Saturday, November 24, 2007

Grey Cup Weekend & Memories

Hi Marty, Sunday is Grey Cup day here in the Great White North and the game is being staged in Toronto in the enclosed Rogers Centre--formerly The Skydome-- so mother nature will not affect the outcome of the game as it has so many times over the years. I have been fortunate to attend a few of the games( one of the coldest ever at the Autostade ,definitely the coldest stadium anywhere ,in 1969) but my most memorable one was the game I never attended,the 1962 Fog bowl at Toronto's CNE Stadium. I had just finished my third and final season as a member of the Rosemount Bombers Jr football team.

We had won the national Championship in 1960 ,lost the national championship in 1961 and lost the city of Montreal Championship in 1962 and a bunch of us wanted to end our career by appearing in the Grey Cup Parade that year wearing our championship jackets. In those days there was a special Grey Cup train which left Central Station at midnight Fri and returned, departing Tor at midnight Saturday after the game. Well 10 of us bought our train tickets and took our psuedo-mascot, a big tom turkey with a leash and a black and yellow (team colours) scarf , in a cage and boarded the train .

We didn't have a problem with the train staff since the cars were the oldest and most decrepit of all of the CN's rolling stock and most of the travellers were expected to be too busy imbibing to care about the decor. We had no tickets to the game and intended only to walk in the parade in our team jackets ,watch the game on tv somewhere in Tor. and then get the midnight train home on Sat. Our first problem occurred in Pointe Claire just after our departure when the train stopped and our trip was delayed for an hour and fifteen minutes as the CNR police came out from Montreal to investigate a stabbing which had taken place on the train.

We finally were able to continue on to Tor. but because of the delay we were concerned that we might not be able to get into the parade. As it turned out the parade was just beginning to move past Union Station where we had just disembarked and so we gradually moved our way through the crowd and inserted ourselves(turkey included) into the Parade where we marched for our 15 minutes of fame until the parade marshalls caught up with us and sent us to the sidelines.We watched the game on TV at a Grey Cup party at the Masonic Temple on Yonge St ,poured ourselves on to the train to Mtl and watched the remaining 9 mins and 29 secs of the suspended game in the comfort of our own homes.JMcC

Thanks John

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