Sunday, November 28, 2010

Grey Cup Fever in Edmonton

So the Grey Cup is behind us, and the Riders lost to the Alouettes 21-18.

I don't profess to know a thing about football, but I did get caught up in the fever.

We had tickets and sold them (the proceeds help fund a Christmas trip to Cuba), but took part in many of the festivities.

(Left) This guy (from Southey, SK) never did put his clothes on. Brrr.

We went downtown on Saturday, and it gave me a kind of thrill to be in a crowd of that many Saskatchewanians. At one point Greg and I were at the Spirit of Edmonton venue, standing on the dance floor with beer(s) in hand while a live band did a decent rendition of a Tragically Hip classic, and I looked around at the happy-go-lucky, costume-wearing, well-lubricated crowd and said: "This room full of rednecks ... these are my people."

(Below) Front page news. ;)

(Above) Trooper performs. Not quite the band they were 30 years ago.
I kept my eyes open for anyone I might know, but say only two people all weekend: writer Warren Cariou and his wife, Alison Calder.
For me, the weekend was less about football and more about people. I'm such a social beast. I loved finding out where people were from.

(Left) I call this guy Tractorhead.
He lvies in Edmonton now, but is a smalltown Saskatchewan boy.

(Left) This jolly Rider fan is from Carlyle. We met him at the Spirit of Edmonton venue.

(Above) This young feller was bartending at one of the Huddle Town venues. We saw much creative use of melons.
Warm headgear.
(Below) A family affair.
This guy (below) was watching Trooper and doing yoga moves.

Now here's a story. We met this headressed fan (below) in Huddle Town, and learned he's from Beechy, SK. I said, "Oh, well then you must know my friends Glenda and Sharon MacFarlane," and he said, "I sure do ... I'm tweeting Glenda right now ... I'll send her this photo!"

I had no idea who this TSN reporter was (below), but was mesmerized by how much she resembles Barbie.

Tatting the pride (below).

(Above) Another happy Rider fan, in the line-up to buy a hogie.

(Below) Greg looks like he's trying to get away from Jennifer Hedger. (He wasn't).
(Above) Also from TSN, Darren Dutchysen.

So, after watching the Grey Cup, I confess I'm not much closer to understanding the rules of football, and I found myself day-dreaming through some of the game.
But still, how interesting to live just a few blocks from the stadium. We could see the Snow Birds fly overhead on TV and looked out our window: there they were. When the helicopter cameras panned over the stadium and surrounding neighbourhood, we knew that one of those little white lights represented our house (in the middle of our street).
They say there were 100,000 SK fans in Edmonton. That 10% of the population. All I can say is Wow.

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