As Iowa football things go, this weekend was a pretty dark and depressing place. It's hard to say otherwise after the clownshoes debacle that was Friday's loss to Nebraska. But not everything Iowa football-related was terrible this weekend. In fact, one former Iowa player won a championship this weekend -- and played a key role in the title game.
Ten years ago, Drew Tate was running around the field and guiding Iowa to a Big Ten championship (Iowa's last Big Ten championship, in fact). Now, ten years later, he helped guide the Calgary Stampeders to a CFL championship in the Grey Cup (the CFL equivalent of the Super Bowl). Tate wasn't the starting quarterback for the Stampeders (that would be fellow Texan gunslinger Bo Levi Mitchell, formerly of SMU), but he did play a key role in their win: he came in as a short yardage specialist and scored Calgary's first two touchdowns of the game.
Sunday night's rushing touchdown flurry was hardly a new development for Tate, either; he actually led not just the Stampeders in rushing touchdowns this season, with 10 scores, but also the entire CFL. Drew Tate, touchdown vulture, was not exactly the future I would have envisioned for him during his Iowa playing days (he had just three rushing touchdowns in three seasons as a starter at Iowa), but it's a role he's played well this year.
Congrats to Tate for helping Calgary win the championship and for carving out a solid career in pro football for himself. A 10-year career (that hopefully isn't done just yet) is a pretty nice accomplishment, particularly given his shorter stature and misfortune with injuries. Tate has always been one of my all-time favorite Hawkeyes to watch play, so it's particularly gratifying to watch him succeed again in Canada. Best of luck in the future, Drew -- and have a few celebratory drinks out of the Grey Cup trophy* for us.
Drinking out the GreyCup lmao pic.twitter.com/kVPElqerE9— BIG GAME JAMES (@JAndrews8) December 1, 2014
*Canada is so much better at this championship trophy thing than America.