One year ago we were laughing at the Toronto Argonauts.
The team had lost its head coach, unbelievably fired its general manager and took forever to hire GM Jim Popp. Popp was given just 2.5 months to put together a competitive team.
Popp hired his old Montreal Alouettes cohort, Marc Trestman, as the head coach and they started assembling the puzzle.
The Argonauts were 4-7 by Labour Day and it looked like their season was going to be as short as expected. But the dangerous offensive combination of rookie tailback James Wilder and veteran quarterback Ricky Ray led the Argos to five wins in their last seven regular-season games — a 9-9 record and a first-place finish in the East.
Ray’s last-minute drive eliminated the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the East final and their momentum carried into a snowy Grey Cup game, where they beat Calgary.
The Argos start defending their championship Friday in Saskatchewan. And nobody’s laughing at them now.