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100th Grey Cup / 100e Coupe Grey
November 25, 2012 7:24 AM   Subscribe

Today, in Toronto, the Grey Cup will be awarded for the 100th time, to the CFL champion. What is it? What is the history? Who is playing? Why was someone riding a horse in the best hotel in town?

The History
In 1909, Albert Henry George Grey, the 4th Earl Grey and grandson of the second Earl (and UK Prime Minister) Charles Grey, bought a silver cup for $48. Grey, who was the Governor General of Canada at the time, intended to give it for the amateur senior hockey championship. Beaten to the punch by Sir Montagu Allan, he decided to give the trophy to the Canadian football champion instead.

In the intervening years, the Grey Cup has been won in the mud, in thrilling last-second victories, unbelievable comebacks, and in -17ºC (1ºF) temperatures. Along the way, the trophy has been broken, burned in a fire and attacked by the Taliban in Kandahar (twice).


The Game
Canadian football originated in the mid 1860s, out of an early versions of rugby; this "Rugby-football" spread to the US in 1874 and became American football. The two sports are very similar; perhaps the most noticeable of the differences is that Canadian football has 3 downs rather than 4; along with the wider (and longer field) and unlimited backfield motion, this leads to a more open, faster game with more passing.

The 100th team to be engraved on the Grey Cup will be either the Toronto Argonauts or the Calgary Stampeders. Toronto had previously been selected as the host city, with the game being played in the Rogers Centre (formerly called the SkyDome).

The Toronto Argonauts hosted the Edmonton Eskimos in the Eastern semifinal before heading to Montreal for a win against Anthony Calvillo (the all-time passing leader - CFL or NFL) and the Montreal Alouettes. The Argos went 9-9 in the regular season, with newly acquired quarterback Ricky Ray. One player to look out for is receiver/kick returner Chad Owens, who set the league record for single season yardage (3,863) and was awarded the Most Outstanding Player award, the CFL's highest. (Historical note; the Argonauts name comes from the rowing club that founded the team in 1873 -- they are the oldest professional team in North America still playing under the same name.)

The Calgary Stampeders made it to the big game by beating the rival Saskatchewan Roughriders, before upsetting the defending champion BC Lions in Vancouver last weekend. The team finished the regular season 12-6 with some uncertainty at quarterback; that has been settled with young Drew Tate breaking his arm in the semi-final against Saskatchewan, clearing the way for recently acquired 12-year veteran Kevin Glenn. The Stamps also have a strong running game, led by 2012 Most Outstanding Canadian Jon Cornish, who thanked his two moms from the podium.

This year's game could be a close-fought match; the Stampeders have the momentum, but the Argos have beaten them in the last five meetings. The two best-known mayors in the country, Toronto's conservative, football-loving, streetcar-hating Rob Ford and Calgary's liberal, policy wonk, former professor Naheed Nenshi agreed to a bet over Twitter -- the losing mayor will donate their weight in food to the other city's food bank. The provincial premiers have followed, with even the zookeepers in the respective cities getting in on the action. People betting actual money give Calgary a slight advantage, a spread of about 1.5 points.



The Festival
The Grey Cup can be compared to the Superbowl, but it is in many ways a more inclusive event. A festival is held in the host city before the game. Every team in the league -- as well as the Atlantic Schooners, a hypothetical team at best -- has a party night (or two) hosted by a contingent of their fans. Many dedicated followers attend every year, regardless of their team's performance. (Or even their existence.) In addition to the parties, concerts and street festival, the Canadian university football championship (the Vanier Cup) was played on Friday night. The Laval Rouge et Or pounded the defending champion McMaster Marauders, 37-14, in front of a record crowd in the Rogers Centre.

The festival as a national phenomenon first began in 1948, when host city Toronto was hit with an invasion of rowdy Calgary fans; the Stampeders finished the only perfect season in CFL history, but two other traditions were born. The Calgary Grey Cup committee provided a free pancake breakfast on the steps of City Hall to all comers, which has become an annual tradition. A reveller also rode into legend by riding a horse through the lobby of the prestigious Royal York Hotel. This has also become a Stampeder fan tradition, with horses being ridden in hotel lobbies around the country. A return to the Royal York ride wasattempted again this year -- the hotel refused at first, but the horse rode again this year.

