It's the Grey Cup weekend for football fans here in sunny Vancouver (yes, sun - not rain or fog!)
This dredges up a lot of old memories, going back to the days when we used to live up in Edmonton and were ardent Edmonton Eskimo fans. These days I rarely take an interest in football, prefer other kinds of sports and I'm not so much of a spectator anyway.
The two teams: Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes, are kicking off tomorrow. Of course there was major disappointment for the local fans when our B.C.Lions failed to make it to the final but that's the way it's gone for them this season.
The Grey Cup playoff is always the biggest excuse ever for major drunken debauchery and disorderliness and starting last night in our town the parties were off to a good start. I wouldn't want to be downtown this weekend, not even to see the parade. I don't really care whether Pamela Anderson is parade marshal or who is. Football is just not my thing. And anyway, I saw the Santa Claus parade last Sunday. Guess I'm just a kid at heart!
This weekend brought back a lot of past memories -- all the Grey Cup weekends we celebrated in Edmonton, parties that lasted for days, cases of booze, trays of snacks, wild days and nights. It seems to me that the Eskis were usually the ones who were playing the finals and usually the ones who won. (So of course I'll be cheering them from afar this weekend!) We'd usually gather at our place -- I had the reputation of given the best parties -- and would start very early on the morning of the Game. Generally everyone was pretty well soused before the game even started (and judging from the antics downtown last night -- two days before -- the same thing happens everywhere.) Of course, if your team won you'd really be off celebrating high-style.
And the party generally lasted the entire weekend. I think that somehow the party was the main event and the game was just the excuse to get wild and crazy (wilder and crazier than usual!)
Knowing the way the young toughs in this town misbehave I'd be surprised if this weekend there isn't a call for extra cops (lots of them) and even the riot squad. The roving bands of drunken louts have had a reptutation in the past of tearing up the town and vandalising everything in sight. All the name of sports? Fun? What??
I found it more fun when I've been in Greece during major soccer playoffs and the merriment was usually cars full of fans driving around waving banners, shouting and honking horns. Of course a lot of wine is imbibed there too, but it always seemed a lot more 'civilized' to me...unless of course you happen to be in a place where a British team is playing and the rowdy beer-swilling Brits
(Manchester fans, etc) have to live up to their reputation of creating havoc and mayhem.
Not for me. I'll enjoy the sunshine and peace of my neighbourhood today and all weekend, except tomorrow when we are invited to a friend's downtown and will no doubt get caught up in the pre and post game rioting!