Forgive me if I’m sounding like a broken record. Every time the Edmonton Elks approach a home game, I keep wondering if they’ll break their record breaking 1000 + day home losing streak. After a heartbreaking final minute loss to the CFL East Division leading Toronto Argonauts 28-23 on October 15 at Commonwealth Stadium, the last place Elks host the BC Lions on Friday October 21. Its the Elks last chance to win a home game and break their 2+ year home losing streak.
But the Lions have a lot to play for, including second place in the CFL’s West Division if they beat the Elks. The Lions could also have Canadian Quarterback sensation Nathan Rourke back at the controls as he gets closer to returning to active duty after suffering an ankle injury on August 20 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
A Possible Battle of Canadian Quarterbacks
If Rourke does return for the Lions against the Elks, he’ll be facing another top Canadian born Quarterback in Tre Ford. Ford got the call for the Elks after starter Taylor Cornelius suffered an injured spleen in the loss to the Argonauts on October 15. Friday’s game is Canadian Armed Forces and Fan Appreciation Night at Commonwealth Stadium and will feature a pre-game flyover.
Fans of both Rourke and Ford are hoping for another Canadian style flyover on Friday, as the potential showdown between both homegrown quarterbacks could feature a majour aerial attack from both QBs.
It could also be a glimpse of what the future of the CFL can be as both Rourke and Ford are exceptional Canadian talents. The CFL hasn’t seen talent at QB this deep since the days of Russ Jackson with the Ottawa Rough Riders and Frank Cosentino with the Hamilton Tiger Cats back in the 1960s.
A Win. Just a Tiny Little Win.
Elks fans have to be hoping that this losing streak could come to an end on Friday against the Lions so the team can start with a clean slate next year. But it’s not going to be easy. The Lions can clinch second place and a home playoff date with a win over the Elks, so they’ll be highly motivated. Many players on the Elks squad will be playing for contracts next season. After watching running back Kevin Brown, receiver Dillon Mitchell and kick returner Christian Saulsberry play well against Toronto, hope continues to grow in Edmonton.
Can the Good Old Days Return?
As a fan of the team for over 40 years, I’ve been spoiled. I got to watch Tom Wilkinson, Warren Moon, Matt Dunigan, Damon Allen, Tracy Ham, Ricky Ray and Mike Reilly at Quarterback. I was privileged to watch CFL Hall of Famers such as Dan Kepley, Dave Fennell, Danny Bass, Gizmo Williams and Brian Kelly. I had only heard stories from the 1960s about the Green and Gold’s losing ways. These last three years have been much like the 60s must have felt around Clarke Stadium.
I can only hope the organization is able to turn it around, and possibly as early as next season. Maybe Edmonton Elks fans will be lucky enough to cheer for a winning team again soon. You only have to look at the current flagship franchise of the CFL, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers under head coach Mike O’Shea for proof that an organization can go from the basement to the penthouse in just a few short years.
Farhan Lalji reports on Twitter that Nathan Rourke will not be playing against Edmonton in the Elks final home game of the season.
Full coverage of the 2022 season on CFL News Hub.