It’s no secret that Mike O’Shea is aiming for his third consecutive Grey Cup ring on Sunday in Regina but what some CFL fans might not know is that he’s also aiming to become the second person in his family to win a championship at Mosaic Stadium in eight days.
Okanagan Sun receiver Mike O’Shea, the only son of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach, was part of a thrilling 21-19 Canadian Bowl victory over the Regina Thunder last weekend, scoring a touchdown en route to claiming the Canadian Junior Football League national championship.
Coach O’Shea watched it all unfold on television the day before his Blue Bombers faced the B.C. Lions in the West Final.
“I did. Yeah, I had it on in my office,” he said. “My wife and my daughter, Ashley, drove [to Regina] and caught the game that Saturday. We had a walkthrough, so I couldn’t make it.”
“I talked to my son after the game. It was a very exciting game. It was a very neat game with lots of stuff going on and they pulled it out. It was exciting right down to the very end. Very happy for the Okanagan Sun. They had a great team, so it was really neat to watch that team throughout the season come together.”
The symmetry of a father-son duo competing in different leagues on teams from different parts of the country both winning a championship on the same field over such a short timespan isn’t lost on the veteran coach. However, the senior Mike swears that Mosaic Stadium will not hold any sentimental value for him even if his Blue Bombers complete the O’Shea sweep on Grey Cup Sunday.
“No matter what level or what score, you got a championship as a team and you know you have that for life,” O’Shea said. “It was pretty neat to see my son get that. The venue is irrelevant.”
“I don’t know if I’ll ever remember where the game was or what the score was. You’ll remember the guys involved.”
When TSN’s Farhan Lalji asked O’Shea if he thinks his son is good enough to play in the CFL, the Blue Bombers’ sideline boss was non-committal.
“As a dad, I don’t know if you think that way,” O’Shea chuckled. “You think he’s the best.”