Grey Cup 2010 Part 2

Monday, November 29, 2010
The Grey Cup flickr set has been updated. Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes for winning their second consecutive Grey Cup and a big shout out to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for an exciting, close game for a second year in a row.

Mom and I piled on the layers and headed off to Commonwealth Stadium 2 hours before kickoff. Good plan as it took a couple of trains before we were able to find one with any room on it in order to get to the game. Despite running every 5 minutes, the trains were packed solid as 65,000 fans made their way to the stadium. We saw a crazed Rider fan dressed in a flag, head scarf, boots, and .... bikini bottoms. Nothing else. I'm sure he was drunk well before the game began - how else was he able to brave the -10C ish temps for the next 4-5 hours???? Plenty of green everywhere you looked with a spot here and there of red/blue. Saskatchewan was definately well represented. Grabbed a hot dog (more on that later), checked out the massive line for souvenirs and decided to avoid it altogether, before making it way up to our seats. As with previous, non-playoff games, our seats were about 25 rows from the very top of the top tier in the stadium. No overhead coverage, no blocking from the wind (thankfully it wasn't too bad) but one of the best views in the entire venue.

We met some of the best Saskatchewan fans - everyone in our group was cheering for them (except us) but I'm talking about the ones around us. The four fans from Saskatoon sitting in front of us were fantastic. Without asking, one of them (hitting on Mommikins, I'm sure) gave her his jacket to put over her legs, and another gave her a couple of foot warmers to stick in her shoes. Plenty of good natured ribbing back and forth. Why can't more people be that friendly even when you're rivals?

By kickoff time, we had been outside for 2 hours and the cold had started to seep in - but only in the toes. Despite two pairs of socks (including a thick pair of woolies), the toes began to go numb. Following the opening touchdown by the Als, the two of us headed down to the concourse to try and warm up. The only place with heat was the bathroom and it seems we weren't the only ones already feeling the cold. After thawing slightly we wandered around, fighting the crowds. Thought of getting souvenirs now but one shop had already sold out and the other one had nothing left worth getting. Grabbed some hot chocolate and headed back up to our seats.

Our new buddies in the row ahead of us had missed us terribly and thought we got lost. My coworker (the one who had sold us our tickets - thanks J!) topped off our hot chocolate with an alcohol infused version with helped fend off the cold for a few minutes but by the end of the half, we realized there was no way our feet were going to survive the rest of the game. To top it off, the hotdogs we had started our afternoon with were rumbling around in our tummies and threatening to make a sudden reappearance. With regret, we decided to pack it in and head home for the remainder of the game. We missed Bachman Turner (no Overdrive) for the halftime show but managed to hear part of it as we headed to the concourse.

This is where suddenly I panicked. Sure there were a lot of people there, everyone heads to the bathroom or get a refill of their snacks/drinks before the game resumes. However, within a minute of hitting the ground, we were packed like sardines and no one was moving. Except to add more bodies to the mix. And the crush was on. I don't deal well with lots of people around me but this was too much. Kids were getting squished, parents were starting to get that terrified looks on their faces and drunk people just thought it was hilarious. I don't know how but I managed to force my way to the wall and escaped a full blown freak out. By the time I reached the exit and mom saw me, she came rushing over and took my arm and helped me outside. I can only imagine the look on my face because mom became upset when she saw me.

The good news was that there was almost no one on the train ride home. We shared a car with a Rider Fan who was on the train with us on the way to the game, as well as a group of Box J Boys from Hamilton - I guess the cold was a bit too much considering they were wearing kilts. There was also a couple of VERY drunk guys, one of whom kept going on about his penis, the cold and that it was now three times smaller than normal. Sigh - men and their penises.

The toes began to thaw on the ride home and be the time we walked in the door we were ready for jammies and bed. However, we watched the remaining quarter and defrosted. I also came very close to saying hello and goodbye once more to the hotdog from earlier in the day. Thankfully it stayed where it was...

We enjoyed the experience overall and were glad that we got to take part. We discovered though that we're both much fonder of football on television than in person. Its nice not fighting for the bathroom, eating anything you want (and not paying through the nose), and you can change the channel whenever you feel like it. Once in a while its fun to see a game live but I won't be buying season tickets anytime soon. I did, however, enter to win tickets to next year's Grey Cup in Vancouver - its indoors ;)


Heather said...

Oh, my - yes, I do think staying at home is probably the better thing to do. But at least you got to experience the stadium experience, too.

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