Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Grey Cup 2012

This year’s Grey Cup game will be played in Toronto on November 25th. The names of the participants is yet to be determined. Nothing new there. Year after year, it always goes down to the wire. Teams get a lucky bounce and they are successful. They take a bad penalty, and they find themselves on the sidelines.


But the game will be played on that date, and there are thousands of people around the country preparing the stage. This is, after all, a special year, as the Canadian Football League celebrates the 100th Grey Cup Game.


There are Grey Cup celebrations in full swing across the country. The actual trophy was in Newfoundland last weekend en route to Hogtown. The Cup has been travelling by train to promote the whole concept. There are cars on the train equipped with plenty of memorabilia to stir up memories of past Grey Cup games. Once the train arrives in select areas, the Cup will be transported to a site for viewing and photographs.


The Cup will be at the RONA store in Belleville on October 29th, according to company spokesperson Bill Belnap. Belnap has been involved in football for several years, and is an unabashed Argo fan. “We will be serving breakfast that day beginning at 7:30am. The trophy will arrive at 9:30am, and will stay at the store until 11:30am. The train is scheduled to move on to Windsor at 12:45pm.”


He has dubbed his celebration as an “Argo Tailgate Party”, and he will be at the event preparing your pancakes and sausages. There will be Tim Hortons coffee available at the event, and a group from the United Way. Belnap hopes to have Argo players and cheerleaders (I second the motion!) at the event. RONA is one of the chief sponsors of the Canadian Football League.


Canada Post has also become involved in the celebration, in a major way. There are stamps featuring the trophy itself, one of the oldest trophies in North American professional sport. There are also stamps dedicated to each of the eight teams in the league.


The Argo stamp features a portrait of Mike “Pinball” Clemons, arguably one of the best ever to don the double blue uniform. He has been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and is a great asset to the game. Following his retirement, he remained with the Argos, promoting the game. The stamp itself also depicts the famous “Mud Bowl” of 1950, when playing conditions were not ideal. You can expect the roof to be closed at the Rogers Centre in November. It is also difficult to churn artificial turf into a mud bath!


Canada Post also has many other items on sale to promote the game: First Day covers, coin and stamp sets, pens, coil dispensers, greeting cards, and framed prints. There is a limited edition, signed print set for the true Argo fan for $ 179.95.


The Canadian Mint has also produced a sparkling one dollar coin to commemorate the event. They are available at most post offices, but the supply is limited. For those of you who live in Wellington, there are still a few available.


The celebration in Toronto begins the week before the game. There are banquets, meetings, and a host of other events to kick off the game. On Thursday, the music begins with an all Canadian lineup featuring K’naan. Kreesha Turner and Mia Martina will be there to keep you hip hopping. That would not be Lawrence Welk, madam.


Friday night’s celebrants include the Sam Roberts Band, Matthew Good, Kim Mitchell, and Treble Charger. Saturday’s feature band is Big Sugar. April Wine and Miles Goodwyn will open for Sam Roberts.


On Sunday, the Pre-Game Party concert will help prepare you for the game. Burton Cummings will belt out some Guess Who tunes, with Kathleen Edwards on hand to get things under way. “Pinball” is slated to deliver a rallying speech before the game. By that stage of the game, you will be pumped!


The B.C. Lions are cruising along with a 10-4 record at this time. The Argos, Ticats and Blue Bombers are struggling to make the playoffs. As is the case with all similar situations, the beginning of the playoffs is the start of a whole new ball game. Anything can happen. In the CFL, that is guaranteed!


October 9, 2012 






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