TORONTO -- I remember a conversation I had with a colleague a couple weeks ago. We're both from Saskatchewan, though he's been in Toronto 17 years, while I've only been here a year. I was telling him about how the longer I've been away from home, the more 'Saskatchewan' seems to be coming up in my everyday conversations. He smiled and looked down at his coffee, "Jarrett, bringing up Saskatchewan in everyday conversations actually never goes away."
So now it's Monday morning. The Argos have just won the 100th Grey Cup. I've been writing about the team all season long as part of the Argos Admirals - the official fan voice of the Toronto Argonauts and the 100th Grey Cup. 'Room 31' is set aside for us at Argo HQ to do our blogging, tweeting, facebooking, etc. I got to be good friends with some very passionate and knowledgeable football fans in the process. More than that, I got to be part of a Grey Cup run. Quite honestly, I'm overwhelmed with something akin to emotion.
I felt it most last night from my seat in Rogers Centre. The stands were a mosaic of colour. I was wearing my green Rider jersey. The Argos had just won the Grey Cup and I felt tears welling up – not so much for the Argos, but for something much bigger.
Sometimes a thing is just a thing. Sometimes a football game is just a football game. And sometimes a thing is a symbol. What can be more symbolic than two Mounties, clad in their scarlet-red uniforms marching the Grey Cup to the podium to present it to my adopted team.
I felt like I was a part of history. I felt like I was one small piece of a mission that we all played a tangible role in. We all truly did. We came together and we moved the hearts and minds of the citizens of Toronto – some more than others mind you – but regardless, we gave the city something it hadn't felt in years.
When the Grey Cup was passed to the Toronto Argonauts, no single individual accepted it. The team raised the Cup together. They raised it for all of us, because this wasn't just a game. We watched a century-long celebration of our history, our trials, our culture, our triumphs, our names, our faces, our differences, our memories, and ourselves. Nothing in this country brings people together like how that silver mug does.
Having an opportunity to contribute in some small way, to something I'm passionate about, meant a great deal to me. There is nothing that symbolizes home for me more than the Roughriders. There is nothing that symbolizes a new life in my adopted city more than the Argonauts. There is nothing that symbolizes my living connection between the miles and faces between those two places like the CFL.
I want to thank Rod Pedersen for giving me a channel homewards and a place to pen nationwide. You are an outstanding radio personality and play-by-play man. With your professionalism and genuine folksy way of connecting with people, you'd own this town in five years if you actually lived here.
I want to thank the Toronto Argonauts for welcoming me into your fold. You are a first class organization full of genuine good people. I am proud to be an Argo Admiral.
I want to thank everyone who reads my columns. Without you I'd just be talking to myself. Hopefully there will be more down the road.
Take care everyone. I'll see you at Christmas.