by Kolby Solinsky
Editor, White Cover Magazine
Last weekend must have been one to remember for the City of Toronto. After 99 years of having the Canadian Football League buoyed almost solely through the financial and fan support of the Prairies, Hamilton, Montreal, and (recently) the West Coast, Canada’s unofficial capital finally realized it had a team and that — Oh, Boy! — it was in the 100th Grey Cup.
Wouldn’t you know it, they were playing in Toronto, too?
And so, after 100 years of irrelevance in the city that so loudly is home to the country’s only national sports broadcasting companies, the Argonauts finally became popular. For one week, and for the century mark, the Grey Cup was actually a thing on Yonge Street.
The week was a party. Calgary fans flew in and rodeo’d, although they were snuffed out early in a game completely dominated by The Boatmen. Fans rushed out to buy Chad Owens jerseys in honour of the receiver who only a few days prior to the big game won the award for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2012.
(Runner-up running back Jon Cornish couldn’t do much for Calgary on Sunday, either.)
The game was the most-watched CFL contest of all-time. That’s to be expected, although it is impressive. But, being the 100th Grey Cup and with TSN desperate for sponsored content with the NHL lockout dragging on and on until 2013, it was also the most publicized game of all-time.
The only thing that could have detracted was the Paul McCartney concert in Vancouver. Other than that, the Grey Cup simply added four million Torontonians who probably never tuned in to last year’s contest.
On Tuesday, the Argos will parade through the streets of Canada’s greatest city. (No, really.) They’ll be the toast of the town, and we hope it lasts. It’s also well-deserved. With the Raptors looking oh, so pathetic, Toronto FC struggling to find anything close to a soccer ball, the Blue Jays waiting to see if their monetary gambles pay off, and the Leafs forever being the Leafs, the Argonauts are best team in that city.
The last time the Argos enjoyed this kind of popularity, it was under the short-lived ownership of John Candy. When he went down, so did the team’s presence in Toronto.
Can you hear the Wallflowers yet? “We can be heroes… just for one day.”
It’s nice they finally noticed. Let’s hope they also remember.