* The flight, like all from Regina to Toronto this week, was full. The pilot's name was A.J. Champion. You can't make this stuff up. On the flight were U of R Athletic Director Dick White, Regina Rams offensive coordinator Bernie Schmidt and his wife and the Herrons (a football family from Estevan). As you can imagine there was a ton of green on board.
* Heavy fog at Pearson meant our jet had to circle for an hour and there was a threat of having to land in Buffalo. FORTUNATELY the fog cleared enough to the point we were able to land after a 60-minute delay.
* Tuesday night I was already getting messages from friends in Toronto about how great the party is. You feel like you're missing out on something but arriving Wednesday is early enough. Grey Cup is kind of like Craven. If you go out on Wednesday, you go so hard that by Friday you're so spent you're ready to go home. However that's when your friends show up so you have to suck it up.
* Glad to see so many respondents to our blog poll have chosen a team to root for in Sunday's 100th Grey Cup (Stampeders or Argonauts). Not surprisingly the vast majority will be cheering for Toronto come Sunday. It's good that people care who wins. When you don't care in life, bad things happen.
* When asked in Toronto who I'm cheering for, my answer will be "Kevin Glenn".
* Oddsmakers have installed the Stampeders as two-point favourites.
* The forecast for game day in Toronto calls for clouds, +2 degrees Celsius and a 30% chance of rain. Of course the Rogers Centre roof will be closed because, as we learned last month, it has to be at least +15 for the roof to be open.
* Sunday's referee will be Glen Johnson.
* The quarterback match-up between Kevin Glenn and Ricky Ray is an interesting one. In an odd scenario, this is the second time Glenn has led his team to the Grey Cup but it's his first start. By my count it's Ray's fourth Grey Cup start and he has a 2-1 record. The Argos have to have the edge there.
* Can't believe some Rider fans are still angry the team traded Kevin Glenn away a decade ago. What are you going to do, call up Roy and Danny to complain? Get over it! There didn't seem to be much grumbling at the time.
* Another interesting story line is Stamps Coach/GM John Hufnagel versus Argos defensive coordinator Chris Jones. There were some very hard feelings when Jones left the Stamps in the middle-of-the-night almost one year ago to join the Scott Milanovich staff.
* Stampeders lineacker Tad Kornegay is headed to his fifth Grey Cup in six years. Should Calgary win on Sunday that would give Tad Grey Cup rings from the Riders, Lions and Stamps. That would also put him in exclusive company which includes Rider great Vic Stevenson, as someone who has rings from three different teams.
* Roughriders Communications Manager Ryan Pollock is attending Grey Cup and will be helping out with West Division media relations.
* The longest field goal in Grey Cup history was 53 yards long and Baltimore's Carlos Huerta kicked it at Regina's Taylor Field in the 1995 Grey Cup.
* Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo has the most passing yards in Grey Cup history thanks to his eight Grey Cup starts. You might be interested to know Doug Flutie is #2 for all-time passing yards but he only started four Grey Cups. That's a small part of the reason why I believe Doug Flutie is the greatest player in the CFL history.
* Read in the USA Today today that University of Washington head football coach Steve Sarkisian (a former Roughrider quarterback) has a clause in his contract that forces the university to pay the travel costs for Sark's family to all Huskies' road games, all post-season events and two additional business-related trips each fiscal year if he so elects. There is a tie-in here because Steve was livid in 1997 when the Riders wouldn't pay for his wife to come to the Grey Cup in Edmonton. That may be why he saw fit to get it put into future deals.
* Great question from Sports Cage co-host Dustin Halvorson on Tuesday. "Who's Henry Burris cheering for on Sunday?"
* You may be further interested to know Burris is opening up a restaurant in Regina in the New Year. Those close to Burris say Henry feels the hatred for him from Rider fans extends only to the football field and not beyond.
* Former Rider GM and current Alouettes scout Al Ford was our In The Huddle analyst Tuesday night on Access 7. He will NOT be attending the Grey Cup in 2012. "I'd rather watch it at home," Ford advised. "There are too many distractions at the game."
* He's right of course. For as long as I can remember it's been tough for Carm Carteri and me to find seats in the press box so we generally roam around the stadium or watch from the sidelines.
* The Stamps' touchdown horse Quick Six won't be allowed entry into Rogers Centre on Sunday?
* Happy birthday today to Rider alum Tamon George, 620 CKRM Rider Pep Band member Sandy McLean and CTV's Dan McIntosh.
* It was a treat to visit with 80-something year old Pep Band member "June" at their fundraiser Saturday night. The Pep Band will make close to 40 appearances over three days at Grey Cup and June will be at each one, "Although I'm starting to slow down," she winked Saturday night.
* This blogger/broadcaster has packed two Rider jerseys for various appearances this week: Sheets and Aldag. Sorry Lancaster, Fairholm, Joseph and Holmes! You guys didn't make the trip this time.
* Great quote on Fox Sports Radio this week: "Any play-by-play man who considers himself a serious journalist is like a porn star who considers himself a serious actor."
* The two finalists for TSN Play of the Year are both intros to the Sports Cage on 620 CKRM. Both calls came from the Riders play-by-play man "OH MY WHAT A CATCH BY WESTON!!" and "THAT ... JUST ... HAPPENED!"
* The Gibson's Finest CFL Reporter of the Year will be decided Saturday night when the votes asre tabulated by Darrell Davis and handed out Sunday morning at the Football Reporters of Canada annual breakfast. Yes, Gibson's renewed its sponsorship and will make a $500 donation to the winner's charity of choice.
* It's a safe bet former Rider coach Greg Marshall will be back as a defensive coordinator in 2013. At this time we will not speculate where it will be however the rumours will be flying at Grey Cup.
* The cost of tickets for the CFL Alumni luncheon has risen substantially from last year as patrons expect Kapp vs Mosca Round II. However I'm told Joe Kapp will not be attending. If that's incorrect, someone please let me know. What crazy stories will add to Grey Cup lore this year?
* There's still time to purchase tickets to the CFLPA Pro Players Party Thursday at Gretzky's and Second City. You can get yours at www.cflpa.com. You can also get tickets to the Gregg Zaun Grey Cup Bash Friday night at www.ticketscene.ca.
* Also if you're going to Grey Cup please make plans to attend the annual Riderville luncheon Friday at the Westin Harbour Castle. I'll be the emcee and you can tickets at Riderville.
* The NBA's Raptors are home to the Spurs Sunday afternoon at Air Canada Centre. If not invited to participate on the national radio pregame show, that may be something for this blogger to take in.
* Passed the time on the flight writing this blog and listening to the Peter King podcast from Itunes. The NFL's senior writer accidentally Tweeted his phone number last week and unfortunately had to change his number because of it. King received 373 calls and 250-plus text messages. Few of them had nice things to say.
* The Sports Cage will be broadcast live from the Delta Chelsea today and Thursday and from the CN Tower on Friday at the DASH Tours Riders In The Sky kickoff party. Joining us on air today will be Stormin' Norm Rummack from the Fan 590, Global's Derek Meyers, Dick White and (hopefully) Dan Rashovich.
* It was a toasty 75 degrees Fahrenheit in Oklahoma City Tuesday where we reached former Pats coach Doug Sauter for the Sports Cage. Hopefully that heat wave continues next week when we're in Dallas for the Sports Cage/Marlin Travel Ultimate Sports Trip II.
* This week on our various TV and radio shows we chatted with Doug Sauter, Kevin Gallant, Lorne Harasen and Alan Ford. That's 80s Regina to me!
* That's all for now. Talk to you tonight!
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