Monday, November 30, 2009
Ruminations on Grey Cup 2009
Yesterday was the Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League championship game, wherein the Montreal Alouettes defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 28-27 on a field goal with zero time left on the clock. A thriller for some, a crushing disappointment for others, but for the CFL, another great showcase for the funnest football league on the planet. Here are some thoughs about what I saw before, during and after the game.
1-I hate to say this, but the game looked kind of "cheap" to me. I'm not talking about the game itself or the play of the teams, I'm talking about the way the game was presented. The player introductions are usually done with a lot of hooplah; fireworks, smoke, coloured lights, explosions, screaming cheerleaders and fans, and possibly stampeding moose. This year there seems to be 12 guys waving flags at the players as they ran into the field. The flags weren't even in the team colours. The half-time show, featuring a song or two by Blue Rodeo, had the puniest crowd of "fans" I've ever seen. It looked they asked the grounds crew and some passing lumberjacks to pause briefly in front of the stage and occasionally shake their arms in random directions. The presentation of the Grey Cup itself took forever. By the time the mounties carried the trophy onto the field, all the sober fans were gone, leaving a few dazed Stampeder fans who were still wondering where their team was, and are the playoffs about to begin? I know we live in a PC universe, but couldn't they actually get a pair of mounties the same size to carry the d*** Cup?? One looked like Marcia Wallace in a mountie costume, and the other seems to have a two-by-four up the yin yang. Other than that, it was a fine game.
2-I really love the fact that we have ONE Grey Cup, not newly minted trophies to collect and trade, as the Super Bowl does. Would anyone care how many times a Super Bowl trophy was broken by the players that won it? Would a Super Bowl trophy be left behind in a strip club? Has a Super Bowl trophy ever been held for ransom? I rest my case.
3-Every CFL season, there are a number of loud-mouthed, obnoxious "fans" in Canada who can't seem to tolerate the fact that large numbers of Canadians still like to watch CFL football. They usually surface at Grey Cup time, and can't wait to tell anyone who's listening that CFL fans must be the dumbest of brush-apes to even consider watching the CFL, a league, they say, is full of undersized NFL cast-offs and poorly trained Canadians. They mock the "small salaries" and "small stadiums", and generally try to puff themselves up as being somehow mentally superior to favor the NFL product. Well folks, you can watch whatever you want. The NFL IS a good product for people who like that brand of football, and their players are amazing atheletes. But let's be real here for a minute-we're talking about professional football.....grown men playing a game for our entertainment!!! I personally take satisfaction in the fact that a single CFL players' average salary is in-line with their medium-to-well paid fans, not the operating budget for an entire teaching staff of a middle-sized school, or the development budget for several 3rd world villages. I like the fact that we used to (and hopefully will again soon) had two teams named "Rough Riders". And I love the fact that's it's ours. If you can't at least respect something you've inherited from your fathers and grandfathers, you're probably the type of person who boos their own kids at a hockey game. Get a life and shut up.