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CFL Grey Cup and More

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Kinda nice to have some CFL football that will end the season during the US Thanksgiving weekend! Since I don't have a lot of time to delve into this more with this being a short week, I will have an extended look into the season and of Ottawa's plans for re-entry. But for right now, I will deal with the Grey Cup.

Last year at Calgary's McMahon Stadium under -28 temperatures, the Montreal Alouettes finally won the Grey Cup for the first time since 2002 after several attempts afterwards

with a lucky completion that was under review with the game dying, a subsequent Als first down, and just when you thought the game was had for the Roughriders with a missed kick for Montreal...the Roughriders special teams coordinator Kavis Reed had too many men on the field in what will definitely go down as one of the worst coaching mistakes anywhere. And Montreal's Damon Duval kicked to glory.

Now those same teams are back in the Grey Cup this year as Montreal tries to defend their title. Still in the Prairies but now just up the road in Alberta playing in Edmonton on the league's only grassy stadium. Will it be as dramatic as last year's? We will see. You best be sure that, like in Edmonton Eskimos' games at Commonwealth Stadium, it will be awash in green. Just in another colorway. And just as cold. Maybe snowy.

Montreal and Toronto are major rivals not just in the NHL but in the CFL too. But in the CFL Eastern Conference Championship game at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, good God, you would think the Argonauts would perform more competitively against the Montreal powerhouse in this game, who ran away with the East Division once more in the regular season. No contest at all. Though Toronto has the best TD catch of the year and the hit of the season.

Saskatchewan, Canada's Team, manages to come from behind and win over the Calgary Stampeders in their 100th year of existence. One play in particular was very slippery for both teams.

This Grey Cup enjoyed the quickest sellout in CFL history. Last month, it was confirmed that a reunited Bachman and Turner Overdrive will perform at the Pepsi Max Halftime Show on Sunday. The Trews will perform O Canada (and will later perform at the CFL Grey Cup After Party show) with Bud Steen serving as referee. Other Canadian artists will perform at the Edmonton's Hot To Huddle 2010 Grey Cup Festival starting Wednesday at the Sir Winston Churchill Square with the Spirit of Edmonton Roadshow Festival featuring Samantha King and the Castrol Dancers. Notable artists playing at the SIRIUS Satelitte Radio Sound Stage at the TELUS StreetFest include Bif Naked, Steros, Helix, My Sister Ocean, Brian Melo, Big Sugar, Fozzy with Chris Jehrico, Emerson Drive, Trooper, Jaydee Bixby, The Dudes, Ian Thornley and Big Wreck, Tera Lee, Clayton Bellamy, Kerac Hendricks Band, and the Oil City Sound Machine. More info can be found here. Also, legendary former Eskimos voice Bryan Hall will be the Grand Marshall of the 2010 Save On Foods Grey Cup Parade. The Montreal Alouettes cheerleaders will rally the fans in their appearance as hosts at Edmonton's Oil City Roadhouse on Saturday for the MontreALSHuddle.

Schedule of events

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TSN has owned the exclusive TV rights to the CFL in Canada since 2008. Its French-language arm RDS mostly covers Montreal Alouettes games in its coverage.

But rest easy, Detroit, you can catch the Grey Cup live and on demand on ESPN3.com here in the US, as well as other CFL games from over the past thirty days there too. TSN is partially owned by ESPN (this explains the ESPN-like font logo TSN has) but with the majority ownership by CTVglobemedia.


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TSN has owned the exclusive TV rights to the CFL in Canada since 2008. Its French-language arm RDS mostly covers Montreal Alouettes games in its coverage.

But rest easy, Detroit, you can catch the Grey Cup live and on demand on ESPN3.com here in the US, as well as other CFL games from over the past thirty days there too. TSN is partially owned by ESPN (this explains the ESPN-like font logo TSN has) but with the majority ownership by CTVglobemedia.


Explains why I can never find the game anywhere. I just thought i never knew the time. I got to watch some Commonwealth Games 2010 opening ceremony on CBC that was good (:

Yeah, WOW customers get Espn3.com free, so I will watch it there! (probably delayed until Christmas Break)

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Yes, Virginia, there are back-to-back Montreal Alouettes Grey Cup titles! This did went down the wire like it did down the road in Calgary last year, but last year's drama cannot be compared. Yes, it was cold again! But Montreal can win in cold weather despite playing big games in the Olympic Stadium indoors!

