The Grey Cup: The battle for Canada's oldest pro sports trophy marks its 100th anniversary.
With NHL hockey out of the picture, CFL football has the spotlight to itself.
From clutch plays to last minute turnarounds, parties and loonie costumes, to mudbowls and snow, what are your fondest memories of the Grey Cup?
With guest host Martina Fitzgerald.
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Unlike hockey -- Canadian football is not considered Canada's game -- although some might make a strong case.
Each region of this country is not even represented in the League.
And the players -- get only a fraction of the salary -- their counterparts make -- south of the border.
So, how is it -- that the "championship event" of the Canadian Football League -- the Grey Cup -- has not only become the -- highest-profile
single sporting event of the year ......an event that brings Canadians from coast to coast together in good-hearted rivalry....serious
excitement....and outright zaniness ...how is it -- that it's now marking its 100th year?
It's nothing short of remarkable ...and indisputably Canadian.
This year -- on the 100th birthday of the Grey Cup -- there is nothing grey about it ...a little mud-splashed perhaps ...but its shine is
brighter than ever.
Its centenary has become an occasion to look back at the many years of memories ...the outstanding performances...the surprises...the
challenges....and the one thing that has marked it from the start ...the pure fun of it all.
And that is what we are going to do today.
We want to hear your memories and your experiences.....And we want to know what it is about the Grey Cup -- that has made it what it is today.
We know what mud and fog and snow have to do with Canadian football ...But we also want to know what horses, and watermelons, and pancakes have
to do with it.
How did a football game -- a sporting event -- become a national festival with costumes and tents and followers that would put the Grateful
Dead to shame?
Well this year Toronto -- the city Canadians love to hate -- is experiencing a lot of Grey Cup love.
And yes, the horse went into the Royal York hotel -- just as it did last time -- in 1948.
Traditions are born.....and traditions are celebrated.
Tell us yours.
My first Grey Cup -- is still the one that means the most to me.
It was 1976.......
I was 11 years old -- and the middle child in a family of girls -- and I'd figured out long before then -- that the best way to get lots of
time alone with my father -- was to get interested in sports.
My dad liked football -- and he especially liked Canadian football.
When asked why -- he could go on at length -- but most often he would simply reply.........."3 downs and 110 yards".
My dad was a shift worker -- so we didn't have every Sunday together -- but he was off that day in November, 1976 -- when the Saskatchewan
Rough Riders played the Ottawa Rough Riders for the Grey Cup.
Back then, Ottawa was my team......and he agreed that for fun -- we could bet a quarter on the outcome of the game.
How thrilling it was -- with less than 30 seconds to play -- when Tony Gabriel caught the touchdown pass that won the Grey Cup for Ottawa.
I'd won the bet......
I was so excited that -- that Gabriel, a Canadian, was the hero of the game.....
And my dad seemed proud and happy for me.
I remember the catch......I remember winning the quarter.....but mostly I remember how special it felt to share that time, and that Grey Cup
experience with my father.....
Amid the sentiment -- let's not forget that the Cup is also about football ...and East meets West.
Toronto and Calgary are old rivals -- and this game -- some observers say --- is difficult to call.
We want your thoughts and memories -- but we might just ask you for a prediction ......but don't forget, the decision will be made on the
field in just a few hours.
Our topic today: "What are your fondest memories of a 100 years of the Grey Cup? ...And why has it lasted so long?"
I'm Martina Fitzgerald ...On CBC Radio One and on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 159........this is "Cross Country Checkup".
Lorenda Reddekopp (radio only)
CBC Toronto reporter.
- Malcolm Kelly(chat only)
The Canadian Football League columnist for CBCSports.ca. He has been following the league since 1968.
- Bob Calder (radio only)
Professor Emeritus of English, University of Saskatchewan in author of Saskatchewan Roughriders: first 100 Years
Mark DeNobile (radio and chat)
The executive director of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame
- Gerry Organ (chat only)
Former placekicker for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1971-1983. He is the winner of the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award in 1973 and is
a two time CFL All-Star and a two time Grey Cup Champion (1973 and 1976). He also played in the 1981 Grey Cup Game in Montreal.
Giulio Caravatta (radio only)
Played 8 years with the BC Lions won Grey Cup Championship in 1994
Canadian Football League
Globe and Mail
Regina Leader Post
As the granddaughter of one of the original Toronto Varsity Blues 1909 and 1910 winning team - Charlie Gage, watching the Grey Cup was huge in our home. However, one my favourite memories is watching the game at the Toronto Press Club with our family and friends and other fans, and listening to not only Dad's stories about his own dad but the rehashing of previous games. The continuous commentary of those gathered to watch the game could often be overwhelming but it was always such a passionate gathering. An even greater tradition was Dad taking his father's miniature Grey Cup trophy, giving it a good polish, and proudly displaying the Cup. Have to say, it's pretty cool to be the granddaughter of one of the original teammates. Two of my siblings were lucky enough to score tickets for today's game. I will be watching from London and I'm sure my other sibling will be watching from her home in Vancouver. Go Argos!
I have many fond memories of watching the Grey Cup, particularly when I lived out West. However in recent years and now living in Toronto when I would like to watch the Grey Cup on TV, I cannot. Canadian football is only shown on TSN and if you do not subscribe to that package then you cannot watch it as it is not shown on any of the public channels. Since I do not watch any other sports I am certainly not going to subscribe to TSN. It was mentioned earlier on the radio today that it would be great if more people and particularly new immigrants to Canada got interested in Canadian football. If it is not shown on any of the public networks then I would say not many are going to get interested. Whoever made the decision to only have it shown on TSN needs to re-think this decision. From a Canadian football fan who cannot watch the game!
My fondest memories of the Grey Cup are that I have none. I think the Grey Cup is a Canada West-Central event which means little east of Quebec.
In 1989 my husband and I and 2 children were living in Hong Kong for one fabulous year, my husband was a huge Ti-cat fan (born in Hamilton). The Ti cats and Saskatchewan riders played the Grey Cup, no internet, no long distance out going on our phone (too expensive) and my husband was going crazy wanting to know the results of the game, there was nothing in USA today where my husband got his sports news. He even called the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong the next day after the game and no one knew, finally we found out from a Canadian Cathay Pacific pilot the outcome a day or so later! (Ti cats lost!)