Canadian Traditions include (Canada Day) July 1st, Thanksgiving and the Grey Cup.

Sure, there are other prominent customary festivities, but the three aforementioned traditions have a way of rallying all Canadians together regardless if they live in a city such as Prince George or a province such as Prince Edward Island.

The Grey Cup is a party, a gala, a special event, yes one big bash.

It is for the young and old, healthy and ill, rich and poor, football and non-football fans.

Grey Cup is also about the Best of the West battling the Beasts of the East.

One day, two teams from the West, with one to advance from a crossover berth, may make it all the way to the championship game but that has yet to happen.

Throughout the years, my interest in the CFL has faded.

I’m not sure there is one specific reason why I watch less Canadian Football games than 20 or 25 years ago, but the lure of the NFL contributes to the change.

If the average Canadian was asked to pick one, watching the Grey Cup or Super Bowl, I think we know what the answer would be and the response would be overwhelming.

This doesn’t mean the CFL isn’t a great game or doesn’t fill a need, but the NFL glitz has grabbed our attention.

Let’s be honest, how many people do you know to participate in a CFL pool compared to one in the NFL?

In addition, how many people can name more CFL than NFL players?

Naturally, fans in Hamilton and Winnipeg will be entrenched in Sunday’s game in Calgary with
kickoff at 3:30 p.m. (PST).

Outside of Manitoba or the Greater Hamilton area, how many fans really care about who wins?

Yes, the CFL seems to have become more regional.

TV ratings took a major hit last November.

Viewership for the 2018 Grey Cup (won by Calgary 27-16 over Ottawa) was just 3.1 million on TSN – a decline of over 23 per cent from the 2017 championship game (a Toronto 27-24 victory over Calgary).

The 2018 championship was the lowest-rated Grey Cup game since 2001 (2.7 million).

The game itself is usually thrilling and full of suspense even in the last few minutes.

A whopping 20 of the previous 21 Grey Cup games have been decided by 13 points or less.

The Tiger-Cats are favoured by 3.5 points over the Blue Bombers which is likely based on Hamilton’s 15-3 regular-season record compared to Winnipeg’s 11-7 mark.

Keep in mind that the Ti-Cats played in the weaker East Division and the Blue Bombers may be peaking at the right time with impressive playoff road wins over Calgary and Saskatchewan.

Part of the intrigue for even the casual fan to watch is there’s always a chance to have another historic CFL classic to determine a champion.

It is already been 10 years since the infamous 13th man Grey Cup game in 2009?

Montreal beat Saskatchewan in Calgary 28-27 on a last-play 33-yard Damon Duval field goal.

Duval appeared to lose the game after missing his first attempt but was given a second chance because Saskatchewan had 13 players on the field.

In 1962, there was the unforgettable Fog Bowl Grey Cup game played in Toronto.

It started December 1st, was halted due to fog in the 4th quarter and resumed December 2nd with Winnipeg holding on for a 28-27 victory over Hamilton.

These kinds of games are classic moments that will remain part of “Canadian” culture and heritage regardless of how many eyeballs are glued to the tube.

Here we have Winnipeg and Hamilton again with one team to celebrate for the first time in the 2000s.

The Tiger-Cats have not won the Grey Cup in 20 years (1999) while the Blue Bombers haven’t earned a championship in 29 years (1990), the two longest current CFL droughts.

Oh, I will play it safe and pick Hamilton, of course, by 13 points or less.

Actually, how about a last-minute Tiger-Cats field goal to end the year.

Blue Bombers fans have waited this long, why not extend their agony?

#

This is season two of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that primarily features the Prince George Cougars.

My guest on the 10th Cat Scan in year two is the PG Cougars Director of Player Development Steve O’Rourke.

Steve openly discusses the hockey journey that has landed him in many cities and countries.

He was let go as the Cougars associate coach at the end of the 2018-19 season but a few weeks later was brought back to the team in a different capacity.

O’Rourke touches on many highs and lows that come with the territory of devoting one man’s job to hockey.


FROM THE QUOTE RACK:  

$500,000 in counterfeit championship rings were confiscated in Philadelphia. Suspicions were raised when inspectors saw three of them were for the Super Bowl Champion Browns.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

The end of the Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh Steelers game and the helmet hit evoked memories so much of The Palace Brawl that Myles Garrett is changing his name to Myles World Peace.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

I turned on the Browns-Steelers game and an impeachment hearing broke out.

*Comedy writerArgus Hamilton.

Cowboys-Patriots tickets on Stubhub Sunday at Gillette Stadium START at $236 plus fees. Meanwhile, for Lions-Redskins tickets at Fed Ex. Field, the lowest price is $9. Is Washington charging that or paying it?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

The Golden State Warriors, in barely six months, have gone from being the Beatles of basketball to…The Who?

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


IN CASE YOU MISS
ED IT:

Swedish rally driver Per-Gunnar Andersson once pulled over en route to the hospital to help his wife deliver their baby. Not sure if Andersson qualified for his next race, but he certainly earned that birth.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

 ————————————————————————————————————————————————

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca