Tagged: grey cup

Planes, Trains and Automobiles : How the Grey Cup Train tour missed Kingston

The title will make sense as this blog entry goes along.

So, the Grey Cup train tour wrapped up. Those who might follow me on Twitter had seen the tweets about there not being a train stop in Kingston. Which was a head scratcher for me. Queen’s Football has a big following and the school even won 3 Cups back in the day. Looked at the schedule on train tour website and no Kingston stop to be seen. Which thankfully I have a shot of. This is where the story begins.


Others on Twitter were surprised by lack of a stop. The train was a way to bring the Cup across the country to sports fans. They had events where fans could come by and take pictures and the like.  Tour even hit Newfoundland and Nunavut where they had to fly in.  So the ‘Planes’ part of the title now makes sense.

So, you can imagine my surprise when on a Sunday night on TSN SportsCentre I see a quick story with the Grey Cup inside a hall at Queen’s. Huh? Checked their website again and they added a photo-op at Queen’s.

http://greycuptour.ca/stops/131-tindall-field-queen-s-university

Happened early Sunday morning around 7am and was done by 8:30am. “The Grey Cup very briefly returned to one of its many former homes today, visiting Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.”

So at least it did stop in the town. No chance for the public to stop by though. What they did was drop off some championship banners for the school to recognize their Grey Cup wins. Now why they decided to stay in Ottawa for 6 entire days instead of hitting more communities, I have no clue.  Bad scheduling there.  Thought a main selling point of the train was going to places which don’t get to see the CFL in person.

Kate McKenna who was on the train doing reports for TSN all along the route did respond to me on Twitter about the Kingston stop. I actually saw Kate around Kingston that Saturday night. Heard her interviewed on the Jay and Dan Podcast and knew she went to Queen’s. I assumed she was in town for the Golden Gaels playoff game since I hadn’t seen any Kingston stop on the schedule.

And when she said it was a last minute change. It REALLY was. CKWS, the only TV station in Kingston had nothing about it. Kingston Whig-Standard on Saturday had articles about the Golden Gaels playoff game, no mention of anything happening on Sunday.  The trophy must have traveled in an Automobile of some sort to Kingston. [That completes the title of today’s blog]

But the biggest sign that hardly anyone in Kingston knew it was happening was from an email newsletter. It’s one that supports Queen’s Football and mentions fundraising events and tailgate parties at road games. The newsletter is very connected, evidenced by the fact a few days after the Gaels were eliminated in the OUA playoffs they emailed everyone a letter written by Coach Pat Sheahan to the fans. If that group didn’t know about what was happening that Sunday morning.

Strangely some get the facts wrong after the fact. Even the local paper. From a recent Kingston Whig-Standard.

The train stopped in Kingston? No it didn’t. I know what you might be thinking: “Sun Media messing up? That never happens.” But seriously it wasn’t written by a Whig reporter who would’ve known better.

All in all, it isn’t the most important thing in the world. Was disappointing for all the football fans in the Kingston area. Especially with all the Queen’s/Kingston connections with the CFL. Sit back this will take a while.

The aforementioned Kate McKenna, from TSN went to Queen’s.

Jaime Stein used to be with the CFRC sports department when he was at the university. Jaime worked with the CFL on the digital side for a few years.

Jock Climie works on the ‘CFL on TSN’ panel and former football player. Is a member of the Queen’s Football Hall of Fame.

Rod Smith, from TSN SportsCentre was an offensive guard for the Gaels. And did play by play for the Mitchell Bowl when Queen’s beat Laval on the way to the Vanier Cup.

Neate Sager, Queen’s Alumni and writes for Yahoo Sports on ‘Buzzing the Net’ blog. Chatted with Neate on my show after Queen’s Vanier Cup win, since CFRC didn’t have a sports show at the time.

Andrew Bucholtz who runs the CFL Blog “55 Yard Line” on Yahoo. He is Toronto for the Grey Cup of course this week. You can guess where Andrew went for his post-secondary education.

Mike Hogan, born in Kingston is the radio play by play voice for the Argos. Mike will be calling the game for TSN Radio 1050 this Sunday. Also Mike co-hosts ‘Football Sunday’ a radio show with Chris Schultz and ‘Argos All-Access’ on the same station. When I used to work on Offsides with Tyler King, Mike was a guest on a few occasions so he helped us out at CFRC. And I also recall he stopped by at a halftime show of a Golden Gaels football broadcast.

Finally Chris Cuthbert, play by play voice for TSN with CFL and NHL. Who will call the Grey Cup for TSN. You might’ve heard of him. From his bio on the TSN website:

“Throughout his celebrated career, Cuthbert has covered every sport at every level. Cuthbert’s inaugural job in sports broadcasting was doing the play-by-play for Golden Gaels football games in 1978 for CFRC Radio in Kingston, Ont. while still a student at Queen’s University.”