Of course, there's also a halftime show during the game itself. The good news is that instead of the usual over-the-hill rock act, they've managed to hire the two Canadian music stars who have had the most global popularity in 2012. The bad(?) news is that they happen to be Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen. (Not that it couldn't be worse.) Gordon Lightfoot will also be on hand.


The 100th Grey Cup will kick off at 6PM Argonaut (EST) / 4PM Stampeder (MST) on TSN. Over 50 Cineplex Theatres nationwide are showing the game on the movie screen. In the United States, the NBC Sports Network will show the game live.

Previously on Metafilter: The 89th Grey Cup. The 1963 Grey Cup (and the hard feelings that linger.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble (95 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Grey Cup can be compared to the Superbowl...

To help our American friends: in some ways the Superbowl is to the Grey Cup as this is to that.

In other, perhaps more important ways, it's nothing like that at all.


Anyhoop, great post! Happy #100 Grey Cup! Joyeux anniversaire!
posted by mazola at 7:38 AM on November 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


A flock of assholes was making their loud territorial calls outside my office in the financial district on Friday night. I couldn't make out whether they were Eastern or Western assholes; loud as they were, they couldn't drown out the real sounds of downtown: construction, and emergency vehicles.
posted by scruss at 7:59 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nothing is sadder than attempts at tailgate parties in Toronto whenever the Cup or the Bills are in town. Cooking and drinking in public is verboten, which puts a big dampener on, ya know, tailgating.
posted by thecjm at 8:06 AM on November 25, 2012


I'm a fan of both the NFL and the NHL, and one thing I've never quite understood is why Canada's export of hockey to the U.S. resulted in a multi-national league that consists of teams from both countries, while America's export of le football américain resulted in a separate NFL and CFL. I know that the CFL has flirted with U.S. expansion, but with MLB, the NBA, and the NHL all having both American and Canadian franchises, why wouldn't Canada have an interest in importing the more commercially successful NFL product?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:39 AM on November 25, 2012


tonycpsu: because sometimes it's nice to have at least one sport where your final game is guaranteed to be won by a Canadian team.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 8:45 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any league in which, for many years, the Roughriders could play the Rough Riders in the championship game is okay in my book.
posted by delfin at 8:46 AM on November 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


tonycpsu: because sometimes it's nice to have at least one sport where your final game is guaranteed to be won by Canadian team.

That theory would seem to be undermined by the CFL's attempts at U.S. expansion, wouldn't it?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:53 AM on November 25, 2012


For years and years there has been talk of bringing the NFL to Canada. It's a Ford brothers' wet dream. The Bills' annual visits to The Skydome began and perhaps continue as a test of the market. The problem is that NFL football would result in one team in Toronto and nowhere else, to the detriment of all other cities which now have football teams. And CFL teams in places in the west like Calgary and Saskatchewan are probably more meaningful to people there than a NFL team would be to most people in Toronto.
posted by TimTypeZed at 8:56 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because there's not enough money and interest to support an NFL team. The places in Canada where football is most popular don't have the population to support an NFL team. The places with the population(Toronto) don't really care that much about football.
posted by captaincrouton at 8:56 AM on November 25, 2012


why wouldn't Canada have an interest in importing the more commercially successful NFL product?

There definitely is no shortage of interest. The Bills have played a half dozen regular season home games in Toronto since 2008 and odds are not negligible that they'll move permanently within the next few years. What this might do for the Argos and CFL in general is an interesting question.
posted by Adam_S at 8:57 AM on November 25, 2012


Doesn't the CFL really help the NFL with some of it's anti-trust problems? I remember a while back when the league was having difficulty the NFL gave them an interest free loan.
posted by Grimgrin at 8:58 AM on November 25, 2012


Great post, best of the web. As a new import to Calgary, I'll be cheering on my adopted hometown this afternoon.
posted by arcticseal at 9:01 AM on November 25, 2012


So this doesn't have anything to do with tea, hot, straight from the replicator?

Pity.
posted by briank at 9:04 AM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm a fan of both the NFL and the NHL, and one thing I've never quite understood is why Canada's export of hockey to the U.S. resulted in a multi-national league that consists of teams from both countries, while America's export of le football américain resulted in a separate NFL and CFL. I know that the CFL has flirted with U.S. expansion, but with MLB, the NBA, and the NHL all having both American and Canadian franchises, why wouldn't Canada have an interest in importing the more commercially successful NFL product?

