‘I just soak it in’: Jeremiah Masoli watched Bombers celebrate after Ticats Grey Cup losses

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com


For those who hoist a trophy at the end of the season, it can feel like a blessed downpour after a long drought. For the losers, it’s an acid rain which scorches the skin.

In the aftermath of a championship loss, many athletes seek shelter from the elements, already too wounded to watch the victors celebrate. After back-to-back Grey Cup losses as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Jeremiah Masoli had a different strategy.

“I just soak it in. I take the moment in. I see them celebrate, I’ve done that before. As much as that stings then, it’s down the line in the offseason, times like now, where you still think about it,” the quarterback explained on 980 CJME’s The Green Zone. “As much as that sucks, that’s motivation. You’ve got to flip that and leverage that for yourself.”

Masoli was forced to watch helplessly from the sidelines during his team’s first loss in 2019, still nursing a torn ACL in his knee. In 2021, he nearly played hero, coming off the bench to complete 20-of-25 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns before his lone interception sealed the loss in overtime.

It was a painful finish to the game and to his tenure in Hamilton, as the Tiger-Cats moved on from their 33-year-old face of the franchise after a few injury plagued seasons. Masoli landed on his feet in Ottawa, receiving a sizeable contract from new Redblacks’ general manager Shawn Burke. As he enters the latter half of his career, he’s drawing as much inspiration from those who came before as he is from the Grey Cup loss.

“The guys when I came in the league, like Travis Lulay and Ricky Ray, were guys that were getting older, getting hurt, had to fight through it,” he recalled. “Learning the game as a young guy and then seeing those guys mastering it and executing that at such a high level at an older age was definitely inspirational to myself when I was younger.”

The key lesson learned from watching those now-retired veterans have late-career success was that resiliency is the defining requirement in a becoming a winning CFL quarterback. In the end, it will be how Masoli responds to Grey Cup devastation and his lost job in Hamilton that sets his legacy in Ottawa.

“You’ve got to be resilient. Most of us have got the talent. Most of us have got what it takes mentally and physically, but you’ve got to have that heart to keep going when you get knocked down,” he explained.

For all the heartbreak, Hamilton has been a pretty successful team in recent years. Masoli’s new club, on the other hand, is a longshot at Ontario sportsbooks when it comes to odds to win the East Division () and the Grey Cup () . But still, he relishes the challenge ahead with Ottawa in 2022.

“That’s still part of my story too, from last year ending the way it did and now having this new, fresh opportunity,” Masoli said. “I’m just looking forward to it, I can’t say it enough.”