As I sat in my warm living room watching the Grey Cup game with family and friends chowing down on nachos and wings, I wondered why I didn't attend the game? The game was held in my hometown for the third time in the past 15 years. Before 1991, this championship game was held in every other CFL city, (especially heavy on Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver) but Winnipeg and Regina. If you don't remember the ridiculous Grey Cup game in Regina in 1995, it was the first and ONLY time a non-Canadian team captured the CANADIAN Football League title. In my opinion, it was a low point for the league, a desperate attempt to capture an (non-existent) American audience.
Enough history, the point is why didn't I go to the game, I've watched probably every Cup game since the early 70's and though I haven't been to a Bomber game in at least 3 years..I still consider myself a CFL fan. I do follow the CFL more closely than the NFL and I read about the trials and tribulations of the Bombers week to week. I have been to one Grey Cup game, 1983 in Vancouver, the first year of the domed stadium B.C. Place, as the Argos beat the home team Lions. It was my first year of university and my two Pals Mike and Ox flew to the coast to party Grey Cup style..good time! Too bad the hometeam lost, cause it totally killed the party mood of the city.
I had an opportunity to go to the 1991 game here in Winnipeg (this is the year that featured the part owners of the Toronto Argonauts Wayne Gretzky, John Candy and that later to-be-convicted crook Bruce McNall on the sidelines) as my boss Jan (then and presently) offered to buy me tickets a couple of days before the big event. I turned the tickets down as the thought of freezing my ass off on a cold November evening (there was snow on the ground this Cup and the temp was probably in the -10/20 C. range.) and sitting on steep metal temporary bleachers didn't seem too appealing at the time. This year you couldn't asked for better weather especially for this time of year, and the hype in Winnipeg was building all week. I must admit, I avoided anything Grey Cup-related, I didn't attend any concerts, parades, luncheons, award ceremonies, nightclubs, parties or even drinking heavily during Cup week. I obviously have no civic pride, but I don't care, do you think Mr. photo-op Gary Doer paid for his ticket to any of the events? Maybe I'm getting old or maybe I'm cheap (tickets were $250 in the side stands), I just think if you're going to spend that kind of money, either the home team should be in the game or I should be watching the game in another city. I think the domed Roger's Centre in Toronto would be a great place to watch football in November. Hmmm... sounds tempting, maybe I'll see you in Toronto for the '07 Grey Cup!