Grey Cup Tour comes to North BayMonday, November 12, 2012 by: Chris Dawson
This proud Dad was one of many fans who lined up to check out the Grey Cup 100 Tour which stopped in North Bay Monday afternoon. Photo by Chris Dawson.
If North Bay football fans weren’t excited about the Grey Cup before, well, they certainly are now.
Hundreds of football enthusiasts lined up at the Ontario Northland train station waiting to get a glimpse at the Grey Cup and the opportunity to tour the CN train equipped with rail cars full of the Canadian Football League’s rich history and memorabilia including Grey Cup rings from every team along with 100 year-old uniforms.
The last public Grey Cup display took place at City hall 8 years ago when then Argonauts linebacker Mike O’Shea shared the legendary trophy with North Bay fans.
While there was no O’Shea at this celebration, many still felt this type of celebration for Canadian Football is a long time coming.
“Kids need to see this, the high school kids need to see this, this is what this country is all about from coast to coast,” said longtime football coach Stew Jackson while waiting in line to check out the impressive CFL rail cars.
“The grey cup weekend has always been a very fabulous thing and we should have more of these things going around, not just every 100 years.”
The event started with a Grey Cup display indoors between 4 and 5 pm and after an official ceremony at 5, the Cup was brought back inside the train where football fans could get their picture taken with the ageless trophy and tour the CFL hall of fame on rails.
While there was no local spin on this trip – as now Argo’s coach Mike O’Shea prepares for the Eastern final – officials with the Grey Cup tour say they always find one.
“We want to bring it out to as many fans as possible, coast to coast to coast,” said CFL Communications officer Carley Smith.
“There are connections everywhere and that’s what really surprises you as you don’t need to be close to a CFL team to find those connections to the Grey Cup.”
North Bay was stop 39 of 40 stops the train is making before it pulls into Toronto for the start of Grey Cup week, leading up to the game which takes place on Sunday, November 25th.