1.) Canadian football is actually a bit older than American football is. America didn't export football to Canada; Canada and America developed it at the same time and created two different rule sets, much in the way that rugby league and rugby union co-developed alongside one another.

2.) There probably isn't a stadium in Canada large enough to accommodate the demands of an NFL team. Certainly there isn't one big enough in Toronto (the Skydome is not big enough to support a team permanently). So any city wanting an NFL franchise needs to build a new, football-dedicated stadium. Oddly enough nobody wants to pay for such a stadium.

3.) And there really isn't enough interest to support an NFL team anywhere in Canada. This is not to say that Canadians don't like football - lots of them do. But any sport that isn't hockey will always struggle a bit to find an audience in Canada. Torontonians going to the Bills once-per-year games doesn't really prove anything, and nobody in Canada wants to take the risk and spend the money on a franchise.
posted by mightygodking at 9:08 AM on November 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Thanks, mightygodking. I knew they developed in parallel, but my impression was that it became commercially-viable (i.e. the kind of thing one could consider expanding internationally) first in the U.S. Perhaps I'm wrong about this.

The point about stadium size is interesting, because my understanding of the economics of the NFL is that all 32 teams could basically play to empty stadiums and still make money due to the massive amount of TV money. This would suggest to me that the NFL could (or at least should) be okay with hypothetical Canadian expansion teams playing in smaller stadiums.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:15 AM on November 25, 2012


Canadian football predates American football by ten years? What's next? I suppose you're going to tell us that Canada was fighting Hitler years before the Americans?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:22 AM on November 25, 2012 [26 favorites]


I knew a Canadian Football League legend growing up, and yet when I saw this post my mind jumped to compact fluorescent lighting.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:25 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I nominate weapons-grade pandemonium for Comment of the Week. If that doesn't exist yet, it does now!
posted by andreaazure at 9:43 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Canadian football predates American football by ten years? What's next? I suppose you're going to tell us that Canada was fighting Hitler years before the Americans?

We declared war right away but significant Canadian involvement was quite delayed. This pro-Canada moment is not as straightforward as you think.
posted by srboisvert at 9:56 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a fan of both the NFL and the NHL, and one thing I've never quite understood is why Canada's export of hockey to the U.S. resulted in a multi-national league that consists of teams from both countries

Following on from mightygodking's comment: Hockey's development wasn't cross-border originally. Around WWI the only hockey franchises south of the border were Seattle (which won the 1917 Stanley Cup) and Portland. It wasn't until the collapse of the PCHA and the emergence of the NHL that hockey truly looked south of the border to New York and Boston. Had a successful eastern league emerged during this embryonic era, it is possible that there would be a US major hockey league and a Canadian major hockey league.

I will take exception to this statement from mightygodking:

And there really isn't enough interest to support an NFL team anywhere in Canada.

If the Bills moved to Toronto tomorrow, they'd sell out Rogers Centre for years. Vancouver might be a harder sell, but it's a better market than Jacksonville (and there are a surprising number of Seahawks fans north of the border). And yes, hockey is the king sport of Canada and that's not changing, but given the success of MLS (sellouts in all three cities and Montreal selling out Stade Olympique) there is some room for other sports.
posted by dw at 10:21 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


This pro-Canada moment is not as straightforward as you think.

The strategic maple syrup supply had to be secured first.
posted by arcticseal at 10:25 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great post. However, no post on the CFL would be complete, IMO, without mentioning the rouge. To me, it distinguishes the CFL from the NFL even more than three downs, as best exemplified by this play (slyt), which reminds you why the game is actually called, you know, football. I could watch that play over and over again.

The confluence of the teams in question and the host city have also made for a little re-hashing of what passes for culture wars in Canada this week. What unites most Canadians outside of Toronto is their distaste for Toronto. The initial refusal of the Royal York to let Marty ride earlier this week makes you wonder if Toronto secretly relishes that role. Toronto and Calgary are the two poles of Canada right now. I happened to see Stephen Harper's motorcade go by my house this morning, since he's in town for the game, and realized that nothing will reveal the allegiances of the crowd at the game more than the reaction to Harper; Calgary is his power base, while he's loathed in Toronto.

