Why TSN’s greatest Grey Cup champs list should have included the 1989 Saskatchewan Roughriders

Dave Ridgway. Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com.

The Toronto Sports Network has made a glaring omission in its latest attempt to make Canadians feel like TSN is doing something great to make up for no Canadian football this year.

It’s not just Rider fans who should be peeved about TSN leaving out the team that won the greatest Grey Cup ever from its top eight Grey Champions of all-time.

There should be fans outraged and even some alumni leaping out of their wheelchairs from all over the country over some omissions on this list.

Kent Austin, Mike Anderson. Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com.

The quarterback duo of Kent Austin and Tom Burgess, who both would later throw for over 5,000 yards in a season, wasn’t good enough to beat out Travis Lulay and his 2011 B.C. Lions who started 0-5?

Ray Elgaard, Jeff Fairholm and Donald Narcisse couldn’t challenge Geroy Simon or Arland Bruce? Give me a break!

I’m also still trying to figure out how the star-studded o-line from ’89 that featured Vic Stevenson, Mike Anderson, Ken Moore, Roger Aldag and Bob Poley — who played for a combined 73 years with eight all-star selections — couldn’t be picked over Angus Reid, Jovan Olafioye, Ben Archibald, and couple of nobodies?

The fearsome foursome of Vince Goldsmith, Gary Lewis, Chuck Klingbeil and Bobby Jurasin would have dined on Travis Lulay.

The 1989 Riders beat the only team in CFL history to win 16 games in a regular season when they bucked off the Edmonton Football Club in the upset of the century.

Far be it from me to pick on the 1948 Calgary Stampeders or 1958 Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Those teams lived in a different space and exemplified an entirely different generation of Canadian football.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The 1981 Edmonton Football Club had Warren-freaking-Moon at the controls. The 2009 Montreal Alouettes, 1995 Baltimore Stallions, 1997 Toronto Argonauts and 1969 Ottawa Rough Riders were all led by Hall of Fame quarterbacks and legendary head coaches with elite supporting casts.

But the 2011 B.C. Lions over the 1989 Saskatchewan Roughriders? That’s where we have to draw the line. What in the name of Dave Ridgway or Richie Hall is going on out here?

Dave Ridgway. Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com.

Sure, that Riders only finished 9-9 in 1989, but they did it sharing a league with opponents armed with Hall of Fame quarterbacks Tracy Ham, Matt Dunigan and Damon Allen. The club peaked at the perfect time and won arguably the greatest Grey Cup of all-time by a score of 43-40 over Hamilton.

TSN has done some great things with its CFL coverage and all-time countdowns, but overlooking the ’89 Riders — a team that fielded TSN commentator Glen Suitor at safety — was an error.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.