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Grey Cup Football

“To show the football coach I was ready to play tight end, I wore no pants and had a Q-tip dangling out of my ass.”

Jarod Kintz

I'm going to watch my first football game today; a Grey Cup game at that.

Actually, between engaging in some Black Friday shopping and watching football, I'm definitely feeling my American roots this week. All I'm missing is some Thanksgiving dinner; but we Canadians got that business done last month, in actual harvest season. Seriously though, how is it I've never watched a football game?

I guess the answer is pretty simple: I've never really been that interested in sports. While my American friends and family often fill my Facebook feed with football talk, it wasn't until I saw the 102nd Grey Cup Festival stages going up in downtown Vancouver that it occurred to me that since the game is in town, this might actually be a good time to check it out.

First things first, because I want to understand how it works, I look up the rules for Canadian football and read a bit about this Grey Cup game in particular. I can't say I understand it all but the basic concept seems simple enough._EPH9553

Next up, I need to decide who to cheer for: should I choose the Hamilton Tiger-Cats or the Calgary Stampeders? Calgary is closer to Vancouver than Hamilton is, which suggests a natural alliance. On the other hand, Emrys' family originates from Hamilton, for whatever that's worth. After a little research, I decide I do indeed favour Hamilton. Aside from the family connection, I can't resist cheering for the underdog Ticats. (Or should that be the undercats?) Also, I kind of just like their colours, which remind me of tiger ice cream. Those are legit reasons, right?

Emrys puts the “Football Tailgate” playlist (a rowdy mix of country and rock) on Sonos and we get the nachos in the oven. Beer chilled and tv turned to TSN, it's game time!

I have to admit, I'm a little confused by the first quarter. (What do you mean my team's offence isn't on the field at the same time as their defence? Wait, wait, what the hell is a down?) However, once I get my bearings, and even start to recognize some of the players, the game gets better and I start to enjoy it. The beer and nachos don't hurt the cause any either.

The Stamps seem to rule the first half but the Ticats play really hard in the latter part of the second half – and almost turn it around in the last 35 seconds – but then lose the winning touchdown due to a penalty; how utterly frustrating! But I guess that's all part of the game; and it's not a bad game at that.

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