The subject of the NFL in Toronto/Canada perhaps best typifies this. While the rest of Canada resents Toronto and loves watching them lose in sports, Toronto is pretty much indifferent to the CFL (drawing among the lowest attendances in the league, if not the lowest), and yearns to be noticed and accepted by Americans. The NFL is a bigger deal, and the question of when an NFL team will arrive in Toronto is never far from the surface.

Finally, we must talk about the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Community owned, with a fan base so large and rabid that national ratings for the CFL rise and fall with their performance. While Stampeders fans have certainly been out in force in Toronto this week, the green jerseys of Roughrider fans have not been hard to find. I personally think the Roughriders should be in the Grey Cup every year with the rest of the league competing for the honour of playing them.

As for myself, I won't be able to watch the game because I'll be curling. My home and native land...
posted by dry white toast at 10:28 AM on November 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


Also, +1 for the bilingual post title.
posted by dry white toast at 10:30 AM on November 25, 2012


Wow, I knew nothing of this. Great post.
posted by dejah420 at 11:24 AM on November 25, 2012


I've looked into watching CFL before, since it's like NFL but with more of the stuff I like about the NFL. But watching sports not-live is... kind of pointless. Is there any way to watch this stuff live outside of Canada?
posted by cthuljew at 11:37 AM on November 25, 2012


♫ Life is like Canadian Football, we got this thing called a rouge... so unless you take chances sometimes, you're gonna lose... ♫
posted by anthill at 11:50 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, anthill, not only do I recognize the song (it must have been played on the CBC at least once this week), but that CBC Music page points to this fascinating archive.
The original CFL Sessions were captured in the 1970s by the late Canadian folklorist Staunton R. Livingston. The tapes (of Canadian football players performing both original and traditional works) collected dust in the National Archives of Canada until the summer of 2008, when they were discovered by resident folklorist Henry Adam Svec. Now, with the help of ethnomusicologist and composer WL Altman, Svec has transposed the rough, deteriorating recordings into lush and contemporary orchestrations.
From "The Songs":
Notes on Authorship

- Livingston's commitment to the idea of "the folk," alongside his Marxist understanding of human creativity, led him to cast aside conventional notions of cultural propriety and authorship. So, it is uncertain which CFL players – or staff, in at least one case ("Madonna with No Divinity") – wrote the songs.

- "CFL Seasons in the Sun" was the only popular "cover" song recorded by Livingston during the Sessions.
Link to CFL Seasons in the Sun on (I can't believe I'm doing this) MySpace.
posted by maudlin at 12:09 PM on November 25, 2012


Awesome post overall, Homeboy Trouble. It has also helped to resolve a discussion I was having last night over Earl Grey ==> tea (in)famy and Earl Grey ==> football.
posted by maudlin at 12:14 PM on November 25, 2012


For what it's worth, I was in the Toronto airport on Wednesday picking up a relative. While I was waiting for their flight to arrive, I was surprised to notice the Roughriders cheerleaders fly in on a commercial airline, and carry their own luggage. Such is the low-budget world of Canadian football.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 12:17 PM on November 25, 2012


So this doesn't have anything to do with tea, hot, straight from the replicator?

Pity.


Actually, it kind of does. Earl Grey tea is named after the 2nd Earl Grey, and the Grey Cup was given by the 4th Earl Grey. The former is the grandfather of the latter.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:19 PM on November 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Canadian football predates American football by ten years?

Four. 1865 versus 1869.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:21 PM on November 25, 2012


My friend who usually puts on a Grey Cup party is out of town this weekend. Which is sad because we usually make competing Poutines, but also good because at some point he always trys to talk me into a Bloody Caesar.

Ew.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:21 PM on November 25, 2012


Vancouver might be a harder sell, but it's a better market than Jacksonville

Not really. Toronto may not even be a better market than Jacksonville. That, and Vancouver would have to build a new stadium, as their stadium is 12% smaller than the smallest current NFL stadium (Soldier Field). Given that they just finished renovating it a year ago, there's probably not much of an appetite for that.

