They were the two top teams of the CFL this year, 1 and 2 in the overall standings, the two best offences, the two best defences, all of it meaningless now, the Western Final a whole new adventure for Calgary and British Columbia.
The Lions perhaps won the home field advantage with their October 6th victory at home, a 27 to 22 showdown that gave the Leos the momentum heading towards the final stretch of the season, the loss of October not an inconsequential thing, but in the scope of where the Lions were in the season something that probably does not weigh too heavily on their minds.
The Stamps arrive in Vancouver once again shuffling up the line up, Drew Tate the hard luck story of 2012 sideline with a leg injury and perhaps suffering the aftershocks of a concussion, a prospect the Stamps were being a little quiet about this week, the Tate story but another nugget of nuttiness out of the Stamps camp, which featured Nik Lewis finding himself on the wrong side of the league and more importantly his coach over his less than thought out twitter efforts.
The distractions, they were a plenty in the Stampeder corral, though perhaps we can get back to the football for Sunday.
With that in mind, regardless of the cause, Tate is out, Kevin Glenn back in, the workhorse of the Stamps who kept the team on track through the season, likely eager for a bit of revenge over the Lions from that October 6th defeat. Add on the chance for Jon Cornish to run his game in the town he grew up in and the Stamps have much to look forward to Sunday.
For the Lions the home field advantage will be huge, the noise and vibrant atmosphere of BC Place a sure fire adrenalin rush, once which will gain noise and impact should the Lions put points on the board.
Towards that goal they turn again to Travis Lulay, who came into his own for the Lions over the last few years, his Grey Cup victory of last year offering much hope for BC that a repeat visit to the Grey Cup is in the cards for 2012.
Sixty minutes of football will determine that storyline, Lulay and his high octane offence will seek to take care of the points on the board, the Leos defensive unit one of the tops in the league will be anxious to shut down a Stampeder attack that can strike fast, just ask the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the film.
Should the West Division Final deliver half the entertainment of last weeks semi, then football fans will be well served in these 2012 playoffs
Game Time 1 PM PT, 4 ET BC Place TSN
CFL.ca-- Game Preview
CFL.ca-- Video Preview
National Post-- Stampeders' Kevin Glenn happy to concentrate on football
Calgary Sun-- Calgary Stampeders take circus on the road
Calgary Herald-- Stampeders ready to banish the hurt
Vancouver Province-- Lions don't care who starts at QB for Calgary
Vancouver Sun-- B. C. Lions defence enriched by 'mad scientist'
Canada.com-- Glenn knows all about Tate's heartbreak
British Columbia Lions