The Saskatchewan Roughriders winning the Grey Cup at Taylor Field will never happen again - I was part of history! Unless you live under a rock, you had to be aware of the Grey Cup hosted by the Riders and the city of Regina last weekend. This event was the wrap up of the Canadian Football League (CFL) season and the Roughrider organization did not disappoint.
Like so many fans, John and I started our 'road to the cup' adventure almost a year ago with the reservation of our Grey Cup tickets when we purchased our regular season tickets. Months later came the ridiculous, repeated checking of hotel reservations that continued right up until we arrived in Regina. With the hard stuff behind us, we decided to embrace the weekend no matter what stupidity was thrown our way.
On the best of days, John turns into a road-raging lunatic driver when we hit Regina. I was very thankful knowing that once we parked the vehicle, it would be untouched all weekend. The shuttle service would take care of any transportation needs we would have.
We had tickets to The Barenaked Ladies on Friday night and we thought we would just 'hang out' at Riderville until the concert started. Wrong! Apparently you needed 'pre-purchased' passes. As a rookie to this sort of event, I had no idea what preparation was needed to ensure hours of silliness. With temperatures in the -30 range, we suffered standing around (on concrete floors) for hours waiting to get into something that was SOLD OUT! Ouch.....once again, not prepared. The concert was fantastic and set the stage for a terrific weekend of wonderful memories.
Then came game time. The excitement of entering the stadium was almost unbearable for me. I just wanted the game to start. I was so nervous for these guys. There was so much pressure on them to win the cup for their fans and the province of Saskatchewan. Other than listening to my 'favourite' TSN announcer doing introductions and the doofus beside me who kept asking me the rules of the game, I thoroughly enjoyed the whooping we gave to Hamilton. Honestly, who is in their 40's (my guess), pays $300 for a ticket and has no idea about football. Seriously, he had no clue plus had no problem bugging me for the reasoning behind some of the calls. Go watch the game at a bar or the casino - you're taking up a 'real' fan's spot, buddy (that's a whole other column).
So, now you're probably wondering what the title of my column is all about. If you follow my column, you know that on Father's Day this year, I lost my Dad. A year ago during Rider season, he saw a fan on TV during one of the Rider games wearing this 'sharp' hat (that's how he described it). He bugged and bugged me until I hunted that cap down. I finally found it and gave it to him in time for Grey Cup last year. He told me at that time that the Riders were going to win the Grey Cup next year. "Mark my words." So when he passed away, my brother gave me the hat and I made sure it accompanied me to every game whether I was at home or in the stadium. After we won, I took it out of my backpack and with tears in my eyes, I waved it towards the celebration on the field. Well Pops, we did it. This one's for you. Enjoy!
Pet peeve of the week: I know I've used this one before but because we are going into a busy shopping season, I'm asking people to be more aware of this. Please, please, be aware of where you are in the shopping aisles. There is nothing worse than someone just stopping in the middle to view items or talk to others while they create a lineup of people just trying to get through. Save your talking and gossiping for coffee time and let the rest of us get our shopping done.
That's just me....let me know what you think!