And I found a piece Andrew wrote for the Queen’s Journal on Chris and his days at Queen’s. Worth reading for more details on how he got started.

http://queensjournal.ca/story/2009-02-09/sports/making-it-big-leagues/

So…… the powers at be decided there wasn’t a good reason for the Grey Cup Train tour to stop in Kingston. Perfect sense.

For fans of CIS Football tomorrow is the Vanier Cup between Laval and McMaster. Rematch of last year’s great game. I’ll be watching that. Sunday is the Grey Cup. Which I haven’t seen in a few years. I work Saturday nights at 11pm and Sunday at 11pm. Not ideal times to catch a 6pm football game on Sunday. I should record it on the PVR this year. Good luck to the media members with a Queen’s/Kingston connection covering the game this year.

Since it is US Thanksgiving today, I should have a clip from ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ to end this.  It takes place on Thanksgiving and this clip has a football reference in it.  Good way to wrap things up.

Monday Wrap-up

Only caught the end of the Grey Cup, but that was the only part that mattered.  I will copy my Facebook status.

“As a Bruins fan I’d like to welcome the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the “too many men penalty against Montreal in a big playoff game” club. After 30 years we have company.”

Got to sleep later than usual so when I got up Montreal had won and I heard about how they won. Luckily had TSN on the PVR and rewound it.  Damn.  Talk about a game where the losing team really did give away the victory.

I forgot earlier to mention Mike Giffin is on the Montreal roster.  He didn’t play last week with an injury and was questionable for the Grey Cup.  So either was Queen’s was going to have an alumni on the winning side.

TSN’s technical problems continued.  As I watched TSN The Reporters Sunday morning I saw a graphic for the TV schedule that afternoon.

“2009 Grey Cup : Blue Jays vs Tigers”

Wow.  And to make sure I didn’t imagine that with my lack of sleep Chris Zelkovich saw it as well.

http://thestar.blogs.com/sportsmedia/

Another columnist at The Toronto Star mentioned missed plays by the cameramen and announcers as well during the Vanier Cup.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/football/cfl/article/732186–woolsey-roughriders-no-1-in-fans-feverish-fervour

TSN pushed the blame for the Vanier Cup errors.  So it was fitting that graphic thing happened to show the last 2 weekends of errors were not just someone else’s fault.

If you are “Canada’s Sports Leader” then stop making excuses.  They had too much coverage on the weekend for their resources it came back to bit them. Queen’s/Calgary suffered as I heard the halftime show was spent on the Grey Cup.  How about talking about the game at hand?

Let’s hope these problems don’t come up at the Olympics.  If they can’t handle Queen’s/Calgary properly I’m not hopeful for all the sports they have to help cover.

The Score had much better coverage this season when they were handling CIS Football.  They are 3rd place among the sport stations and games on The Score didn’t have all those technical issues.

Other blogs about the Vanier Cup.

http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2009/11/28/1177088/vanier-cup-champions-queens-golden

http://www.cisblog.ca/2009/11/vanier-cup-laval-sets-standard-for-host.html

By the way, it is still stupid the Grey Cup is only available on cable TV now.  Should be TSN doing the game for CTV so more Canadians can watch.  Last year I found out the contract between TSN and the CFL does not allow that. Not everyone has cable/satellite.  I still read about many fans who can’t watch the game across the country.

Now we’re in the situation where the SuperBowl is on CTV but you have to have pay to watch the Grey Cup.  Slightly backwards.

Schooners, Manatees and a Posse

Glad to find the Atlantic Schooners group got to the Grey Cup this year after a 1 year absence.  Found out about them a year ago or so.

Quick history lesson.  Atlantic Canada did get a CFL expansion team, once upon a time.  Halifax was awarded a franchise in 1984.  When cell phones were the size of a shoe box.

Years before the failed US expansion which didn’t make sense then and still doesn’t.  If you’re going to expand to the US, go to states near the border.  Baltimore worked out.  But picking places like Sacramento and Memphis was head scratching.

Team didn’t start up because financing couldn’t be found for a new stadium in Halifax.  You’d think between 1984 and today the league would look at the east coast instead of Ottawa, again.

In case you’re wondering if that’s the only CFL team to fold before they began, you forget the Miami Manatees.  Don’t laugh that was a real name.

The Las Vegas Posse had ceased operations and a group from Miami wanted to start it up again.  One of the stranger ideas since the team’s players had already been dispersed in a draft a year earlier.  Then what were they buying exactly? Not sure but the price was less than an expansion team.  Go figure.

The Miami story has one link to this Sunday’s Grey Cup.  Starting QB for the Las Vegas Posse was Anthony Cavillo.  The Posse was his first CFL team.

You can use that trivia at a Grey Cup party if you like.

