Since I started covering the CFL fulltime as a journalist in 1988 – when the Toronto Argonauts were still playing in historic Exhibition Stadium – this is my 28th Grey Cup. It’s the fifth one I’ve attended in Toronto.
There have been some amazing Toronto moments, starting with the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ victories – in 1989, playing in the brand new SkyDome, they beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 43-40; in 2007 they won the franchise’s third Grey Cup by beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23-19.
Watching the Riders’ celebrations after those games was truly memorable, with Roger Aldag, Richie Hall, Kent Austin, Gary Lewis, Eddie Lowe and John Gregory in ’89; with Scott Schultz, Eddie Davis, Gene Makowsky, Kerry Joseph, Richie Hall and Kent Austin in ’07. Hall and Austin were players the first time around, coaches the second time around.
This year’s Grey Cup moves to a Toronto facility called BMO Field. The Riders won’t be here. The Ottawa Redblacks and Calgary Stampeders will be. I was kind of hoping Richie Hall’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Kent Austin’s Tiger-Cats would have qualified, just for old times’ sake.