While the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders met in the Grey Cup for the first time ever in 2009, do not be surprised if both teams make a repeat performance in 2010.
The Als are already making their Grey Cup plans for next season.
It appears that two of the team’s most valuable assets, Anthony Calvillo and Marc Trestman, will be returning to the Als next season.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Anwar Stewar said that on Tuesday, Calvillo told his teammates he will return next season: "bigger," "faster," "better," and "stronger." When Trestman was asked if he would return, he told the Gazette, “Yes sir. I plan on coming back next year.”
With both Calvillo and Trestman returning to Montreal next season, it is apparent that team is hoping to repeat as Grey Cup champions next season. Coming off a season in which the Als posted a combined record of 17-3, there are likely few who doubt they will have what it takes to make it back next season.
While the Als may be looking forward to defending their Grey Cup title next season, for the Riders, getting a chance to avenge their loss to the Als in the Grey Cup will be the only thing on their minds during the offseason.
According to Riders quarterback Darian Durant, the goal for next season is to make it back to the Grey Cup.
"Someone told me once that success is a journey, not a destination...and we're well on our way," Durant told the Regina Leader-Post. "We're going to be back next year and the year after and the year after. Get used to seeing the Green and White in the Grey Cup every year."
So, it is clear that both the Alouettes and Riders already have high hopes to return to the Grey Cup next season. With the talent present on both teams, this potential Grey Cup matchup does not appear all that far off.
There is of course one other party hoping for an Als-Rider rematch in the 2010 Grey Cup: TSN.
Over 14 million Canadians tuned in for at least part of the Grey Cup this year. This was a Grey Cup record. If Montreal and Saskatchewan meet in next year’s final, it is almost a guarantee that this record will be shattered, especially since this year’s game was a classic.
For proof of this, look at the recent viewing patterns of the NHL Stanley Cup.
In the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Finals featuring the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, there was an average audience of 4.48 million per game. In next year’s rematch, the average audience jumped to 4.8 million per game. The Game Seven of that series also drew a record 7.51 million viewers.
It would not be a stretch to say that fans would be interested in watching a rematch between the Als and Riders next season, largely to see if Saskatchewan could exact revenge on Montreal.
Ironically, if both teams do meet in the Grey Cup next season, they will experience a role reversal. Montreal will no longer be playing to prove the critics wrong, while Durant and his Rides will be looking to prove they can win the "big game".
So, while next season's Grey Cup is ages away, it is never too early to contemplate a juicy rematch between the up-and-coming Riders and the powerhouse Als.
Jonathan Hamelin is the Canadian Football League Examiner. For the latest news on the CFL, subscribe to his page at http://www.examiner.com/x-31495-CFL-Examiner .