The New England Patriotes are the New York Yankees of football: few people like Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Wes Welker. Up until November 8 2012, it was generally accepted by sports fans that New England was the sole team named “Patriotes” disliked by the sports establishment. Well, November 8 changed all of that. The UQTR Patriotes have joined the club, following their surprising 2-1 victory in the CIS Nationals versus the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
Take a look at the most recent CIS Top 10 rankings, released on October 30. Although these rankings were finalized just over one week ago, the current CIS Nationals tournament would indicate that the top 10 nowhere near approaches reality. Then-#1 York was eliminated in the Ontario playoffs, not even making Nationals. UBC is still alive, but McMaster, Alberta, Queen’s, Trinity Western, Saint Mary’s, Montreal, Carleton and UNB are all out of contention for the CIS title match. Thus, the only two teams in the top 10 with a chance at CIS glory are Laval and UBC – and they play each other in the CIS semis. On the other side of the bracket, Cape Breton and UQTR are up against each other. Wow. This like saying, “Sorry Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, but you three lost in your conference tournaments. No March Madness for you.”
It’s baffling that teams can go undefeated throughout an entire season and then lose one game at the wrong time, dismantling the entire year. This happened to York, which entered the OUA playoffs without losing a game. Though the Golden Bears were not undefeated, they were ranked #4 in Canada, playing a virtually unknown UQTR squad that caught fire at the right time.
In the first part of the match, the Bears dominated, treating UQTR like any opponent treats Liverpool in 2012: breaking them down with little perceived effort. But then UQTR slowly regained its footing, like Bambi learning how to walk in that Disney movie. UQTR is not cute though (neither is Bambi). Their surprising two goals near the middle of the match were one-too-many; though Jemele Campbell gave one back for the Bears, it was a wee bit short. Blah.
Well, it looks like UBC or Laval will take the cake in 2012. Though UBC is from the Canada West and is the closest team (geographically) to Alberta, let’s hope that they lose. Let the #UQTR2012 hashtag begin.