The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

November 18, 2007



And I will be there next Sunday, Nov. 25, in Toronto -- Canada's centre of the universe -- to cover it.

In a pair of upsets on Sunday, our team defeated the Toronto club in our divisional final 19-9 in Toronto, even though our top player and quarterback suffered a broken arm and despite Toronto's insistence we would not score 10 points.

Our team was in first place in our division until the final week of the season, when Toronto took over. The week before this, we had beaten Montreal in the semifinal. On Sunday, we beat Toronto in the division final.
Despite the broken arm to our No. 1 quarterback, that gets us into our first Canadian Football League championship game since 2001, when we lost to a team from Calgary when we should have won.

From a Canadian point of view, and certainly from mine, the most fascinating part of the Grey Cup on Sunday will be the two teams facing each other: the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
First, these two teams (and cities) are from the Canadian Prairies. They're among the two smallest major cities in the country. Winnipeg hasn't been to a Grey Cup since 2001, Saskatchewan hasn't been since 1997.
These are underdog cities with underdog, publicly-owned teams. They each beat privately-owned teams from much bigger metropolitan areas to advance to the championship game after years of failure.
The two cities where the teams are based -- Winnipeg and Regina -- are both economically depressed, blue-collar places that are often overlooked when it comes to the best of what Canada is, overshadowed by Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton.
Regina and Winnipeg are Prairie burgs, nothing else, about 500 miles from each other, considered by the mainstream media and therefore a lot of Canadians as just places to bypass on their way east or west.
But these two places are so much alike that they have an annual Labour Day game that is celebrated by each place as an annual test of wills. Saskatchewan beat Winnipeg in Game 1 there, but Winnipeg won Game 2.
Now it comes down to Game 3, in Toronto. Saskatchewan's green and white vs. Winnipeg's blue and gold. I'm looking forward to being there.