I stepped into the lion’s den at the launch of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats landing here and becoming Guelph Tiger-Cats this season. They’ll be playing nine Canadian Football League games at University of Guelph Alumni Stadium.
It was a lovely love-in last Wednesday at Cutten Fields. The city and the Ti-Cats are equally enthused about this coming season’s arrangements. I am crazy-enthused too, as I am a die-hard, longtime lover of the league.
There’s exposure being on national television nine times. The benefits of ancillary name drops because Guelph is home to the Ti-Cats are incalculable, but it nonetheless puts us on the map in all sorts of ways.
Guelph has been laughed at for shelling out good money to have former National Football League Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw shill for our city. I am confident that Steeltown’s Tiger-Cats playing in Guelph is likely to reap far more of those intangible benefits than a video featuring a good old boy from Louisiana.
Heck, on an afternoon sports talk show Wednesday, the City of Guelph and the University of Guelph were topics of some positive banter.
This unique happening sees the Hammer uniting with The Royal City. It is terrific on many levels. Hamiltonians can show Guelphites how the real working world works – that not all good drinks are fair trade coffee and that while tie-dyed hemp clothing is neat, it’s five decades old. Guelph can talk to Hamilton about the ill effects of the steel industry on the environment, and can show that herbal smoothies are the elixir of the gods and Birkenstocks are better for your feet than steel-toed boots. Kidding. Seriously. Sort of.
As for the stepping into the lion’s den, I am a true, double blue Toronto Argonaut fan. For those not in the know, the Cats hate the Argos and vice versa – with passion. I was a tad uncomfortable lunching with Ti-Cat PR people and laid low on my team preference. That I was the winner of an autographed Ti-Cat football made me feel even more uncomfortable. Two thoughts: Burn it in effigy in the name of Toronto Argonaut fans everywhere or give it away. I would like to give it to one of my children, but they have been raised knowing Argos good/Ti-Cats bad.
How good? The Toronto Argonauts won the 100th Grey Cup. The Tiger-Cats? Well, let’s just say they missed the playoffs. Too bad, so sad.
I am particularly looking forward to being in the intimate confines of Alumni Stadium when the Cats host the Argos on Thanksgiving Monday. I look forward to rabid chants of “Argos suck” raining down on Toronto fans. I look forward to the return volleys of “Aaaarrrrrr-Gooooos!”
I look forward to the Boatmen winning en route to a second Grey Cup in a row. And, whether you are a football fan or not, it will rival our home-grown festivals – and with a truly Canadian flavour. Seven visiting teams and their fans near and far will descend on Guelph in a once-in-a-lifetime experience – being hometown to a Canadian Football League team. email@example.com