Tuesday, November 26, 2013

101st Grey Cup - Regina Saskatchewan November 24, 2013

For all my international friends, the Grey Cup is the ultimate trophy in the Canadian Football League (CFL).  As a die hard Saskatchewan Roughrider fan,  I traveled to Regina for this once in a life time event. This was the first time in 101 years that the Riders were in the game and the game was hosted in Regina, giving them a major home team advantage.
Saskatchewan Roughrider fans, enjoying the pregame festivities on Saturday in Riderville.
This is the team mascot Gainer the Gopher posing for photos in his gopher hole.  Gainer, whose name is an anagram of "Regina", made his first appearance in 1977 and has been entertaining Rider fans ever since. In 2006, Gainer was given the jersey number 13, symbolizing his contributions as the "13th man" on the field. Prior to this, he wore the jersey number 1/2. He also has two cousins named Leonard and Goof that usually only appear at Roughrider home games
Gainer rallies the fans at home games waving signs that read "Go Riders Go", "Defense" and "Bring them out".
The Gainer costume is modelled after the Richardson's Ground Squirrel, commonly referred to as a "gopher" in many parts of North America. He is from Parkbeg.
After Gainer had enough of hamming it up for the cameras in his gopher hole, he posed for photos with his adoring fans.
Including me.
This is Cam and his wife Stacy.  Stacy is Scott's sister, and Scott is Véronique's husband.  Scott and Véronique are our adopted Katimavik/Melita kids.  There were over 44,000 fans in Regina to attend the football game, what a fabulous stroke of luck that we ran into Cam and Stacy at the Rider store.
This is me with my younger brother Bob, he is lives Regina with his wife Shelley and is a Rider season ticket holder.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders were playing against the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Grey Cup game.  Here kitty, kitty...
 This is an ice sculpture.
Hamilton Tiger-cat fans.  There was maybe 1,000 Ti-cat fans at the game and 44,000 Rider fans.
These folks were severely outnumbered.
 Scott's sister Stacey enjoying Riderville.
 A Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan wearing his flag on his back.
My sister-in-law Shelley was volunteering during the Grey Cup Festival she was a bartender in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers pavilion.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers had a very poor season they didn't make the playoffs.  Great to see that they kept their sense of humour.
The Golden Boy (official name Eternal Youth[1]) is a statue perched facing North on the dome of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and it is arguably Manitoba's best known symbol.[2] it stands 5.25 metres (17.2 feet) tall from the toe to the top of the torch and 4.27 metres (14 feet) from head to toe. It weighs 1650 kg (3,640 lb), and the top of his torch is 77 metres (250 feet) above ground.
Even Manitoba's golden boy was attending at the Grey Cup Festival.
Glenn January #69, with me and Henoc Muamba #10 of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Bomber players with Rider fans a fantastic photo opportunity.
Bob's lovely wife Shelley and his favourite bartender.
 The Winnipeg Police Pipe Band were also in attendance. 
Music, booze, dancing and food make a very delightful mix.
 My younger brother Bob.
 BC Lions football team's pavilion.
 BC Lion fans.
 The Grey Cup (copy) not the real cup.
Look at that the BC Lions were selling green Rider shirts at their table.
 The Budweiser guys!
The Winnipeg Police Pipe Band was awesome!
 More Rider fan photos.
 Sunday at the stadium 46 minutes till kick off.
Official attendance number was 44,710 including the Prime Minister of Canada, actors Tom Hanks and Martin Short.
 My sister-in-law Shelley.
Yeah, game day... finally here.  We want the cup! We want the cup!
These wonderful fans were the row right in front of us and they gave us a shot of butterrum schnapps from a smuggled in mickey after the game.
Every time the riders scored or Hamilton was penalized, fumbled or lost their downs the fans around us start high fiving every one within reach!  It was lots of fun.  I still don't have my voice back from three hours of cheering.
  We won! We won! We won... 
I took these photos of the 120 foot jumbo tron located kitty corner across the footfall field (110 yards) from our seats. In hindsight, I sure wish I had taken my SLR camera along.
Bob and Shelley - happy Rider fans on the green mile after the game.
A most excellent weekend in Regina.  Go Riders!

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