Today marks the playing of the 98th Grey Cup game marking almost 100 years of organized football in Canada. Also lovingly known as the national drunk, it’s a day for the people to celebrate in a uniquely Canadian way.
As a country we know that we are barrelling headlong into yet another long bone grippingly cold winter. Yet all across the country people will be shovelling off their lawns pulling out the second hand chesterfields out of the garage and setting up the big screen TV’s to watch the big game alfresco.
Yes it’s true that collectively we are known as the big pink country that occupies the space on the map above the United States. That docile beer drinking nation who’s better known past time of hockey somehow is played into the ungodly heat of the summer months now. What a uniquely Canadian way to celebrate our diversity and creativeness by stripping down to our collective skivvies and watch a football game played in the snow! Or as it turns out in the mud, the 1950 Grey Cup featuring Toronto vs Winnipeg saw a man almost drown in the muddy field. After the game rowdy fans swarmed the field tearing down the goal posts looking for souvenirs. Who says Canadians are always nice.
The tradition started in 1909 was played on Toronto’s Rosedale Field to a crowd of around 10,000 people watching the University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeat the Toronto Parkdale squad by a score of 26-6.
The trophy donated by Albert Henry George Grey, the fourth Earl Grey and Canada’s Governor General at the time. (Stoners and Star Trek fans please note that this was not the same Earl Grey that the tea is named after but a descendant.)
I could get into a systematic breakdown of each teams strengths and weaknesses, analyzing the quarterbacks and defencive schemes that each are known to employ. But the truth is I really don’t care who wins todays game. My beloved Winnipeg Blue Bombers are out, bounced from the proceedings before the playoffs even began. So the minutia of the today’s match does not really interest me.
What does get my attention however is the amount of money I stand to win. For weeks the usual break open charity tickets have been circulating and if the score printed on the tickets of which I have a purchased many, equals the quarter score or final score I win cold hard cash!
So I wish equal luck to those from La Belle Province and those who support tractor sales, gopher friendship and inappropriate intimate relations with close family members on the wide open prairies of Saskatchewan. As long as one of the teams wins me some cash! Maybe I can afford to move my chesterfield back into the house this year instead of leaving it frozen to our front lawn until spring.
Happy Grey Cup Day to one and all! Have a cold one for me wherever you are!