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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

MORE GREY CUP BLOGGING

More observations from Toronto:

• If I hear one more media person bash Toronto as the host city for the 100th Grey Cup, I'll snap! These are reporters who went to Toronto with chips on their shoulders and searched out every negative little thing to complain about. Torontonians - whether it be in the media, the CFL or general fans - were positively glowing with how the 2012 CFL championship week came off and they should be.

• Several Rider fans I spoke with in the airport Monday laughed and said plenty of people on the street told them "Good luck in Sunday's game!", obviously not knowing Saskatchewan wasn't playing. At least they were cheerful.

• The Toronto Sun offered 25-pages of Grey Cup coverage in Monday's edition and the 100th Grey Cup led off the sportscasts on 680 NEWS. We were listening to it in the limo to the airport. Again, anyone who thought the event wasn't a success, or Toronto didn't care, simply can't be convinced otherwise.

• "This feels spectacular," wrote the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons Monday, throwing objectivity out the window in favour of honesty and emotion.

• Sunday's game, Toronto's 35-22 win over Calgary, seemed long but I timed the timeouts. They were 2:00 as opposed to 1:30, so they were only 30 seconds longer than a regular game. You can't blame the CFL nor TSN for trying to maximize their revenue in the biggest sporting event of the year in Canada.

• CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon came off like a prince during Grey Cup Week. He seemed to have attended every single event, always with a smile on his face, and everything he touched turned to gold. Apparently the inaugural "Fan Walk" was his idea, and it was the event of the week.

• Cohon popped by our Football Reporters of Canada breakfast Sunday at the Royal York and gave a three-minute speech before bolting. FRC boss Darrell Davis chided Cohon by saying maybe one of these years he'll actually stay for breakfast. "Yah, when I'm no longer Commissioner," Cohon rebutted.

• The Fan Walk in Toronto was reportedly five miles long which prompted Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones to chirp to me, "They'll have to take it all the way around the Ring Road in Regina next year!"

Maybe we will.

• Quarterbacks Ricky Ray and Kevin Glenn both looked nervous in the early going on Sunday however Ricky stabilized and got better while Kevin played jittery all game. A lot of us wanted Glenn to win, but he didn't bring his A-Game.

• The Argos kicked the crap out of the Stampeders physically. How many Stamps linemen (both O and D) did we see being helped off the turf? Toronto pulverized them.

• The Stamps' celebrations coming out of the tunnel at the start of the game were grandiose, selfish and a waste of all of our time.

• After one quarter, Leafs GM Brian Burke was not allowed entry into our press box by security! Carm saw it. However not long after, I saw him wandering around. He was dressed in a denim shirt, jeans and boots.

• '96 and '97 Argo Grey Cup champs Pinball Clemons and Doug Flutie were shown on the big screen in the second quarter inciting a massive cheer. It's nice to see Flutie is still rocking the mullet.

• The Argos threw deep for pretty much the whole first quarter then dumped underneath to Chad Kackert all day. They hadn't done that much all year. Calgary meanwhile, handed the ball off to Jon Cornish. Even when it was evident it wouldn't work.

• The Toronto newspapers were all over Justin Bieber being booed in the second quarter when he was flashed on the big screen. Initially I felt bad for the kid but then I saw a photo of Bieber with the Lions cheerleaders and they were so awestruck (and whatever else) that many were crying. I think the Biebs is doing just fine.

* The Bieber concert gave the 2012 Grey Cup a Super Bowl feel while the performances by Burton Commings and Gordon Lightfoot gave the event a Tommy Hunter Show feel.

• Here's the funny thing about haters; they motivate you to prove them wrong and be your best so the joke is on them.

• Why was Doug Flutie on the Argos' bench during the game?  To me that's weird.

• The play that bust the game open: Dontrelle Inman's one-yard TD reception from Ricky Ray late in the half making it 24-6 Toronto. It looked like the same play they had success with in Montreal in the East Final.

• At halftime Carm and I skipped the joint to watch the rest of our game in our hotel lounge. We're thinking it will be a Grey Cup tradition (excluding next year).

