June 18, 2020

Seeing Red | As Told By Account Executive Patrick O’Hagan

For just a moment, he was angry at the sudden realization of the team conceding a late lead in the biggest game of the year.

Until he was celebrating in a sea of red-coloured confetti, that is.

It all changed with the reversal of one play that would essentially determine the outcome of the 102nd Grey Cup back in 2014.

After spending the majority of the night in swanky midfield seats, O’Hagan gathered with a group of fellow staff members on the concourse of BC Place in hopes of getting a head-start to join in the aftermath of a Stamps championship win.

At the time, Calgary was clinging to a four-point lead as Rene Paredes – an in-game replacement for the injured Rob Maver – punted to the ever-dangerous Brandon Banks of the Ticats with just over a minute remaining.

But an infraction assessed to Hamilton’s Taylor Reed, who would just so happen to join the Red and White two years later, nullified Banks’ 90-yard potential go-ahead touchdown.

“We were standing on the concourse waiting to go down on the field,” explained O’Hagan, who at the time was concluding his second season with the Stampeders and first in the sales department. “I just remember dropping to my knees and wondering how we could possibly let the game get away from us, but then it got called back. We went from being so excited and about to go on the field, to thinking we had lost the game, to then actually winning it. It was a rollercoaster.”

Once the penalty yardage was marked off, Shawn Lemon of the Stamps sacked Zach Collaros before the young quarterback strung together three straight completions. However, the East Division representatives were unable to cross midfield, and a desperation heave fell incomplete with heavy pressure from former linebacker Deron Mayo.

Cue the relief.

Let the jubilation begin.

“After, when we won, we went down on the field and confetti was going everywhere,” O’Hagan recounted. “My coworker, Kyle Cyr, and I were doing snow angels in the confetti.”

Even though the entire organization was sharing in the glory together, O’Hagan did his best to share his favourite Stampeders memory with loved ones back home.

“It was something that I hadn’t experienced before,” began O’Hagan. “The trophy ceremony with everyone and entire atmosphere was incredible. I remember FaceTiming my family right after the game and they were so proud.”

O’Hagan has since added a 2018 ring to his collection. But he’s not so sure that anything will top that first championship moment.

“That was definitely the best one because it was all brand-new to me,” O’Hagan outlined. “It was just a lot of fun. It was just a great weekend that ended with an experience I could never have imagined.”