The news that has been rumored for a while finally broke; Winnipeg has been awarded the 2025 Grey Cup. Whenever a city hosts a Grey Cup their desire is that the home team will be in the big game. Yet that rarely happens.
In the early 2010’s it looked like a trend was setting where the host team would win the Grey Cup. In 2011 the BC Lions won the Grey Cup at home (vs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, ouch!) For Bomber fan’s I will not go into detail of that painful Grey Cup. In 2012 the Toronto Argonauts hosted the Grey Cup and won, and in 2013 the Saskatchewan Roughriders won at home. However, in 2014 the Grey Cup was held at BC Place and the BC Lions were not even in the game. The Calgary Stampeders beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 20-16 to win the championship.
The last time the Grey Cup was played in Winnipeg was in 2015. Having a 5 and 13 record, the Bombers did not even make the playoffs that year. So what could be different in 2025?
Consistency Of Head Coach
The 2025 Grey Cup is 3 seasons away. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers could, and likely will look quite a bit different. What we do know is that Mike O’Shea will still be the Head Coach as he signed a 3 year extension in December of 2022.
How About The General Manager?
What was notable at that time is that Kyle Walters, the Bomber’s General Manager, was not offered a contract extension. In fact, his comments afterwards left room for doubt that Kyle Walters will remain the Bomber’s General Manager after this year.
Ultimately Winnipeg will be in or not be in the Grey Cup based on the players. As important as a good coach is, and Mike O’Shea is a great one, and as needed is a General Manager to find the players, it is the players that play the game. Winnipeg proved in 2022 that they could continue to find winning ways with a whole assortment of players.
Certainly when Zach Collaros re-signed until the end of 2025 that was in an effort to win more Grey Cups, and to win the 2025 Grey Cup. But other notable players have only signed 1 year extensions. Sometimes players will sign 1 year deals because they believe they can get the best deal in a short contract. Having said that, I would speculate that some of the players that only re-signed for the 2023 season have done so to try once more for another Grey Cup…and may consider retiring at the end of the 2023 season. It would be hard to imagine that all of the players will still be with the Bombers (or even in the CFL) come the 2025 season.
Who from this list do you think will still be around come the 2025 season? Who do you want to still be around come the 2025 season? Who do you not want to be around in the 2025 season?
Kyle Walters has already promised that there will be a strong kicking competition in the 2023 camp. And based on the work he accomplished in and before free agency, I tend to believe him.
It is not uncommon for CFL teams to sign a lot of players leading up to training camp. I will not list them all, but you can stay up to date with the Bombers’ signings on their Twitter page.
Maybe you picture yourself as a Blue Bomber for the 2023 season. If so, make sure to attend one of their open tryouts. Even better, please do if you are a kicker!
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Written by a Bomber fan, for the Bomber fans.
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