• Speaking of next year, as great as the Toronto Grey Cup was, everywhere we went I heard people talking about the 2013 Grey Cup. The buzz was about the weather, the hotel space, the parties and if the Riders will be in the game.

* Apparently there isn't a single hotel room left in Regina during 2013 Grey Cup Week.  However, if you're from out of town and you need one, call DASH Tours.  They're all booked, but they're not all unavailable.

* We may struggle in Regina next year to get the star-power which Toronto had this year.  Even legendary Canadian actor Dan Akroyd was in Toronto for the festivities.

• Alouettes play-by-plan man Rick Moffatt was there and said the loss in the East Final was bitterly painful. "I think it's time for Darian versus A.C. Part 3!" Rick smiled. "What say you?"

• I'm in.

• My favourite conversation overheard this week between a drunkard and a security guard :
"Excuse me sir, how do I get to the Royal York?"
"You're in it."
"Oh. Thanks"

• My second favourite conversation overheard between two fans:
"Kent Austin's in town. I guess he's gonna be the next coach."
"Of who?"
"I don't know!"

• Somebody asked about Kent Austin in the comments section. I guess he was hob-knobbing around downtown Toronto with his son Wes while the girls in their family were shopping. Austin spent 20 minutes chatting with George Yannitsos of the Four Seasons.

• The 100th Grey Cup in Toronto marked 55 Grey Cups attended for Bryan Hall, the legendary Eskimos voice.

• Sportsnet's Arash Madani spent 155 nights in Marriott Hotels in the past year.

• CFL legend Lui Passaglia threw an autographed ball into the crowd at half-time of the Raptors-Spurs game on Sunday. The Sun's Steve Simmons quipped "I thought he should have kicked it".

By the way, a Rider fan caught it.

• My favourite quote of the week came from comedian Steve Patterson at the Riderville luncheon: "When life gives you melons, put them on your head! I don't understand it but I love it!"

* I am of the belief that the Saskatchewan Roughriders will play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Touchdown Atlantic 2012. Ticats officials told me the temp stadium at the University of Guelph will not be big enough to house Rider fans for next season's Saskatchewan visit so Moncton is the best option.

• Two witnesses connected to the Blue Bombers said Team President Garth Buchko was booed off the stage at Touchdown Manitoba on Saturday. Bomber chairman Jim Bell soon left the building.

• And lastly, hats off again to the Rider Nation. That neurotic, nutty, lovable bunch that shows up and takes over CFL events every year never lets us down. Neutral observers said there were more Rider fans at Sunday's Grey Cup than there were fans of the Argos and Stamps. Because they were pulling for Toronto, they made it real loud and a great atmosphere.

Love ya!
RP

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rod, great job as usual. Now another long, gloomy time with no Canadian football!

Pat in MJ

Anonymous said...

Err... we love you too Roddy....

:S

Anonymous said...

The hotel space is going to be a problem. Two weeks ago I tried to book and they told me they weren't taking bookings and I tried today with all except a few and they are all booked.

Anonymous said...

CFL season over, fading to black ! Saskatchewan Roughriders Band Wagon Nation will have to wait till next year for optimistic false hope and promise from the next assembled 2013 team edition. Only thing guaranteed Is the Grey Cup Championship being contested at Taylor Field, Regina, Sk. Canada.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod any more information on the Grey Cup '13 kick-off party on Thursday besides what's on their facebook page? That should be a great time for sure.


Dubya

Anonymous said...

One thing that the Cup next year will have that has been absent for a couple years? The snowbirds and CF-18's!

Anonymous said...

2 new Inns supposedly being built at White City/ Emerald Park, one advertising coming soon next to Teds Motel/Western Pizza restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Time for the CFL to commision a new championship title cup. The old jar know as the Grey Cup has to be repaired yet again, retire and leave It In the hall of fame and start over with a Innovative design for a new age.

Dean said...

you left the game at half time? Part Time fan!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Toronto will trade us Ricky Ray so we can win at home next year. QBs even p I will take it.

Anonymous said...

^^ fool

Anonymous said...

