There were many story lines leading up to the 100th Grey Cup between the Calgary Stampeders and the Toronto Argonauts. Of particular importance to me was Calgary Stampeder quarterback Kevin Glenn’s return to the big game. The other was Stampeder OL Obby Khan making it to the Grey Cup after a forced retirement last year with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In the end, the Toronto Argonauts won the Grey Cup on home soil and both Glenn and Khan were denied an opportunity to hoist the Grey Cup.
This was my fifth Grey Cup experience and by far one of the best ones ever. The excitement started last year at the 99th Grey Cup in Vancouver when it was announced that a 10-day celebration was being planned for Toronto. Plus, with the Grey Cup being held indoors, it was easy to convince my football buddies to join the party and a great way for me to reconnect with former Winnipeggers now living and working in Toronto.
As an avid Blue Bomber fan and season ticket holder, I was also hoping that our team would make a repeat appearance this year. It was a brutal season and we didn’t even make the playoffs. The season is over and I’m eagerly waiting for the 2013 season to start.
Let’s get back to the Grey Cup party storyline. It’s the team parties that make the Grey Cup and this year, Touchdown Manitoba kicked off the festivities with two sold out parties with the hottest ticket in Toronto! For the several “Spirit of Edmonton” parties I’ve attended over the years, the party in Toronto was one of the biggest. Riderville, Stamps House and the Lion’s Den were busy fan party hotspots. That’s good old western hospitality at its finest.
The biggest highlight of the weekend for me was being an accredited CFL photographer at Rogers Centre. This would be my 2nd time shooting a CFL football game and pretty excited at the opportunity. With the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup, there was a ridiculous amount of Toronto media present. Needless to say, the photographer’s room at Rogers Centre was a complete zoo. I’ve never seen so many cameras and sports lenses assembled in one place.
While many fans booed Justin Beiber’s performance at half time, I was snapping away. Also included in my camera roll were RCMP officers carrying the Grey Cup, several cheerleaders, lots of crazy CFL fans, and the Toronto Argonauts hoisting the Grey Cup. I have a couple photos of Carly Rae Jepson and still waiting for her to call me, maybe.
Watching and working the 100th Grey Cup was simply amazing. This was the complete Canadian football experience for me and that is why I love CFL football.