The Alouettes just had their victory parade down Rue St. Catherine in Downtown Montreal today! :) More on that tomorrow.

Next year's Grey Cup will return to Vancouver for the first time since 2005 with a new-look BC Place. Logo is similar to that year's Grey Cup. After that, the Grey Cup game will celebrate 100 years of it in the city where it began, Toronto, and it has been its most frequent site.

Also, Laval Rouge et D'Or make the Quebec province the capital of Canadian football by winning the 2010 Desjardins Vanier Cup in hometown Quebec City, their sixth, 29-2 over the Canada West champs Calgary Dinos.

Laval wins the 2010 Vanier Cup

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A brief story on the Grey Cup victory parade along downtown Montreal from the Montreal Gazette:



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  • 6 months later...

CFL season has literally kicked off tonight as we get started for the big Canada Day weekend (plus, it's also a great time to get that disappointing taste of the Canadian women's soccer team ill-fated campaign out of their mouths)! Right now, the defending Grey Cup champs Montreal are facing the British Columbia Lions.

The Labour Day Game will have the Hamilton Tiger-Cats facing Montreal instead of Toronto for the first time since 1995. This is due to the Argos playing the Lions at the SkyDome that day.

I wish there was a ESPN 30 for 30 piece on the short-lived US experiment for the CFL. Maybe we'll get that.

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  • 5 months later...

Would've liked to have conducted updates during the course of the just-completed 2011 CFL season that culminated with the 99th Grey Cup at the nicely renovated BC Place in Vancouver, its 15th. Perhaps I will more in the coming week. But right now, let's look back at that nice Grey Cup that was between two teams, the British Columbia Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who were terrible last season. No, my Montreal Alouettes did not make this year for the first time since 2007. Great win for the legendary BC Lions coach Wally Buono, known for producing really good QBs in the league, giving him 5 Grey Cups. Despite the attempted comeback from the Blue Bombers, it not as close as the final score indicated. It was a great way for him to go out: he resigned last week to focus on his GM duties.


Last time the Grey Cup was won by the home team was back in 1994 when the Lions defeated the Baltimore Stallions thanks to Lui Passaglia's last-play field goal kick to win it to keep the Grey Cup staying within Canadian borders.

Next year's Grey Cup will be held in Toronto, the most frequent home of the CFL title game in various sites there. It will also commemorate the 100th year of it. After that, Regina hosts it.

Next up, I'll discuss the Ottawa situation.

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Always glad to see others who enjoy the CFL style of football. The different rules do make it a fun game to watch. As a fan of both Montreal and Saskatchewan it was strange to watch this year's Grey Cup without either or both playing for the first time in seven years.

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  • 4 months later...

Been a while since I last wrote here. But there's a new development I'd like to share with you. With the 100th anniversary of CFL football this year culminating with the Grey Cup in Toronto, several CFL teams like Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, and Grey Cup champs British Columbia decided to go back to the future with re-engineered new jerseys from Reebok, taking a page from what Nike just unvieled a month ago when its multimillion contract with the NFL took effect.


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  • 4 weeks later...

With the new team back in Ottawa, and potential expansion in the Atlantic provinces, the CFL will likely reach its optimum level even though the likes of Quebec, Windsor, London etc also make occasional noises regarding teams.

Ironically with the 2026 FIFA World Cup being fairly open it might help a potential Canada bid.

The hosting requirements are:

8-10 cities though they can make an exception as in the case of Brazil where there will be 12

Only 1 city can have two stadiums.

So that means a standard bid would be 9-11 stadiums (South Africa had 10)

Minimum capacity needs to be 40,000 seats but it is difficult to find a minimum requirement for a final. It does seem to be around 70,000-75,000 seats.

With new stadiums in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Hamilton, likely in Regina and Toronto and potentially in Halifax and Calgary, it would seem that tomorrow Canada could find 9 venues as a minimum especially as most the current CFL stadiums are frequently increased in capacity to host the Grey Cup.

