Most of you, I know, are gearing up for the Thanksgiving football parade tomorrow, especially the Seahawks-Cowboys tilt. I’ve already had my football fix this holiday season, having gone home to Montreal last weekend to take in the annual Grey Cup game. It was the 96th edition of the game, emblematic of CFL supremacy. My Montreal Alouettes, unfortunately, are becoming the CFL’s version of the Atlanta Braves, having dropped this rare “home” title game 22-14 to the Calgary Stampeders. It was Montreal’s fifth loss in six tries in the championship game since 2000. I’m now 1-3 in Grey Cups I’ve seen them play live.
What does this have to do with Seattle?
Well, let’s just say that, four years after the Expos stopped playing baseball at Olympic Stadium, the CFL managed to get a crowd of 66,000 into that ballpark for the Grey Cup. So, sports doesn’t stop being important to a city just because a team packs up and leaves for a better lease deal. Hear that, Sonics fans? It’s the teams that have to make a city work as a sports community. The Expos and MLB could not. The CFL and Alouettes could. As for the Sonics and the NBA, they couldn’t fly in Seattle any more. I’m betting the soccer Sounders take advantage of the NBA void left behind. Even as a “second tier” sport to the majors. After all, the CFL isn’t exactly top tier either. In fact, if the Mariners don’t get their act together, some of the sports dollars they now see from fans might be headed the Sounders’ way as well. Maybe that’s just me thinking out loud. But I’ve seen it happen in one market. I wouldn’t rule out another just yet. So, there’s plenty at stake for Jack Zduriencik and Don Wakamatsu this year.
For all you Washington football connoisseurs, Montreal’s center is Bryan Chiu, ex of the WSU Cougars. One of their offensive tackles is Luke Fritz from Eastern Washington. Defensive back Jesse Hendrix is also from that school. Oh yeah, their fullback is none other than Kerry Carter, ex-Seahawks special teamer from better times. He missed out on the Super Bowl three years ago, but played in a championship this year.
Get a look at the video below, where Chiu and the offensive line opens up a huge hole on a draw play, leading to a touchdown. Later, you’ll see a group of real live “Mounties” marching on the sidelines in the game’s waning moments, preparing to escort the Grey Cup out on to the field for presentation to the Stampeders.
Here’s a shot of the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal, otherwise known as the place where Celine Dion got married.
Used to walk by it every day on the way to work as a crime and legal affairs reporter. It looks nice, but it’s actually about 14 degrees out (not Celsius, that’s Fahrenheit folks). With the wind chill, it ranged from 0 to minus-4. Yes, Seattle is a nice, mild winter place.
Yeah, not much Mariners content in this one. But it’s something different. Let’s face it, how often do you get to see a genuine CFL video? We bring it all to you here. A multi-purpose blog. Hey, it isn’t just me who likes these things. Chicago Sun-Times editor-in-chief Michael Cooke was sitting just two rows in front of me (he earns slightly more, so could afford to be 10 feet closer to the field). Besides, we’ve told you all you’re really going to know about the Mariners for this week.