Wednesday, 27 November 2013

GREY CUP 101 (part two) THE GAME

The week before the Grey Cup was filled with festivities that basically reached a fever pitch by Saturday when the tickets to get drunk at Riderville sold out. People had to make alternate arrangements for drunken revelry. So finally it was game day.

Here is some of ridernation trudging up North Railway to the game. Someone was already selling Riders championship lanyards. Cause he knew. 

This is the shot from my seat when I first got there and the teams came out to practice. I was in the south theatre seats right in the corner, between two sets of season ticket holders who told me the seat had been empty most of the season since it was a single. It was positively balmy, and a lot of us wondered why the game didn't start at 3 instead of 5. Yes that is melted snow!

Waiting for the game to start. 

Riders practicing. And some were dancing. 

Ticats practicing. Not dancing.

The LeaderPost did a cool zoomable panoramic of the field which allows one to find themselves in the sea of Green.

 I found myself beside the drunk guys in the mexican wrestler outfits. I was probably planning on getting my hot shots out at that point. My hands got pretty cold and the wind was in my face, but it was a pretty mild wind and over all wasn't too bad at all. Though I am glad I found hot shots and I now have extras for the future.

Predictably, the stands were mostly green, although HUFNAGLE was three seats in front of me. I sent mama a text that he was there and she was like "how did you know??" To which I replied "I recognized him mom"

The Prime Minister was apparently over in this section, though I didn't see him. Mebbe he is in this picture. Two fans in full costume got a picture with him, so it's like Steven Harper and two fans all YEAH RIDERS. Hilarious. 

Martin Short and Tom Hanks were also there to cheer on the Ticats, but half way through the game Tom Hanks saw the writing on the wall and switched allegiance to the riders by donning a green toque. One wonders how many people asked him if they'd see him on the Green Mile and how sick he prolly got of that.

Kickoff finally started. The Sheepdogs played Feelin Good, which was basically true for all of Saskatchewan at that point. 

And no we did NOT run out of beer--just everything else except beer, fries and popcorn.

Mounties with the flag, Gainer and the national anthem sung by Serena Ryder, who all the fans like just because of her last name.

The announcer gave us the Ticats starters one by one. Then it was the Riders' turn, except they only got through the the first player and by the time the second was announced the place had erupted into BRING EM OUT BRING EM OUT and the entire team shot out from the tunnel to the field. There was a pause on the screen, assuming because the tv people weren't sure what to do since all the Roughriders were already on the field jumping and posing for the crowd. So they gave up on that.

The turning point of the game came early on when DD fumbled, only to have Kory Sheets catch the fricking ball and run for like 40 yards with it (he ultimately broke the Grey Cup rushing record set in the 50s). That was when we knew the Roughriders could basically do no wrong. Whether it was the green light of ISON or that God really is a Riders fan, that's mostly how the game shaped up. We played a little crappy in the third quarter, but Hamilton was never able to catch us.

I've been to many games at Taylor field, and it's always pretty loud (especially when we're playing the troglodytes from Winnipeg). But the noise level at this game was unreal. Never ever has it been that loud. On Geroy Simon's first TD in a grey cup game I may also have contributed to this by screeching OMGEERRROOOOYYY at a pitch that could break glass.

Okay I totally did that.

The halftime show was performed by Hedly and wasn't that bad considering (at the labour day game everyone booed when they found out it would not be the Sheepdogs). Also in a quintessentially Canadian moment the show featured a stunt skidooer. Yeah.

All the best moments of the game can be seen here. I suggest anyone watch it just to hear the noise level in there (and see that fricking fumble that Kory Sheets ran with at 0:41). Every single one of Hamilton's offensive drives was punctuated with 45k people yelling "HEEENNNRRRYY".  Like normally you can hear games at my place several blocks away, which doesn't translate to the tv. In that video, we actually start overpowering the announcers. It was THAT LOUD.

Lining up for the final drive.

I took a video of Taylor field in the dying seconds to record the moment we won the Grey Cup at home in Taylor field for the first and only time. 

The final score! 

Took it for Taylor Field!! I may shed real tears when the last game is played there. :(

Piffles Taylor btw was a total BAMF. A pilot in WWI, he was shot down, lost an eye, and spent a year as a POW. When he returned to Regina, he burned all his law books and said "screw this goin to play football" (okay and also helped in family business, blah blah). While playing one game, he lost his glass eye on the field. Play had to be stopped so he could find it and on doing so, he dusted it off and popped that sucker back in and kept playing--most likely crushing the opponents since Regina was the most dominant western team at the time (and with people who could not only get hit hard enough to lose an EYE but don't even CARE if they lose their eye playing, no wonder). This is how the field got it's name: the field where that total and complete BAMF Piffles Taylor lost his fricking EYE and kept playing ANYWAY. But that was all long and stuff so it got shortened to "Taylor Field".

Regina could NEVER take the cup in Taylor's lifetime, so the last time the cup would ever be contested on his field, we finally brought it home for him. BAMFs of the world take note. Who needs an eye when you have the Grey Cup???

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