A Ticat fan in Argoland: A preseason game experience!

First off the tailgate:

As we approached the Toronto fans tailgate party we recieved some scrupulous looks from those already in attendance.

This quickly changed when members of the "00"'s (Double zero's) who welcomed my wife and our two friends with open arms. My Ticat colours definitely stood out when I saw a couple for other friendly colours. It was Tigger, Cossack and Ticatfan.

When we began talking the "00"'s welcomed us with the traditional "I'd rather be an Argo then a _________'n Tiger Cat. To which I replied, "Thank you for the warm welcome folks here's to a good game!" This met with a resounding "Cheers"!

Converstations ranged from what to expect from who, to how fair weather fans are generally the ones who cause the most trouble at games. Where as the season ticket holders generally see visiting fans as fellow CFL fans and that their ticket money helps the team.

Note: The "00" braised tender loin was done to perfection and tasted great.

Onto the game
The walk over met us with a significant crowd at the Rogers Centre, with only looks but no negative comments.

The Steelback Street party was a busy place with a Lick's burger and a pop for only $5 (a good deal really).

Into the Rogers Center. The Rogers Centre has been totally renovated, from removing obstructed seats to increasing counter service resulting in a short wait for beer or pop and eats. The popcorn and pizza were fresh and beer while expensive for compared to IWS was resonable for Toronto.

Game intro's where sharp with Argo players announcing themselves (via pre-taping) on the jumbo-tron as they ran on to the field. Ticat's were tastefully and professionally introduced.

The Rogers Centre turf is now laden with advertising and it is clear that corporate advertising is way up as you can see it through the stadiium and on the jumbo-tron. The place looks sharp.

The Game:
As expected with the preseason thier was an ever revolving rotation of players on both sides. Some to the stand-outs for me was Jason Mass's poise at times, Kevin Eakin's incredible over all athletic ability and stand out performance, to me Jason's our now and Kevin's our future. "The Little Ball of Hate" punched the ball in when he needed to and I am sure he and Corey will be our go to guys in the backfield as Corey impressed with his tenacity, skill and aggressive play

The defense was obviously poised and ready to make a statement, there would be no embarrassment this game. They put constant pressure on the Argo's resulting in alot of tipped balls, stuffed runs and missed catches. Great job guys.

Rickie for 4 days practice obviously was on a explorative mission, when he was called upon to test his ability he attacked his routes. But I think he misjudged his opponesnts ability. It seemed to me he thought with our wider field he could out run the outside and was shut down with minimal gains.

I liked how the Argo's responed to Thiesman's comments. The Assoicated Press article described it best:
[b]
"Fans got a rise out of a vignette in the second that made fun of former Toronto quarterback Joe Theismann's condemnation of the club's signing Williams.

On Tuesday, Theismann called the move a "feeble excuse" by Toronto to sell tickets, lashed out at Williams and said he was ashamed to have worn the club's old A emblem on his helmet.

During a stoppage in play Friday, a video ran on the Jumbotron showing Theismann wearing a helmet with the A emblem. Suddenly, a giant pencil appeared and rubbed out the A, after which the worlds "Happy Now Joe" appeared, again drawing solid applause."[/b]

On the field.
After the game we made our way onto the Rogers Center field. The Argo's allow the fans to go on the field after the game and meet and talk with the players. I walked over and spoke to Chad Folks , who my friend knows from work. Chad is a Child and Youth Workers soon to be a school teacher...he's always a class act.

I also spoke the Crouch the Argo's back up qb. I asked him how he liked playing on the bigger field. He said he liked it but playing at game speed really opened his eyes as to how truely unique and exciting CFL football is.

The result, enjoyable football for the preseason.

Post game
We made our way over to Joe Badali's after the game. Where we sat with Lori Bursey (president of the Friends of the Argo's) and several Argo fans who I am close friends with during the Toronto Rock Lacrosse season.

While there Noel Prefontane joined us for a lengthy conversation, we talked about seeing the same team twice and then opening the season with him. Noel was saying that it's frustrating because most of the plays must remain very simplistic in nature on both sides in order to not give anything away on game film and that the week before regular season all of the CFL teams must learn a litany of new plays before the first game of the season. I agree and a more diversified preseason schedule would help the teams better assess the players ability's. It's safe the to say the Argo's and Ticats we see in the preseason will not be the Argo's and Ticats we see on June 17 in Toronto to kick off the season. They will be better.

From all indications I really feel this is going to be and exciting season across the CFL. Let the games begin!

