Photo credit: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CC BY 2.0)
TORONTO—On November 27th, the 104th Grey Cup will be played at Toronto’s BMO Field. Here’s a game day primer for those of you who aren’t CFL fans.
The Western Conference will be represented by the Calgary Stampeders. Fans also refer to the team as the Stamps, the Horsemen or sometimes even the Cowboys.
The Eastern Conference will be represented by the Ottawa REDBLACKS. This is the latest incarnation of a team that’s folded twice before. The franchise was formerly known as the Renegades and the Rough Riders. It was a marketing decision to spell the name in all caps, not an error by Mooseclean’s. Nobody has come forward to accept responsibility for the name itself.
Official team colours will help you tell the teams apart. Ottawa’s colours are black, white and red. Calgary’s colours are red, white and black. With a robust nine teams in the league, there were only so many colours to go around.
Mascots are always an important part of team spirit. The Calgary Stampeders have a white horse emblazoned on their helmets and every time they score a touchdown at home, the Stampeder Touchdown Horse “Quick Six” thunders down the sidelines. So, of course, Calgary’s mascot is Ralph the Dog. As for Ottawa, the REBLACKS are represented by lumberjack Big Joe.
In the end, all you really need to know if you’re watching the Grey Cup is how to drink and eat excessively. And if you’re asked whether you want to join the pool, make sure you throw in a few dollars. In my experience, the person who wins is always the one who’s never watched football before and bases their pick on the cuter quarterback, the better uniform or whichever team their brother liked growing up.