Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grey Cup Sunday: Don't Worry Vancouver

On CTV News tonight the anchor expressed concern that there could be riots following Sunday's Grey Cup in Vancouver. Don't worry people, the Lions do not enjoy the same level of widespread committed fandom as the hockey team. The Lions have their fans, but in much smaller proportion and passion than with the Canucks. They aren't going to burn down the city if the Lions lose, so everyone can relax. Besides, playing in an 8 team league means every team makes it to the championship every few years, whereas in the NHL it could take the Canucks another 15-30 years to make it back to the big show. Losing in the finals is not nearly as devastating in the CFL.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be watching the Grey Cup. I work early in the morning and only have a fleeting interest in CFL football, preferring the NFL instead. 4 downs and 32 teams provides much more variety and a better game. Though 32 years ago today, my mother went into labour with me at a Grey Cup Party, so I do have a nostalgic connection to the big game. Mike Harris was also at the same Grey Cup Party where I started being born, but that was before he entered politics.

I'm predicting no riots on Sunday.


  1. There certainly won't be riots, just as there was no riot at the Grey Cup Vancouver hosted (and won) in '94. There are many reasons why there won't be another riot, but to add a few more to your list...

    1). It's November, not June. Nobody is going to be sitting outside drinking all day and getting heat exhaustion watching on screens set up in the middle of major intersections.

    2). It's a one-game, winner take all scenario. There's no build up of bad blood between the teams like there is in a 7-game hockey series.

    3). The great thing about the CFL is that even diehard fans like myself don't take it too seriously --and that's the way sport should be treated in our society.

    In the months' long run to the Stanley Cup, the Canucks bumped everything of importance off the map. The news sections of the papers were filled with hockey stories for weeks, the business pages discussed the price of tickets and the impact of jersey sales, the weather report focused on how the ice would be effected for the next game, the traffic report on how easy it was to get home/downtown to catch the game. Everyone in Vancouver seemed to lose all sense of proportion --and it was sickening. The rioters were louts, certainly, but their behaviour was stoked by the editorial idiots in the media that decided nothing other than the Canucks really mattered.

    There was more Canucks coverage in both BC papers on May 3rd than there was of the federal election or the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. That tells you something about Vancouver. And instead of being ashamed of this loss of perspective, each example of ever more ridiculous (even offensive) behavior was celebrated as a hallmark of our collective devotion to 'the game.' These same individuals were then shocked when the lower orders of our society rioted, bewildered that they lost all sense of proportion in reacting to the loss of a meaningless, trivial game.

    Thankfully, that same over-the-top treatment hasn't been repeated for the Lions.

    4. And finally, any pinhead can understand hockey in about 20 seconds: the puck goes in the net, a penalty means you're down a man & you can't go offside. Easy. Football is complex, making casual fans & hometown bandwagon jumpers perpetual outsiders. It's hard to get emotionally invested in a game when you're asking what happened:

    "Why are they kicking? I thought they had another turn?"
    "It's called a down. Anyway...they took a time-count violation with less than three minutes left in the half, which means a ten-yard penalty and loss of down. They're punting because their field goal kicker is unreliable outside the 45, and punt coverage is more likely to get down-field at this distance than the protection on the field goal team. So the strategy is to pin them deep."
    "Oh. --wait, why's he kneeling?"
    "The punt went too far and the returner conceded a single point. It's called a 'rouge'. We get the ball on the 35."

    Anyway...the only trouble on a larger scale that may happen is if the Lions lose and occupy Vancouver decides to get in the way of some surly football fans. Which would be awesome.

  2. I believe that main reason why there will be no riots : CFL and the Grey Cup are truly family oriented with their marketing and price.
    Gee I always hear how great it was from hockey fans when the NHL was only 6 teams.
    Four downs and a smaller field with a fair catch........weenie.

  3. Weenie indeed. You really can't beat the CFL for football entertainment and excitement.

    Having said that, I too will be watching the NFL games today.
    The Bills are playing the Jets and I must confess to being a BIlls fan and then later this afternoon the Eagles are up against the Patriots and I have family in New Hampshire.

    Truth be told, I haven't watched a CFL game all season. I've wanted to on many occasions but last spring I had my over-priced cable taken out and now receive my television signals over the air. Reception is vastly improved and I save about a hundred and twenty bucks a month.

    Unfortunately the powers that be at CFL headquarters sold out all rural and non-cable people for lots of the green stuff when they signed an exclusive deal with The Sports Network to broadcast all regular games, the playoffs and the Grey Cup itself. I thought it would at least be on CTV but no, if you don't get TSN then you don't watch The Grey Cup.

    What does the farmer in Manitoba do this afternoon when his (or her) beloved Blue Bombers take to the field? Or the family living on the side of an isloated mountain road in the BC interior? Or the cheap SOB living in an urban area?

    No wonder the CFL is losing fans.

  4. Hockey fans didn't riot, ignorant yahoos did. If the ignorant yahoos are still in Vancouver, (does a bear crap in the woods?), then they will probably riot, win or lose.

  5. Anyone who believes mayor moonbeam and the msm's BS meme that it wasn't hockey fans that rioted is a loon. Every rioter had a hockey shirt on. These were die hard fans. That's what hockey fans in Vancouver are all about.