Back to the Schooners, they have some places on the web to keep track of them this Grey Cup weekend.  And more information in general.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Atlantic-Schooners-DownEast-Kitchen-Party/166866339252

http://twitter.com/DEKitchenParty

http://www.atlanticschooners.com/

One of the “urban legends” of the team I had heard before.  Story goes the owner in preparing for the expansion team bought the old scoreboard from Foxboro Stadium.  It would’ve been used in the new stadium.  That never was built so the legend is that scoreboard still sits in a warehouse in the Halifax/Dartmouth area.

The other one is that the owner had also bought turf for the new facility.  He didn’t keep that.  Rumour is he dumped the turf into the Atlantic Ocean….. OK then.

Can we believe these stories? They’re not any stranger than before the playoffs the league saying it wanted to reduce the amount of Canadians on each team.  Nice timing on that guys.

“It’s OUR League”, except for the East Coast and the fact we want less Canucks on the teams….. other than that it’s Canada all the way.

They are having a regular season game in Moncton next year which is a good step in the right direction.  If they can take their eyes off the Ottawa obsession.

I lived in Ottawa for 3 years [1998-2001] when there was no CFL team.  I honestly cannot remember anyone complaining about not having a team. The previous ownership was a big reason for that. Went to high school in Pembroke and the Red Riders were covered more for their wacky owners than any on the field success.

Less said about the Renegades the better.  Any franchise that had to be taken over by the Gliebermans deserved to be eliminated. [I won’t go into those guys, it would take too long.]

Back to present day.  Usually I watch some of the Grey Cup, but after the long day with the Vanier Cup broadcast and work I’ll have to skip it this year.  Might catch the tail end.

U.S. Thanksgiving Day Football Picks

With 3 Thursday games in honour of American Thanksgiving I better do an early post this week.  So happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, and family members living in the U.S.

First up this afternoon Green Bay vs Detroit.  Lions with a great win last Sunday, especially after you see the NFL films footage of Stafford since he had a microphone on during the game.  After he got hit you can really hear how much in pain he was in.  Told the coach couple of minutes later he could throw the ball and went in and got the winning TD.

Best part was him on the bench awaiting the extra point.  Still in pain but able to get out this about the kicker “Come on Jason Hanson, do what they pay you for baby”  Couldn’t have written that, especially that he said the kicker’s first and last name.  In case we weren’t sure who he was talking about. 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEaFYsKg-7c

4 minutes in is after the hit.

After all of that, Stafford isn’t playing today.  Damn.  So I’ll go with Green Bay, but they better not take Detroit for granted.

4:15pm game is Oakland at Dallas.  Cowboys should win this but after that terrible performance against the Redskins I’m not positive.  A 7-6 win?  Stars-Capitals could have a 7-6 game.

Night game Giants vs Broncos.  NY with the win here.  Last year Denver fell apart but had a different QB and coach.  Must something in the Colorado water lately.  I wasn’t sold on the Broncos and when I finally picked them they started their losing streak.  Go figure.

Sunday games I’ll go through quickly.

Dolphins over Bills, Seahawks over Rams, Eagles over Redskins, Falcons over Bucs, Texans over Colts [one of these times Houston will beat them], Bengals over Browns, Panthers over Jets, Chargers over Chiefs, Jags over 49ers, Titans over Cards, Vikings over Bears and Ravens over Steelers.

Monday night Patriots vs Saints in New Orleans.  Hmmm.  If it was a Sunday game I’d barely pick the Pats.  But Saints at home on a Monday night is going to ramp them up even further.  New Orleans by 3.

I won’t be watching much of the Grey Cup. But easy pick of the Roughriders over the Als.  Montreal chokes in this game on a frequent basis.  1-6 record the last 7 times!  That’s insane.

Kingston’s Rob Bagg is with Saskatchewan.  He was with Queen’s when I started at CFRC so be nice for him to win.

As for Saturday’s Vanier Cup I’ll pick Queen’s over Calgary.  Wild guess of a score of 35-28.  But honestly I don’t know much about Calgary’s team.

Kick off at 12pm with a pregame starting around 11am on CFRC.  It’s getting a lot of attention in town.  The Ale House downtown is opening at 11am on Saturday for the game.  Wow, for a Queen’s football game.

It’s on TSN for those who want to watch the game.  But who wrote the TSN promos for the Vanier Cup?  It keeps saying Canada’s COLLEGE football championship.

No.  The U.S. has College Football we have University Football.  Why The Score calls their coverage “University Rush”.  Very sloppy mistake from TSN.  And I’ve seen different ads in which say ‘college’.

Friday’s show I think I’m going to play a lot of songs from The Band’s The Last Waltz.  Bring out the hour I played on Canadian Thanksgiving.  Then some bonus songs I have.  With one of the boxsets they had songs from the rehearsal of the concert.  Very rare to hear those.

Next Friday finally back LIVE on the show.  First week in December by the time that rolls around.  Will have Neate Sager on to talk about the Queen’s Football season, win or lose.

http://neatesager.blogspot.com/

http://www.cisblog.ca/

Now offline for a while.  Watch some NFL football this afternoon.