Rogers Centre has the same capacity problem as BC Place. (i.e., it's too small).
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:29 PM on November 25, 2012


Again, with only eight home games a year and the NFL's $4B (USD) per year TV contract, I don't see how much difference 12% fewer seats makes. I think it would be mostly a function of fan interest in the form of TV ratings, merchandise sales, etc.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:36 PM on November 25, 2012


oh shit, it's today! Is there nowhere to stream it online? maybe I should just walk down to the cineplex..

Go Argos!
posted by mannequito at 12:37 PM on November 25, 2012


While I was waiting for their flight to arrive, I was surprised to notice the Roughriders cheerleaders fly in on a commercial airline, and carry their own luggage. Such is the low-budget world of Canadian football.

Something I didn't have room (!) to get into is the low-budget world. The salary cap for a CFL team was $4.35 million dollars this year. That's the whole team put together, not per player. Most NFL teams have four to six players who are paid more than an entire CFL franchise. Peyton Manning will be paid more this year than the four-team Western division. Stamps RB Jon Cornish rushed for 1,457 yards this season -- 300 yards more than the NFL leader last season -- and he works as a customer service rep in a bank in the offseason. Nine running backs in the NFL will make more than an entire CFL team. Almost certainly, every single running back will make more than Cornish; the NFL minimum salary $390K is similar to the rumoured $400K that Anthony Calvillo is paid -- the guy who has thrown more career touchdowns than everyone except Brett Favre, more career yards than anybody, and has a higher QB rating than Peyton Manning or Drew Brees.

It's crazy how small-budget the CFL is, and it's remarkable that they manage to keep everything together. This is a league with a team in Hamilton (population 700K; half of Jacksonville) and Regina (population 200K; 2/3 of Green Bay, except there's no Milwaukee a two-hour drive away). It's the league where a failing team was rescued by a move to a smaller stadium. And I think it's one reason that the CFL is beloved by Canadians; these are actual folks playing the game, who make a pretty solidly middle-class income on average.

Also, Go Stamps!
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:57 PM on November 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Rogers Centre has the same capacity problem as BC Place. (i.e., it's too small).

SKYDOME

IT IS THE FUCKING SKYDOME
posted by mightygodking at 1:16 PM on November 25, 2012 [12 favorites]



tonycpsu writes " but with MLB, the NBA, and the NHL all having both American and Canadian franchises, "

We only have the one MLB team and the one NBA team. Those Toronto teams are more an anomaly that anything showing wide spread support. And at least in part they only exist to give Rogers something to sell cable with.

tonycpsu writes "why wouldn't Canada have an interest in importing the more commercially successful NFL product?"

Canadians are both less focused on whether are entertainments are commercially successful and are quite protective of things that set us apart from Americans.
posted by Mitheral at 1:23 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looking forward to this. More often than not, the Grey Cup is a pretty good game, hardly any blowouts, and certainly more often a good game than the Superbowl is.

THATS RIGHT I SAID IT
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:40 PM on November 25, 2012


I always thought the main difference with Canadian football was that our balls were bigger, but I find - upon checking the rules - that the ball size difference is miniscule, and it's our field that's bigger than the American one.

I am not a football fan, but I am still disappoint.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 1:40 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd been working up my own FPP. Homeboy Trouble beat me to it. Here's something extra:

The Grey Cup has been severely damaged on six occasions (set on fire, dropped, sat upon, headbutted, dismantled at a drunken victory celebration, broken while being lifted on-field)
In 1969, it was held for ransom. In 2008, it was bombarded with rockets by the Taliban. It survived a second nearby Taliban attack two years later.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:43 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, ah... anyone know where I can watch this thing online?
posted by thisclickableme at 1:58 PM on November 25, 2012


I know next to nothing about the CFL, but I really like the wider field and deeper end zones. The greater space spreads defenses inside the red zone and opens up the playbook, making goal-line drives more exciting and diverse than the NFL's "hand off to the tailback and everybody push" approach.

(Also I like that the CFL is a magical alternate universe where Warren Moon is rightly recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:18 PM on November 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Alternate universe? It's the main universe.

This is a fantastic post! And good luck Argonauts!
posted by Kevin Street at 2:53 PM on November 25, 2012


We declared war right away but significant Canadian involvement was quite delayed. This pro-Canada moment is not as straightforward as you think.

