I do like American and Canadian football and occasionally get to watch a game or two. We haven't had cable or any sort of TV service for a long time. We've got a pair of rabbit ears that can get CTV or CBC. But neither at the same time and only if you standing in just the right spot.
This means I haven't watched a Super Bowl in a long time and I can't remember the last Grey Cup I watched. I can remember them often being a disappointment, with a few notable exceptions (XXV, XXVI, XXXVI).
But I've never been enamored with these big games. The Super Bowl is the worst, there are relatively small amounts of the teams fans there. The stands are populated by the media, celebrities, the rich and people who go to the Super Bowl regardless of who plays. There fans who do really care are split up into the two teams.
Compare that to the championship games. They are in front of a home team, a rabid bunch of fans who want there team to win. The atmosphere and excitement created by those fans creates the game.
Of course a real championship game should be played outside in the mud and cold and feature John Riggins beating the Cowboys into the ground with prejudice behind a superb offensive line.
This last week we had a treat in BC. There was the Western Final at BC Place where the BC Lions got to take on the Eskimos. The winner got to to the Grey Cup.
I've been to a few football games at BC Place, one every few years. One of my lasting memories is that the stadium, which can seat 55,000+ has often felt empty. It's hard to get that many bums on seats for something that isn't hockey and the atmosphere has suffered.
Not so last week, there was a great game, a great atmosphere and BC won. It was a great day out for my family. This week it was repeated with a Grey Cup at home in front of a home crowd. Sure there were some people who didn't rarely support BC and just went because it was the Grey Cup, but unlike the average Super Bowl, the majority of people were there to cheer on team and one team alone. And what a game it was.
Let's hope the 100th Grey Cup (the Super Bowl is only on number 46) next year will be as good.
Random trivia while finding links:
- The way the inscription on the Grey Cup reads "Presented by his Excellency Earl Grey for the Amateur Rugby Football Championship of Canada."
- The tea is named after the second Earl Grey. The Grey Cup is named after the fourth.
- The first Grey Cup game was lost by the Parkdale Canoe Club.