CALGARY — Kevin Glenn will get his chance to lead the Calgary Stampeders to the 100th Grey Cup.
After Drew Tate showed up out of uniform and wearing a cast on his throwing arm to practice at a frigid McMahon Stadium on Thursday, speculation quickly escalated amongst the swarm of media in attendance, all of whom were wondering what this meant for the Stamps, or if it meant anything at all.
In the end, it did mean something.
Western Final Playoff Centre
The 2012 Western Final matchup is set as the BC Lions host the Calgary Stampeders. Here is everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s game.
“Drew went and had further testing yesterday, he had an MRI and a CT scan and unfortunately they discovered a small fracture. So he will not be available to us for this football game,” announced Calgary Head Coach and General Manager John Hufnagel immediately after practice.
And with that, along with the fate of the Stampeders’ Grey Cup hopes, the ball that Glenn carried for 14 games during the regular season was officially back in his hands.
Thursday’s news is the latest in a series of twists and turns the Stampeders have been forced to endure along their lengthy drive through the 2012 campaign.
The saga began on July 7 in Toronto, when Tate succumbed to a shoulder injury that would see him miss 14 weeks of action. During that span, Glenn would lead the Stamps to second place in the West Division, winning nine of his 14 games as the main man under centre in Cowtown.
But with two games remaining in the schedule, Tate would return and perform well enough in his limited action to earn the start in the Western Semi-Final vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Tate would go on to lead the Stamps to a thrilling 36-30 victory, one that saw him throw a last-minute, game-winning touchdown strike to Romby Bryant.
It seemed as though nothing could go wrong for Tate and the Stampeders.
But nothing is at it seems, right?
During the third quarter of the Western Semi, Tate was brought down on an innocent looking tackle by Saskatchewan’s Tyron Brackenridge, where he suffered the broken forearm that will keep him out of Sunday’s Western Final vs. the BC Lions.
As a result, Glenn will be given the massive opportunity to finish what he started.
Glenn, however, doesn’t exactly see it that way.
“It’s a team sport, I’m not the only one that contributed to those wins,” said Glenn when it was suggested he was the reason the Stamps had made it this far.
“Even Drew (Tate) contributed to the wins when he wasn’t playing; being the type of guy that he is, he would come in and help me out on the sidelines, so it’s a total team effort,” he added. It’s an all too familiar, but unfortunate situation that Glenn has been a part of before. The story of Glenn’s 2007 season is already well-known. Glenn, then just 28 years old – the same age Tate is now – led the Blue Bombers into the post-season to the tune of 5,117 yards and 25 touchdown passes.
After downing the Alouettes in the Eastern Semi-Final, Glenn suffered a broken arm against the Toronto Argonauts in the Eastern Final – an injury that forced him to miss the Grey Cup the following week.
Glenn understands what Tate is going through, but is still focused getting the Stampeders into the 100th Grey Cup.
“Shoot, I’ve been in that same situation where I was that guy, so I understand exactly what (Tate) is going through,” Glenn said.
“At the same time I’ve got to focus on the task at hand and that’s winning the game.”
Glenn and Tate split duties in the final two games of the regular season, so the quarterback hasn’t had time to collect rust.
“I didn’t relax and I’ve been through this before because I know the significance of being that backup, that No. two guy,” Glenn said.
“I was always ready and the only difference is I’m taking No. 1 reps this week.”