Well there's delayed, and delayed. Canada had to mobilise, of course, but there was already a Canadian division in the UK during the Battle of France, which proved to be Britain's last line of defence after the Dunkirk evacuation as, unlike most of the British Army, they retained their equipment. By December 1939, two new Canadian contingents of freshly recruited troops had arrived in Scotland, and the buildup of Canadian ground forces continued on from that point.

This meant that Canadian troops were already in place during the Battle of Britain, including a significant contingent of Canadian flyers in the RAF. There were, of course, a number of Americans who also served in the RAF at this time; we know of seven of them for sure, but since they were violating US neutrality some names may never be known. There were probably just over 100 Canadians serving with the RAF before the first RCAF squadron became active in the UK in August 1940.

While it would increase to become the third largest navy in the world by 1945, RCN was tiny (six ships, less than 4000 men) at the beginning of the war and, thus, took longer to mobilise. Nevertheless, it rapidly became a major player in the Battle of the Atlantic, really taking off after the start of 1940. As far as I can work out, the first convoy with Canadian naval participation left Halifax in September 1939.

In short, I think it would be hard to agree that significant Canadian involvement in the Second World War was all that delayed.
posted by Dreadnought at 3:03 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm a huge NFL fan in Vancouver, and I don't want a franchise in Canada for the same reason LA seems indifferent, I don't want to have Sundays locked up with regional blackouts and geographic TV schedules.

It would be amusing however to see how badly we could fuck up the concept of tailgating with antiquated liquor laws and a general no fun atmosphere that we seem so fond of here.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:06 PM on November 25, 2012


So, ah... anyone know where I can watch this thing online?

this is working for me, if you can stomach pop-ups
posted by mannequito at 3:24 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks mannequito.
posted by thisclickableme at 3:39 PM on November 25, 2012


OK, the clips of the Dief, Mike Pearson, and Pierre doing the kickoffs was really, really nice.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:49 PM on November 25, 2012


Crap. First points on the board for the Argonauts.
posted by arcticseal at 4:00 PM on November 25, 2012


Smiling at the clip of John Candy hoisting the Cup is as close as I will ever get to rooting for the Argos. Going for Calgary by default.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:03 PM on November 25, 2012


where's the horse!? does he only come out when Calgary gets a td?
posted by mannequito at 4:04 PM on November 25, 2012


I think the horse only makes an appearance for a Calgary TD (or pancakes).
posted by arcticseal at 4:09 PM on November 25, 2012


You can apparently also watch this on espn.go.com, in the ESPN3 channel.
posted by cthuljew at 4:16 PM on November 25, 2012


mightygodking, you'll have to forgive one more dead town's last parade for calling it the Rogers Centre. He is not a native Canadian/Torontonian. I am, however, and therefore I am required to favourite your post SO HARD despite my other loyalties.

(Because it's the FUCKING SKYDOME.)
posted by ilana at 4:24 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dave Foley on the CFL: "Canadians and Americans both love football, but in Canada the game is played slightly differently. The field is a different size for one thing, The CFL field is 17 miles long and 6 feet wide. So understandably, games are a little longer. In fact, the 1949 Gray Cup game is still in progress."
posted by GuyZero at 5:02 PM on November 25, 2012


Gordo's doing the Railroad Trilogy! This should fill the CanCon requirements for the next six years.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:19 PM on November 25, 2012


I did a slideshow to the Canadian Railroad Trilogy for a part of a Grade Six Canadian Studies project. To this day, I cannot hear the song without inserting an audible "click" at the end of every phrase where I memorized the slide changes. (I also made bannock and cornbread, and a cookbook with a recipe for pigeon pie.)
posted by ilana at 5:22 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you tune in to the half time show right now, you may be in time to see the 27 year-old girl who wrote and first performed "Call Me Maybe".
Katy Perry? Nope. It's Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:26 PM on November 25, 2012


And now mute the half-time show and watch this instead.
posted by cthuljew at 5:30 PM on November 25, 2012


A awful lot of professional cheerleaders clearly sending signals to the Biebs. No wonder Selena bailed -- too much supervision required.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:34 PM on November 25, 2012


If you tune in to the half time show right now, you may be in time to see the 27 year-old girl who wrote and first performed "Call Me Maybe".
Katy Perry? Nope. It's Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen.


