Argo fans flock to Regina to cheer on Toronto in the Grey Cup game
Argos are 'big underdogs,' but fans say they have faith in their team
The Toronto Argonauts are getting ready to take the field for the 109th Grey Cup game on Sunday, and scores of their fans are in Saskatchewan to cheer the football team on as they face the heavily favoured Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
It's cold in Regina, colder than Toronto, but the fans say they are having fun at the Grey Cup Festival that leads up to game day and are getting ready for the big show.
Lori Bursey, president of Friends of the Argonauts Fan Club, said excitement is building. She said there are lots of Argonauts fans who've come to Regina from Toronto, and some drove all the way.
"It still kind of early in the weekend. A lot of people came in last night from outside of the city. Things are picking up steam now. But so far, the atmosphere has been great. The volunteers have been terrific," she said.
The Argonauts will be making their first Grey Cup appearance since winning the Canadian Football League's championship game in 2017 when they meet the Blue Bombers at Mosaic Stadium.
Bursey said she believes if there is any team who can knock off the Bombers, who come into Sunday's game having won two straight Grey Cups, it's her Argos.
"We want them to play hard and play fast. The wonderful thing about the Argonauts, our team right now, is they're one huge family. They play for each other. They don't play for themselves," she said.
"What's really carried us and made us successful over the last several weeks is their belief in each other. And so, while we are big underdogs, I know that we'll be able to come through, and if not win — but I hope we do — have a great game, a very close game."
There's a 'quiet confidence' in Argos, fan says
Argo supporter Dave Slessor said many fans of the hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders are throwing their support behind the Argos because of the rivalry between the Saskatchewan and Manitoba teams. The Argos are not the team that everybody hates, he said.
"There's a lot of: 'Anybody but the Bombers!'" he said.
Slessor said fans have faith in the Toronto team.
"Everyone is excited for the game. We can't wait to see what the Argos can do," he said.
"Hopefully, they have their best game of the season. They played so well throughout the playoffs. I think there's sort of a quiet confidence that the Argos can do what no one else has been able to do for the last couple of years," he said.
Semanda Gough, another Argo fan, added: "I definitely think that this year the only people that are going to be cheering for the Bombers are the Bombers themselves and TiCats, but that's probably about it."
The Bombers won the West Division title with a 15-3-0 record. Their roster is chock-full of championship game experience.
The Argos finished first in the East Division with an 11-7-0 mark.
"They find ways to get it done, even when it seems impossible," Slessor said.
With files from Greg Ross, Muriel Draaisma and The Canadian Press