Tuesday, June 22, 2010


We've Got Your Ticket!

The Canadian edition of professional football is just around the corner. The Hamilton Tiger Cats open their regular season on July 2nd in Winnipeg, then return home to face the Calgary Stampeders on July 10.

The Belleville Minor Football League will be there. More than one hundred seats are available for players, friends, family, coaches and fans. There is a good chance that you could be there as well. Tickets are now available, and include the Foley Coach trip up and back from Steeltown.

It should prove to be an exciting day because, after all, Ivor Wynne Stadium is the best place in Ontario to watch CFL football. Most agree that the Rogers Centre, where the Argos play, is simply too cavernous to really catch the flavour of the game. The stadium in Hamilton will be packed to the rafters for the opening kick off.

Expectations are running high for the Ticats this year. The Ticats faced the Blue Bombers last Sunday in exhibition play, and beat the Winnipeg squad 38-20. Coach Marcel Bellefeuille was pleased with his team’s effort, not only in the game, but on the practice field as well. “Our offence has excuted at a high level all of training camp. And when that first group of players was in, they did a nice job.”

There will likely be a battle for the pivot position on the Ticats. Seasoned veteran Kevin Glenn started and played well, completing 16 of 26 pass attempts. Under his leadership, the team came up with 15 first downs in the first half. Quinton Porter replaced Glenn to start the second half. With less than six minutes remaining, Adam Tafralis finished up at quarterback.

As previously stated, this was an exhibition game, the second for the Ticats. The Tabbies also played the Argos in Toronto the previous week, and now prepare for the season opener. It is always difficult to predict a team’s potential from pre season games. The true test is in the effectiveness of the team in their practices, and their final roster. Cuts will be made in the next week.

Fans will enjoy the play of Arland Bruce III, a wide receiver for the Ticats. He is an exciting receiver, always a threat to score at any time. DeAndra’ Cobb provides explosive power from the backfield.

One of the truly fine features of Tiger Cat football lies in its storied history. All Canadian football fans who might be greying slightly around the temples have fond memories of the “Oskee Wee Wee” boys from yesteryear: Angelo Mosca, Bernie Faloney, Tommy Grant, Ralph Goldston, Hal Patterson, Bronko Nagurski, Ron Howell….the list goes on and on.

The Canadian Football League Hall of Fame is located in downtown Hamilton. It reflects the essence of the game: the grit, the triumph, the struggles, the heartbreak. The city itself has had its fortunes change along with the value of the commodity that has driven the town: steel.

Many of the forgotten heroes of Hamilton football come from its roots. They are the sons and grandsons of the men who worked in the smelters, turning iron ore into steel. They came from Europe to find a new life, principally after the Second World War. That great tradition continues today.

A graduate of McMaster University, Ray “Moose” Mariuz began his CFL career with the Toronto Argonauts, spending four years with the Double Blue. He returned to Hamilton four years ago, and has been rock-solid with the Ticats.

Peter Dyakowski is in his fourth year with the Tabbies. He holds the distinction of being the first Canadian ever to sign a scholarship with LSU-Louisiana State University.

Home opening games are always spectacular, and the July 10th game will be just that. Pull on those shoulder pads. Fasten that chin strap. Put on your game face. It is time for football.

Tickets for the trip are $ 70. They may be obtained by calling: 613-399-2278, or by emailing: jhurst1@xplornet.com.

James Hurst
June 22, 2010

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