I tuned in to see Gordon Lightfoot open for Carly Rae Jepsen purely because that's something so weird that it barely makes sense, even in Canada.

Also has anyone other than Carly Rae Jepsen every performed "Call Me Maybe"? I guess Katy Perry put a cover on Youtube or something, but it's not like people in the US are confused about whose song it is.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:35 PM on November 25, 2012


Not sure why the Biebs chose to show his (lack of) guns at a professional football championship, but it's not like it makes any difference.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:43 PM on November 25, 2012


If the Bills moved to Toronto tomorrow, they'd sell out Rogers Centre for years. Vancouver might be a harder sell, but it's a better market than Jacksonville (and there are a surprising number of Seahawks fans north of the border). And yes, hockey is the king sport of Canada and that's not changing, but given the success of MLS (sellouts in all three cities and Montreal selling out Stade Olympique) there is some room for other sports.

I doubt there will ever be an NFL franchise (or another MLB franchise in Canada) because we don't generally like to fork over money for stadiums and other perks in order to keep a team in town. Witness what's happening in Edmonton with the Oilers, or what happened with the Expos. The NFL is just a mismatch for the financial capabilities of our relatively small market.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:55 PM on November 25, 2012


Call Me Maybe has been covered by Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Dan Deacon, Fun, Big Time Rush, The Chipettes, R5, Lil' Wayne, Enter Shikari, Ben Howard, Nickelback, Cody Simpson, The Saturdays, and Cookie Monster.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:58 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


BTW, to the people in this thread who state that the rest of Canada resents Toronto - I don't think this is the case at all. The rest of Canada doesn't really think about Toronto, although I suspect that the rest of Ontario (which does not represent Canada) may resent Toronto.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:00 PM on November 25, 2012


While it would increase to become the third largest navy in the world by 1945, RCN was tiny (six ships, less than 4000 men) at the beginning of the war

Weren't most of those ships teeny, weeny, itsy bitsy corvettes?
posted by KokuRyu at 6:04 PM on November 25, 2012


Just what was that Biber performance? Is he trying to be gangsta now? Would rather listen to the Rona commercial that's in heavy rotation.
posted by arcticseal at 6:05 PM on November 25, 2012


Marianas Trench were the highlight of the halftime show for me; it was just nice to see someone playing worse than the Stampeders.

The folks here in the movie theatre are getting restless.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:09 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kackert is just on fire.
posted by mannequito at 6:14 PM on November 25, 2012


Splendid post, Homeboy Trouble! Many thanks.
posted by islander at 6:15 PM on November 25, 2012


#AlwaysSkyDome (the fucking)
posted by anthill at 6:21 PM on November 25, 2012


The folks here in the movie theatre are getting restless.

The possibility of having to donate Rob Ford's weight in food is of growing concern, I expect.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:22 PM on November 25, 2012


Having watched the halftime it occurs to me that the reason that we Canadians say "sorry" so readily may be that we have much to apologize for. Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen and Celine Dion come to mind.
posted by islander at 6:28 PM on November 25, 2012


I think that's why we had to give Neil Young away.
posted by mannequito at 6:30 PM on November 25, 2012


Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen and Celine Dion come to mind.

Nickelback? I know I'm sorry about Nickelback..
posted by Chuckles at 6:59 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having watched the halftime it occurs to me that the reason that we Canadians say "sorry" so readily may be that we have much to apologize for.

Nickelback? I know I'm sorry about Nickelback..


For those of you giving up on the football game, here's a PSA about our other national sport: Canada is Sorry.
posted by maudlin at 7:17 PM on November 25, 2012


I'd also like to apologize for the number of "that"s in that comment that I made. And Nickelback too.
Sorry.
posted by islander at 7:25 PM on November 25, 2012


Argoooooos!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:26 PM on November 25, 2012


Let's hope that Rob can party it up tonight because at 10 am tomorrow ...
posted by scruss at 7:27 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ci la vie. Congrats to both the Argos and Stamps for a great game, and here's to a hundred more!

Next year Eskimos, somehow...
posted by Kevin Street at 7:38 PM on November 25, 2012


...One of the Argos is pouring a giant champagne bottle of Molson Canadian over his head.