We were in Toronto and were surprised how many times we were stopped and asked why we were dressed in green. Or, someone mentioning that was all they saw was green; etc. I particularly liked the woman who said she didn't follow hockey so had no idea what team we represented! The cutest, though, was a group of tween girls from Etobicoke who stopped us before half-time to ask why so many fans were wearing green. My husband and I let them know about Rider Nation and why we support our team as much as we do. They thought that was cool. We love travelling to Grey Cups but find Riderville is becoming mundane with the same bands playing the same songs every year. Lance Frazier was a nice addition as host this year. I would be willing to pay a higher entrance fee just to have different bands or entertainment. One more thing - we ran into Eddie Russ walking on Yonge Street Friday afternoon. He greeted us as lifelong friends, and stood and chatted for several minutes. What a personable young man! Rumors are that he is living in Regina for the Winter. And, another rumor I heard is 2 of Regina's sports broadcasters may be contacted for opportunities in larger cities. Start mulling that over, Rod!

CM said...

Rider fans are the best. They deserve a winner. Great blog..glad you enjoyed TO.

Anonymous said...

Dave Ash will be a plague on this GreyCup. Many of us from out of town refuse to pay his ridiculously inflated prices. Vegas here we come for 2013 Grey Cup, and we are not alone.
BoxJBoys
Hamilton ON

Anonymous said...

"The Stamps' celebrations coming out of the tunnel at the start of the game were grandiose, selfish and a waste of all of our time." - same thing I thought when they were trying to prance around and look impressive. They probably put more thought into what dance they were going to do, than how they were going to execute.

Best Team won - not a bunch of prima donas.

Good write up on Grey Cup in T.O.

101 will be better than 100.

Newt from YQR

Mike from Vita said...

Rod- I wish you had the feature where only comments, with names attached, be printed. If you won't own it, don't write it!

Thomas J Nelson said...

No sense in deleting this post, Rod. I'm just giving your sponsor some publicity. It's clear Dave thinks it's the best deal in town.
Oh by the way, I've also included my name at the top, so I'm not some anonymous Scum Bag...

It sucks about the Box J Boys and I'd like to think it's their loss, but when you think about it...

Ash is charging $2,000 for 2 Endzone tickets, a Football, Riderville tickets, and four nights at a MOTEL.

Want a Hotel instead? That'll be $2,400

This could be a pretty depressing Party if there's no out of towners willing to come.

Anonymous said...

Tickets aren't even on sale, and there are no rooms available??? Could be the last Grey Cup Regina sees for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Did you say yesterday you went to the game and went back to your hotel at halftime? What is the matter with you? A free entry into one of the great sporting events in the country and you go home at halftime. That's inexcusable Pedersen!

Anonymous said...

2012 Grey Cup was a very boring game ! Commentary on TSN Inconsistent due to commercial Interruptions, pertinent analytical points of Interest reflective of the game not carried over when game resumed on the televised network. Game was BORING big time, no edge of your seat football like the Western semi-final. 

Anonymous said...

Count me as one of the Grey Cup regulars who will not be coming to Regina next year. The lack of hotels is the main reason but not the only one. Others include the lack of proper, and expected, convention center facilities along with the location of Evraz Place, where I assume most of the events will take place. It is in the middle of nowhere with no restaurants around and a lack of cabs to get you to any. You can't beat staying downtown within walking distance to most venues, and if you don't feel like walking, taxis are plentiful. These are things that Regina just can't offer.

Anonymous said...

The Grey Cup should never return to Regina if all the rooms are sold out and tickets are not on sale yet. I was already on the fence to go with the tickets being 350 bucks each...but there's no way i'm going to pay that much money and then pay dash 400 bucks a night to stay in a crappy hotel....good luck selling my tickets..

Anonymous said...

Regina will have a hard time topping Toronto's host job. Toronto has 5 star hotels (do we have one?), top quality pubs and restaurants and convention venues. To have it in Regina in possible -25 weather is ludicrous. Listen to Ballsy for once and move the season up. Football ain't a winter sport. Every team had their own convention room to host their parties in TO and Grey Cup has grown so much with huge corporate sponsorship....don't see where those are gonna be held to the same scale...maybe we can just put up an extra rental tent or two on Scarth Street again and plug in the propane heaters. moo ve over cows and horses we'll need your stalls.