,” Mitchell said. “We knew we were playing a very hot team, (and) they gave us a great shot in the beginning to go up 14 points.”
The win silenced a few critics who felt that this year’s team (13-4-1) took a step backward after last year’s 15-2-1 squad.
“Attitude, man, that’s what’s different from last year’s team, said Mitchell, who’s started every game while going 349 for 546, for 4,700 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.