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Grey Cup: Can Calgary Stampeders seize 7th championship title?

11/30/2014 11:27 EST | Updated 01/30/2015 05:59 EST
All the practices, the 15 wins throughout the season, even the Calgary Stampeders' dominating Western Final win over the Edmonton Eskimos — none of that matters now.

As the Stamps prepare to face the Hamilton Tiger Cats tonight in the 102nd Grey Cup final, it seems they realize it will all boil down to which team plays the best 60 minutes of football in the big game.

"This is what I used to visualize when I was a kid running through the yard throwing the ball up to yourself," said Nik Lewis, slotback for the Calgary Stampeders. "I've thrived on this moment."

Lewis isn't the only one taking in the big moment.

Vancouver streets were buzzing Saturday as the Grey Cup parade took over much of downtown.

Fans from CFL teams across the country lined the streets and CFL commissioner Mark Cohon even brought the Grey Cup along for a ride, hoisting it up for the cheering crowds.

The party hit high-gear from there and lasted late into the evening. 

Yesterday, I was with the Stampeders as they took to the BC Place turf for one final walk-through before the game.

I've said it all week, but this team seems as relaxed and confident as I've seen them all year. Not a lot of game preparation happens in Saturday's final walk-through but players took the time to mentally prepare for the task ahead.

"You can't listen to odds," said Bo Levi Mitchell, the Stamps' quarterback. "It's funny as a player seeing odds and knowing the intricacies of the game, knowing what it takes to win a game. Knowing how one play, one call, one drop, one catch changes a game from a six- or seven-point game to a 15- or 16-point game."

Players weren't even wearing pads during the practice — really, it was just a chance to bond on the field one final time before the biggest game of the season.

Running back Jon Cornish said Saturday he's focused on making the most of each moment leading up to the game.

"People have asked me, 'Are you excited for this game?' Quite honestly, the answer is not really," he said. "Tomorrow I will be, because it's happening tomorrow. I live in the moment."

The moment has arrived for Jon Cornish and the Calgary Stampeders. The question is, can they seize it?

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