8/10/2012 2:40:00 PM
I had the good fortune of getting to attend a CFL game in a building outside of Alberta this week. It was a double rarity for me, as I got to see a live game as a spectator (I’ve been stats guy for 11 years, so I don’t usually get to see Stamps games as just a fan. I know. Boo-Hoo).
But going to Hamilton (“The Hammer”) this week has left me with some great CFL memories. Such as:
-Early in the game, walking past a contingent of TiCat fans in my Stamps jersey, who deliberately remarked, “At least WE’VE got a quarterback.”. Wishing I saw them at game’s end.
-Seeing a couple of iconic TiCats roaming the sidelines in Angelo Mosca and Damon Allen. When Angelo saw our group primarily clad in red, he said “I used to work for Stu Hart, y’know”.
-The game itself – we’ve said in the blog at least a couple of times that Jon Cornish needed to get his act together. Hamilton’s porous run defense was a match made in heaven for Mr. Cornish.
-Ivor Wynne Stadium. This is the last year for this stadium, which has been around since 1928. A great place to see a game, and here’s hoping next year’s home for the TiCats (new Ivor Wynne? McMaster? Kitchener-Waterloo?) is as filled with atmosphere as this one.
-Game time – at times this field reminded me of some of the better American college games I’ve gone to in terms of ambience. From the college type drum and, to the junior cheerleaders, to the 4 (yes 4) mascots – two Tigers, and inflatable tiger head, and a 7 foot tall bumbling inflatable lineman, to the giant turkey legs in the concourse, this one had a few things McMahon could learn from.
Add all of this to the visit earlier in the day to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and this truly was a great Canadian football experience. Hamilton also has the distinction of being a city that the 80’s/90’s/00’s seem to have forgot. If you’re looking for football oozing with atmosphere, Hamilton’s the place. It’s also the place you can likely find every Foghat 8-track in good condition on King Street.
More than enough reason to visit again.
Conan “Statsman” Daly