Grey Cup brings people together from across Canada

The CFL is not only a sports league, but an entity that brings Canadian families together. During Sunday's 106th Grey Cup, the unity was on full display in Edmonton as the Calgary Stampeders took on the Ottawa Redblacks.

CFL championship transcends the game itself, writes Kevin Light

For Kevin Light, the Grey Cup can bring people together from across Canada, regardless of who they are cheering for. (Kevin Light/CBC Sports)

The Canadian Football League has always held a special spot in my family. 

My father, Terry Light, was an Edmonton Eskimos fan. Growing up, he told me stories of how he would travel from Leduc, Alta., to Commonwealth Stadium to watch the games. 

In 1986, the family moved from Vancouver to Victoria, and my dad bought B.C. Lions season tickets. We would watch and cheer together, hoping for Lions' victories.

This April, everything changed. He was diagnosed with ALS and frontal lobe dementia and he died on Oct. 31.

He's been gone for just over three weeks, but over a lifetime he taught me how to be brave and strong when faced with fear and anxiety. 

With that message in my heart, I hope to show a story of how the CFL's championship game can bring people together from across Canada, regardless of who they are cheering for.

From left to right: Nickolas, Rielly and Kathleen Muir. (Kevin Light/CBC Sports)

Ottawa fans travel

A group of Ottawa Redblacks fans travelled to Calgary to watch their team play for the title. The Algonquin Loggersports Team cut a Redblacks wood cookie from a log for every touchdown Ottawa scored. 

From left to right: Will Lance, Matt Manion, Chris Ryan, Tyler Popki. (Kevin Light/CBC Sports)

Grey Cup veterans ... and rookies

Graham Sucha has been to 10 Grey Cups, and believes nothing unites Canada more than the CFL's biggest game. Ryan Rollier grew up a fan watching with his dad, and cherished the moments of learning the game. 

From left to right: Graham Sucha, Ryan Rollier. (Kevin Light/CBC Sports)

Meanwhile, Malcolm began watching football for the first time just this year. Having never watched before, he fell in love with the game this season and brought his son Malcolm Jr. to the Grey Cup. 

(Kevin Light/CBC Sports)

Born in 1955, Darcy Brubaker walked to every game the Calgary Stampeders played when he was growing up. He got to watch his childhood team win a Grey Cup with his son, Trevor.

From left to right: Darcy and Trevor Brubaker

Stampeders celebrate the title with their families

It took a few years of missed opportunities, but Bo Levi Mitchell landed back on top of the CFL throne, and got to share the moment with his daughter Ele. 

As did Bakari Grant, with his daughter Khari, son Bakari Jr., and wife Erin. Coming from California to the CFL, Grant's says all the children know is Canada.

Bo Levi Mitchell, right, and his daughter Ele. (Kevin Light/CBC Sports)
From left to right: Khari Grant, Bakari Grant Sr, Bakari Grant Jr., Erin Grant. (Kevin Light/CBC Sports)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?