I was not aware that such a product existed, and I'm not sure I wanted to know.
posted by ilana at 7:47 PM on November 25, 2012


If only John Candy was alive to see the Argos win...
posted by GuyZero at 8:12 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the Argos is pouring a giant champagne bottle of Molson Canadian over his head.

I was not aware that such a product existed, and I'm not sure I wanted to know.


I share your feelings. That should really have been a bottle of 50.
posted by maudlin at 9:57 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, I'm curious, is the CFL's financial structure similar to the NFL's, such that there aren't huge disparities between the incomes of different teams? Or do the Argos just win all the time like the Yankees because they're from the biggest city?
posted by cthuljew at 10:20 PM on November 25, 2012


They've had a salary cap since 2007, if that's what you're asking. This year especially was regarded as having the best competitive parity, since the 70s I think. I have no idea if certain teams make a lot more money than others.

The Argos definitely don't win all the time.
posted by mannequito at 11:41 PM on November 25, 2012


I'm intrigued by the Atlantic Schooners. An franchise that never played a single game? That's some next level Magic Realism shit right there. Where can I buy merch?
posted by KingEdRa at 1:45 AM on November 26, 2012


Probably just a matter of time until the Maritimes gets a team. Ottawa will have a team starting in 2014, leaving the league unbalanced (9 teams). Adding another team on the East Coast is easy, they just shift Winnipeg over to the West where they belong. It's either them or Quebec City, but the Atlantic team makes more sense for national inclusiveness.
posted by mannequito at 2:21 AM on November 26, 2012


The CFL was the only football I ever gave a fraction of a shit about, and that was only because my grandfather loved it. He died decades ago, around the time that Americans started buying and relocating Canadian pro sports teams southward for wholesale prices, and I stopped giving that aforementioned fractional shit.

What I've seen of sports broadcasts in Canada these days, when I occasionally get back, are pretty much the same hollow-but-overblown masturbatory spectacles that one sees from our southern neighbours, flush with cash and 21st century marketing and 3D swooshing text and lessons about integrity learned from professional wrestling.

Bummer, I guess, for those who remember better. But then again, maybe in my long absence, things have 180-ed back since I last paid attention. I dunno.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:07 AM on November 26, 2012


Forty minutes to go until Rob Ford learns his fate. Is everyone else as excited as I am?
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:22 AM on November 26, 2012


Walking around downtown Toronto on Friday, the team with the most passionate, jersey-wearing, some drunk-in-the-afternoon fans was the Saskatchewan Roughriders! Dedicated fans for sure.

Forty minutes to go until Rob Ford learns his fate. Is everyone else as excited as I am?

Hmm I am perhaps less optimistic than you. If he were thrown out of office, I hope that means that the next two years in council could be salvaged but I could just as easily be a gong show. On a relevant note, Ford could find himself with a lot more time to coach football. His volunteering at the high school is the one thing he does that I admire. And he seems to be quite good at it too.
posted by beau jackson at 7:02 AM on November 26, 2012


Dedicated fans for sure.

Earlier in the season, here in Hamilton, the Riders were in town. I happened to see some fans' busted-up van decked out in Rider green, Saskatchewan plates, driving down Main. Ordinary regular season game, not meaning all that much to either team.

Saskatchewan to Hamilton is a long, long drive. It's what, three days? Crazy. Almost glad the Riders won.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:20 AM on November 26, 2012


Forty minutes to go until Rob Ford learns his fate. Is everyone else as excited as I am?

He has learned his fate. Two weeks to clear out his desk, but he can run again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:48 AM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really like the wider field and deeper end zones. The greater space spreads defenses inside the red zone and opens up the playbook, making goal-line drives more exciting and diverse than the NFL's "hand off to the tailback and everybody push" approach.

Word. After hating it for the first two and a half decades of my life, thanks to the CFL, I am officially a football fan.

It's also easier for me to like the CFL because the tackling efficiency is lower. You get to watch these splendid runs and all this magical darting and weaving, instead of just seeing people get crunched, hard, over and over and over. Which isn't to say that crunching doesn't happen, of course, but the game feels a lot richer than that.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:03 PM on November 26, 2012


Unless I missed it, we talked about the NFL moving to Canada, but not the CFL coming to the States.

Your 1995 Grey Cup champion Baltimore Stallions!
posted by Chrysostom at 11:05 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


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