On an icy field in a drab Grey Cup game interrupted by a new Canadian songbird, the Calgary Stampeders ended their curse.
Losers of the last two CFL championships, the Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 Sunday in Edmonton.
Players slipped all over the frozen artificial turf. The field was an embarrassment. The quarterbacks tossed five interceptions, there were eight turnovers and the highlights came before the third quarter began.
Calgary’s Terry Williams returned a punt 97 yards for a touchdown in the dying seconds of the second quarter and, a few minutes later, 22-year-old Alessia Cara of Mississauga turned in a vocal performance that literally emptied the concourses of Commonwealth Stadium. A sold-out crowd of 55,819 left the beer vendors to hear Cara sing.
The game wasn’t bad, but the halftime performance was spectacular. And the Stampeders, the CFL’s best franchise through the past decade, are finally back where they belong.