Speaking only for myself, the toughest, most emotional loss to Queen’s in the past 8 seasons, was the 2009 Labour Day loss at Richardson Stadium. A last-second field goal gave the Golden Gaels a 52-49 victory. The boost of confidence a victory that day in Kingston could have given to Kyle Walters’ team would have been huge. That was a more painful and impactful loss in my opinion.
I left Richardson Stadium Saturday seriously disappointed but not unduly upset about the upset. [A Clemson victory over Notre Dame later that evening helped to put me in a good frame of mind.] The way I see it, the loss could end up being a blessing in disguise. A week earlier I had several people suggest to me that the Ottawa game might be a “trap” game, after the big Homecoming victory over McMaster. Obviously, that wasn’t a problem.
Fast forward a week and we see a Guelph letdown. The game was meaningless for the Gryphons in terms of the OUA standings or playoffs. No one even suggested that Queen’s could win. The four contests between the two teams in 2012 and 2013, that seemed to create a competitive rivalry of sorts between the two schools, where none had really existed before, was undone by the 66-0 beating Guelph put on the Golden Gaels. At least for the Gryphons.
But reading the post-game comments from Kingston, it’s obvious that the Gaels had much more motivating them. [Read them here or here.] So … while Stu Lang and his coaching staff have done a great job of keeping this team focused and motivated game in and game out, for the past four seasons, this is one instance where their opponent was just more focused and motivated. I guess a 66-0 beatdown will do that. Congrats to the Queen’s team and coaching staff for actually taking that motivation and doing something with it when no one, not even their own supporters, were predicting it.
It makes some sense, and I can accept, that after playing what everyone thought were the two toughest games on the schedule – McMaster & Ottawa – that the real trap game was on Saturday in Kingston, rather than a week earlier.
The best news in all of this is still the fact that the loss does not change anything. Other than maybe making the final two games become “must win” games. Winning those games is obviously something that the Gryphons still control. Take care of business and Guelph will still finish 7-1. And Guelph will still host a Yates Cup semifinal game.
As I wrote Sunday … forget it and move on.