In honour of everyone currently at the coldest rally since Stalingrad in '43, here is the expansion of last night's post - now that I have retrieved my car from the clutches of the Rider Nation.
... you know everybody is fired up about the Grey Cup when a woman stops me in my parking lot, asks me what time the game is and then proceeds to rummage through my building's dumpster. Grey Cup Fever - Catch It!
... for me the highlight of CBC's broadcast was Elliotte Friedman claiming that Winnipeg was going to do just fine in the Grey Cup - in fact they were going to be, "Oh-tay" - his exact words, I kid you not. But it got even better when Friedman quickly caught himself and said "okay" but the rest of the studio crew were too fast and all made the hand gesture and said "oh-tay" in unison. Which led me to believe that it was staged but Friedman looked genuinely embarrassed, so it was just quick thinking by the guys at the desk. High comedy.
... it was nice of CBC's Steve Armitage to introduce Roughrider defensive back Airabin Justin as Justin Airabin. I'm fairly certain this happened, although it might have been the muscle relaxants. Justin's parents must have been proud.
... it was also very nice of the Barenaked Ladies to get all dressed up for the occasion. When they came out to sing the national anthem it looked like they had just finished painting a bathroom or maybe whitewashing a fence.
... not to be outdone, Charles Roberts showed respect in his own way by continually drinking and spitting out water during the national anthem.
... can someone explain to me why Troy Westwood is allowed to wear a Velociraptor claw around his neck while on the football field? Is that an eagle talon? Cause that would have been one giant eagle.
... here's the first half summary for you, just in case you missed it - two field goals, some incomplete passes and a couple safety's...
... oh and who could forget the reason I won't be watching the CFL again - after James Johnson ran his interception back for a touchdown, I made the claim that if he (Johnson) won the Grey Cup Most Outstanding Player (M-O-P! M-O-P!) I would never watch a CFL game again. Why John Chick why? Just a couple more plays from you and I wouldn't have to live in a world where James Johnson is the Most Outstanding anything.
... did Ryan Dinwiddie forget to take his contacts out from Halloween or are his eyes just naturally terrifying?
... speaking of eyes, I swear it looked like Kent Austin had pink eye. Ah the horrors of HD.
... why was there a non-Canadian musical act performing during halftime of the Canadian Football League's championship game again? Especially since the Barenaked Ladies were obviously available. We really shouldn't have to continually outsource the Grey Cup Halftime Show.
... there were two nice touchdown passes in the second half - well one nice pass (John-son!) and once nice run after the pass. But to me the second half was totally dominated by what still remains a baffling call. Saskatchewan gambled on 3rd and 1 on Winnipeg's 11 - and initially the officials ruled that Kerry Joseph came up short on the sneak. Kent Austin challenged the play, and rightly so as the spot appeared to be pretty suspect. Saskatchewan won the challenge and was awarded a first down based on the video replay.
Now here's what I don't understand, the officials were so absolutely sure of where the ball should have been placed that they didn't feel the need to re-measure after the challenge? The replays showed that the ball should have been close to the 10, which was where the first down mark was - and that's where the ball was placed. But in a close game of that magnitude how there was no re-measure is just beyond me. It was so far beyond me that I emailed the CFL this morning to get some clarification. I identified myself and why I was emailing, so I feel I'm within my rights to print the response I got from the CFL's head of officiating George Black,
The ball needed to touch the line (we knew that from a measurement after the
previous play. Using replay we could see that the ball did pass that mark, and
Referee Glen Johnson explained that.
If you squint hard enough you can see exactly where he says, "Now get lost." Of course this is also the office that somehow botched the Kerry Joseph/past the line of scrimmage call last week, so I'm not all that concerned by my confusion in this matter.
... related to the point directly above, how come Doug Berry had to throw his challenge flag before he could get an explanation of the above series of events from the officials? Of course it ended up costing him 5 yards as well. But out of that we did get the now classic, "I challenge your challenge!" line (that was Trebor's, I can't take credit). So it wasn't a total waste of time.
... just as Winnipeg was driving at the end of the game and the room was getting a little tense, my comment was, "don't worry - he's going to throw a killer pick right here". And 5 seconds later James Johnson had the ball in his hands and all of Saskatchewan was celebrating.
... and speaking of celebrating, I was pleasantly surprised with how well-behaved the crowds on Albert Street were last night. It was mostly high-fiving and honking. There was also a well-ordered game of Frogger, as people were continually crossing Albert and Victoria - with the walk signs no less. The police were in the spirit as well - high-fiving people and just taking away the alcohol that made its way out into public.
... and I think that's it.