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Sunday, November 25, 2012

GREY CUP SUNDAY

TORONTO - An epic battle between east and west is set to unfold in Canada's largest city Sunday, as the Toronto Argonauts face off with the Calgary Stampeders for the 2012 Grey Cup championship title.

More than 52,000 CFL fans from across the country are expected to pack into Toronto's Rogers Centre for the 6 p.m. kickoff in the high-stakes 100th anniversary game.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi are among the dignitaries expected to be at the match, which will feature an anticipated half-time show with Canadian rock legend Gordon Lightfoot, teen idol Justin Bieber, pop star Carly Rae Jepsen and pop-punk band Marianas Trench.

Harper, who is originally from Toronto but whose political riding is in Calgary, has already announced that he'll be cheering for a Stampeders win in the centennial game.

Even the two mayors have made a public bet, with the loser promising to donate his weight in food to a food bank and wear the winning team's jersey to a council meeting.

Both the Argos and the Stamps have a lot on the line when the pigskin flies Sunday.

Calgary hasn't won a Grey Cup since 2008 and Toronto, struggling to increase its fan base, has not won the coveted trophy since 2004.

Argos fan Jamie Wolodarskym says the city is ready for a double-blue win.

"It means everything,'' said the 40-year-old from Toronto. "We're at home. This is our game. This is our year. We're going to take it all.''

In anticipation, Wolodarskym says his face will stay painted blue until the Argos takes home the trophy.

Mark Wlodarski, from nearby Mississauga, Ont., says Toronto is a big sports city but a win has the potential to make fans love the Argos again.

"The Grey Cup is all about bringing everyone, all of Canada together, and have some fun,'' said 29-year-old Wlodarski.

"There have always been the true fans.. and yes, we don't really show up that much but the city can see it now - that the Argos fans are here, and... (we) bleed blue.''

Lori Bursey, who runs the official Argos fan club, says CFL fans deserve credit for sticking it out in a city with a myriad of professional sports clubs including hockey, baseball, basketball and soccer teams.

"This town needs this shot in the arm,'' said Bursey, who started the club in 1991 and now boasts more than 350 registered members.

"It's no secret that this city yearns for a winner and I would think it would be so important not just for the league but for the city, for it to be part of this great historical Grey Cup.''

But if this week leading up to the big game on Sunday was any indication, the Calgary Stampeders have luck on their side.

On Thursday, Stamps fans rode their horse Marty into the upscale Royal York Hotel to recreate a tradition that was started in 1948. The lucky superstition almost didn't happen until the hotel called the group back after seeing the 15-year-old stallion trotted all over town.

On the same day the CFL also made a compromise with the team, agreeing to allow their horse mascot Quick Six to stand in the sidelines of the big game but didn't go as far as letting it charge up and down the field - as is done during regular season Calgary matches.

At the start of the week, the Calgary Grey Cup Committee had vowed to "paint this town Calgary!'' and bring the cup back west.

Calgary fan Dennis Schwartz says whether you're rooting for the West or for the East, the Grey Cup faceoff will no doubt unite Canada.

"It's 100 years and it's totally Canadian,'' said Schwartz, who drove in from Harrow, Ont., near Windsor.

"A Canadian team is going to win no matter what.''

(CP)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rod, Thanks for all of the info that you have shared with us,the fans all of this historic Grey Cup week. I honestly don't know how we lived without this blog in past years.For the Grey Cup 2013 comittee, kindly "Keep It Canadian" for the half time show. Gord Bamford,Terri Clark , with Stompin Tom as a pre-game treat!!!Polkabill from Regina

Anonymous said...

Polkabill, you're right! Keep it Canadian!!! How about some Corb Lund???

Veeseven

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rod Pedersen, Thanx for the great season for all you do with regard to the CFLeague and your dedicated work on behalf of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and It's world wide fanbase along with this excellent Information blog sight. Enjoy your Grey Cup Championship game day experience today. Thank you again, ElA

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rod for a great year of blogging. As per your survey, I'm 65 years old and this is the very first year I've ever cheered for the Eastern rep. Hate those Stamps, Go Argos Go!!!

BB

Anonymous said...

! GO STAMPEDERS !

Anonymous said...

2012 CFL Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders !

Anonymous said...

Televised game on TSN boring, with a slow start. Too much TV comercials Interrupting the flow of the game.

Anonymous said...

I actually love TSN and all the pomp & circumstance they bring to the game. That aside, that was a rather unfortunate rendition of Oh Canada. I think the old adage of 'NOT broken don't fix' should be referenced for next year. PLEASE. Just horror from this fan :) Cheering Argo Blue for the first time in my life :-)

Anonymous said...

TSN actual game coverage not TV friendly with lengthy comercials ruining the flow and taking the enjoyment away from the viewer, making commentary Inconsistent by Interruption. I guess you have to be In attendance to get the maximized experience. Hope the play action picks up and a very good exciting close game will be the end result. " Go Stampeders of Calgary "

Anonymous said...

Rod, as usual it was great to read your blog for this football season and I look forward to reading this winter as well. TSN coverage today was first rate and I loved it. Very ESPN like. Wow, Burton Cummings was AWFUL with his organ he must of borrowed from Tex/Edna Boil from SCTV. Go ARGOs GO!! Mike Hammer

Anonymous said...

Glenn just erased any thoughts he would have led Winnipeg to a victory over Riders in the 2007 Grey Cup.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if calgary would’ve been better off this week focusing on a gameplan rather than whining to get their horse into the game?

Anonymous said...

Eric Tillman orchestrates TOR 100th Grey Cup Win - trading Ricky Ray there !

Anonymous said...

Worst half time show ever:
I fell asleep to Gordon Lightfoot then awoke to a freak show, was pleased with Jepson, then was disgusted with The Bieb's rap/ jungle music. Didn't sound like the crowd enjoyed it much either.

LaPo and K Glenn with rough nights

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Stamps should’ve let the Riders win the West Semi-final - might have been able to actually enjoy the Grey Cup game