For the last post of Canvember, I thought I would talk about Canadian Football League [CFL] Championship Game & the trophy: Grey Cup. Note: I am not a major football fan (either side of the border really), but with the game just wrapping up this past weekend, I thought I would take the time to talk about the event and the differences between that and Super Bowl Sunday.
Given the nastiness of Canadian winters and the harshness of the driving conditions, we wrap up our season with our championship game on the final Sunday in November. All right, I do not know the official reason why but that makes the most sense to my mind. Seriously Americans, why do you have your teams playing so long into the winter? Some areas do get REALLY cold in the winter and it has to be rough on the players to have to work through the winter holidays.
Anyways, the event and the trophy are both called the Grey Cup, named after the Early Grey in 19009, our then governor general. He originally wanted to donate to the country’s senior amateur hockey championship; however another trophy was donated for that purpose. So it went to the CFL to be used for our championship. It is interesting to note that the Grey Cup is the second-oldest trophy in North American professional sport, after the Stanley Cup, the championship trophy for the National Hockey League.
Given that only Canadian teams participate in the CFL, there are a limited amount of choices when it comes to selecting Grey Cup host cities. Toronto holds the most number of games, 46 including the 100th Grey Cup last year, with Vancouver coming in second with 15 to date and hosting the next game in 2014. While the Grey Cup game itself is only one day, the host city has activities and events the week leading up to the event for the fans to participate in.
Unlike Super Bowl Sunday, we don’t have a big hype to watch the Grey Cup commercials. Chances are they are going to be the same ones playing before the event takes place and if they are unique for the game, it isn’t that big of a deal. Like the Super Bowl game, we do have a major Half Time show and performances during the event. With last year being extra special for the 100th Grey Cup, there was a larger performer list: Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Marianas Trench, and Gordon Lightfoot. In comparison, the 99th Grey Cup saw Nickelback perform while this year we have The Sheepdogs, Hedley, and Serena Ryder. Usually the event sees Canadian performers at the show but American performers have been at the event.
Since the Championship game is only for one day, the home city’s team is NOT guaranteed a spot, such as in 2010 at the 98th Game which was played in Edmonton, Alberta but saw teams from Montreal and Saskatchewan playing against each other in the main event. Toronto has the most wins at the Grey Cup with 16 (only 6 losses) but Edmonton and Winnipeg have the most amount of appearances; 13 wins and 11 losses for Edmonton and 10 wins and 14 losses for Winnipeg. Saskatchewan has lost the most with 15 losses and only 4 wins while BC has the fewest appearances, with a total record of 6 wins and 4 losses. This year saw Saskatchewan pick up another win against Hamilton, bringing their record to 8 wins and 11 losses.
Follwing the game, two individual awards are handed out: the Most Valuable Player [MVP] award and the Dick Suderman Trophy. The MVP is awarded to the player deemed to have had the best performance in the Grey Cup Game, while the second award is given to the most valuable Canadian, and the winner does not necessarily have to play for the Grey Cup winning team in order to qualify. The Dick Suderman Trophy is named in honour of Dick Suderman, who a year after winning the award in 1971, collapsed and died from a brain hemorrhage after played a game against the BC Lions. Previous to this, the award was called Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian award but was renamed after his death.
A lot like Super Bowl Sunday, it is a busy time at pubs and bars that are showing the game on the Big Screen, people host Game Parties at their homes, and much alcohol is consumed before, during, and after the event. The winning team will often hold a parade afterwards for their home city to show off the Cup and interact with their loyal fans and supporters.
And that is my talk about the Grey Cup, also ending Canvember 2013. Thank you everyone who has read and commented during the past month I really appreciate your support. Next week, I will return to my regular posted of reviews and I already have a Waiting on Wednesday post. Anyone who knows me will NOT be surprised by my selection.
I am curious if anyone has attended a major championship game before. Let me know your experience in the comments, I would love to hear about it. It can be for any sport, not just football.
- Top 10 must-have items to bring to the Grey Cup at Mosaic Stadium (metronews.ca)
- Saskatchewan Roughriders receive hero’s welcome at Grey Cup parade (globalnews.ca)
- Why this Grey Cup final is special for so much of Canada (metronews.ca)
- Tiger-Cats finish short of dream, lose Grey Cup to Riders (bizjournals.com)