Mosaic Place @ Taylor Field

new Winnipeg Stadium

McMahon Stadium

Commonwealth Stadium

BC Place

Rogers Center

Frank Clair Stadium

the Big 'O'


with maybe an expanded Hamilton or a new Argonauts stadium expandable to make 10.

I expect the USA, China, Australia, and maybe Canada to bid, if the rotation formula is maintained

  • the USA have already hosted and the MLS is not a huge draw
  • China - after Russia and Qatar? Where next, North Korea?
  • Australia has the stadiums but many are AFL Ovals unsuited to football
  • Canada's MLS teams seem to be extremely popular and football is proving very popular

There are 3 Canadian MLS teams, Ottawa wanted one, Edmonton have a growing Football team, and you are not too far off a domestic league.

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  • 5 months later...

So it's going to be Calgary and hosts Toronto for the 100th Grey Cup next Sunday in Toronto during what will be the US Thanksgiving weekend. If Canada had our Thanksgiving, the CFL Grey Cup could cap their weekend of football, football, and more football. Both teams accomplish this as the road teams in both conference finals. Kinda fitting the Toronto Argos gets to be in the 100th Grey Cup as hosts; the city has hosted this more than any other CFL city. If there was anything to jumpstart CFL interest in Toronto along with the actual game itself there would have the Argonauts in it. But even that might not be enough since Toronto likes to view itself as a major league city with the Buffalo Bills playing an annual game there (Toronto and Hamilton are part of the Buffalo NFL market) and see the CFL, though importantly and indigenously Canadian, somewhat inferior in status. With Montreal not in it, expect ratings for the Grey Cup to fall on RDS' broadcast.

Nonetheless, the highlights of the CFL Eastern and Western Finals




In the CIS Vanier Cup, also hosted in Toronto next weekend highlighting this grand week of Canadian football (you could say it's the undercard to the Grey Cup), we're getting a rematch of last year's Vanier Cup in Vancouver with the Laval Rouge et D'Or from Quebec City will face in Toronto a sort of hometown team in Hamilton's defending champs McMaster Mauaraders, a first in Vanier Cup history to have the same two teams from the last year facing off again. The Vanier Cup, like with Grey Cup, will be televised live from Toronto on TSN and RDS. It's the second consecutive time the Vanier and Grey Cups are held in the same city in the same year in the same weekend after Vancouver.There's already a college football playoff system long in place for it. Like with the Grey Cup, Toronto is, overwhelmingly in this case, the most frequent host for the Vanier Cup, hosting it all but 7 seven times in the Cup's history starting in 2004 when the Vanier Cup got national.

McMaster obliterates the Calgary Dinos in the Mitchell Bowl 45-6. Mitchell Bowl is the CIS Vanier Cup semifinal facing the OUA and Canada West winners.


Laval enjoyed its own domination with its win over the Acadia Axemen 42-7 in the Uteck Bowl, which pits the Quebec champ against the Atlantic University winner


The long-awaited head-to-head matchup between Laval and McMaster


Your 100th Grey Cup halftime show? Justin Bieber, Carla Rae Jepsen, Marianas Trench, and Gordon Lightfoot. Cue loud screams from Canadian teenage girls upon hearing the news of especially the first two performing.

Oh yeah, the Grey Cup will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network in the US.

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Just getting myself back into this during this US Thanksgiving weekend, so I'll do this for you. until I return for real on Monday.

Pre-game performances will come from Burton Cummings (from The Guess Who) and the Scottish-born Johnny Reid, who used to be a kicker for Bishop's football team. I'm thinking Reid will sing O Canada. We'll find out later.

Tonight's Vanier Cup match between Laval and McMaster is closing in on 30,000 tickets sold at SkyDome as of this writing.

I won't write all about the Grey Cup festivities going on right now in Toronto, but I'll happily link all of those events to you:


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Canada's Governor-General David Johnston conducted the ceremonial 100th Grey Cup coin toss with a commemorative 100th Grey Cup coin made by the Royal Canadian Mint. Johnston also executed the ceremonial kick off. Furthermore, there was a Sun Life Grey Cup Fan March earlier today in Toronto that went from the University of Toronto's Varsity Stadium to the SkyDome (I refuse to call it by its current corporate name).

I also understand the Grey Cup will also be available in the US online at ESPN3.com

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