Catching shut-eye Grey Cup eve tricky for some players | Football | CBC Sports

CFLCatching shut-eye Grey Cup eve tricky for some players

Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011 | 10:22 PM

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Terrence Edwards (82) isn't worried about catching some Zs before the big game. After all, he's not nervous. This is his fourth Grey Cup. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press) Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Terrence Edwards (82) isn't worried about catching some Zs before the big game. After all, he's not nervous. This is his fourth Grey Cup. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

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At their hotels in Vancouver on Saturday night, the B.C. Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers faced the night in a 104 different ways.
 
Some snoozed, some paced, some lay there staring at the ceiling.

Glen Suitor was so hyped up for the 1989 Grey Cup that the now-retired Saskatchewan Roughrider finally gave up on sleep in the hotel room the night before, got up and watched game film.
 
He'd had an hour.
 
Then there was Greg Frers, then of the Calgary Stampeders and already with a cup ring on his hand.
 
He had a young family at home in 2002 and wasn't getting any sleep there, so moving with the team into a hotel room was such a relief he slept soundly as soon as the head hit the pillow.
 
At their hotels in Vancouver on Saturday night, the B.C. Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers faced the night in a 104 different ways.
 
Some snoozed, some paced, some lay there staring at the ceiling.
 
Terrence Edwards likely slept well.
 
"I'll sleep like a baby," said the Winnipeg receiving star, at the walk-through on Saturday afternoon in B.C. Place. "This is my fourth Grey Cup ... and I understand the magnitude of this game."

'I don't get nervous, really ...'
 
At the other end of the experience scale is the Lions' Andrew Harris, whose CFL experience goes all the way back to a year ago, July. But he seemed relaxed one day out from the Grey Cup, until the interview began.
 
"I'm gonna catch some dinner with friends and family, hit the pool a little bit, watch some film and get to bed, turn my phone off, eliminate some distractions and I'll get some sleep," said the 24-year-old runner, who emerged as a key force this season.
 
"I don't get nervous, really."
 
But Andrew, this is the Grey Cup, man.
 
"Well, maybe you telling me this, is going to keep me up now," he said, laughing. "I might be calling you up and saying 'I can't sleep now, man.'"
 
Sorry about that. I'll bring some video games over.
 
Actually, Harris is one of those young guys who can literally sleep anywhere - the plane, the Skytrain ... over there by the 30-yard line if he had a pillow and a blanket.
 
"I love my sleep."

Veterans know their sleep 
 
Age seems to help some of these guys deal with nerves.
 
There's Geroy Simon, 36, readying for his third Grey Cup, who admits he used to be a bundle of nerves before big games. Not any more.
 
"I learned to just relax, and play it like any other game - they're all big games," said the 13-year veteran who has 15 post-season contests on the resume.
 
"Sure, I'll have butterflies in the pit of my stomach ... but I won't be watching film, I'll just be up watching Sportscentre or Sportsnet. I might have some green tea."
 
Most of these men have played big games before in their lives and in the context of where they were then, it was just as large to their younger eyes as this one will be.
 
So, there's experience.
 
Alex Suber, the Bombers' defensive back, played in two state championships at high school in Tampa, Fla., then two bowl games at Middle Tennessee State.
 
He learned to sleep then by relaxing, reading his bible "getting some word" and calming down. 

Then, you know, a little staring at the ceiling, a little thinking ...
 
"But I've never been that bad where I only got an hour," he says in wonderment.
 
Suitor, by the way, played superbly in that 1989 final as his Riders broke a 23-year cup drought, so the lack of Zs didn't seem to affect him.
 
No one would recommend the approach, however.

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