My two cents! How about yours!
Jare

Jare, great summary for those of us who couldn't be there. Glad to hear that you found some friendly Argo fans, and the comments from Crouch and Noel are awesome.

thanks man that was a really good summary for people like me who couldnt make it downto Toronto.

Good post Jare, and you’re right about the obnoxious fans probably not being season ticket holders. But its always the loud mouth minority that gets noticed and everyone else labelled as being the same.

That's exactly right Double Blue, it's the same thing that's happening in Edmonton right now, it's not the true hockey fans who are raising hell.

It's those who just look for an chance to cause trouble and hide behind the masses. What results is a stained reputation on the team and the community it represents.

I for one will come to the aid of any visiting CFL fan at a Tiger Cats game who is getting spit on, or having anything thrown at them including obsenities.

Why...because if I was in a visiting teams stadium I wouldn't want that to happen to me. The visiting fans help the teams bottom line and it's a chance for us as a community to show off. There's alot of great people in Hamilton, and we should proud of our selves, not allow otheres to embarrass our community.

Wow.....I'm getting off my soapbox now...sorry. :oops:

Jare

Thanks for the report Jare!!!

why do season ticket holders feel they are better then the individual ticket buyer?

u ever stop to think, not everyones work schedule is as predictable as yours?....not everyone works the same shifts week after week, which makes it hard to commit to season tickets.

Jare, that's a soapbox well worth standing on. I remember a few years ago, at a game against Winnipeg, a Bombers fan from out of town was sitting just in front of me. Some stupid young guy (ha, young guy - he was probably the same age as me) starts hassling this guy about how his teams sucks, his city sucks, blah blah blah. Eventually someone (I think it might have been AndreaG, but don't quote me on that) told the guy to can it, and my father and I spent the rest of the game chatting with the Bombers fan, who turned out to be a really great guy. End of the game we shook hands, and we both left with good times being had.

Too bad that the idiot a few rows back from us couldn't figure out that concept.

Thanks Jare!....You painted a great picture there for us. It must have been particularly satisfying to see the Argo fans squirming in their seats! :lol:

Hope your voice is ok for next week! :thup:

I don't think the "season tickets - non-season tickets" dichotomy is intended to look down on die-hard fans who just can't swing season tickets for whatever reason. It's supposed to refer to the idiots who aren't real fans but come out of the woodwork to cause trouble. Remember what it was like for years when 13000 would show up at Ivor Wynne for most games, and then 30000 would show up on Labour Day? You can't tell me most of those people actually cared about the team - they came out for the "party atmosphere", which usually resulted in drunken brawls.

I think most people on here, in this particular context, use "season tickets" distinctions for lack of a better way to differentiate knowledgeable, passionate fans from one-off trouble makers. Most of us who have season tickets have had to buy single game tickets at some point in time for various reasons.

Hi Drummer:

ABJ1 summed up my thoughts perfectly.

Notice that I prefaced that statement with "generally"

I don't put myself or the other ticket holders on a higher level rather I focus the comments on those who come to cause trouble.

The Ticats.ca community is just that. Everyone I've ever met at games from this board are your prototypical awesome Ticat fan and proud Hamiltonian.

Regardless, this is going to be a great season!

Jare

Wow... that was a pretty good read.

I agree that trouble makers are usually fair weather fans. I like how a TRUE CFL fan can dislike another team yet still have respect for that teams fans.

Hi Rusty:

The way I see it is, the team is our oppenent not those who chose to follow it.

What I am saying is the opposing teams fans are the opposing teams fans generally because they where either born in the city the team represents or have chosen to adopt that team. So that visiting fan could very well be a Ticat fan if they were born in Hamilton.

To cheer the team and be a fan of a team it only seems logical that you have to be a fan of the game the team is playing in.

The bottom line is we are all fans of our game, the CFL game and in the end it is a game. One that is passionate in our hearts. A game that spans most of our country and allows us to join in a common passion.

If a fellow Canadian wants to visit out field to see their team, come on in. Be prepared for some good natured ribbing and to be impressed with Ivor Wynne the best stadium in Canada.

None the less Rusty you may not see in my way but that's my two cents on that.

Jare

Last year I had a very funny xperience with a fan out to make trouble. I always take my Ottawa Rough Rider flag when Ottawa plays. Some idiot behind us starts with the Rough Riders sk blah blah. 1/2 way thru the 2nd quarter I guess somebody finally told him that it was the Renegades now. Then it was Renegades sk blah blah. I didn't bite, we had a good laff & he eventually left. Cheers

Hey Jare, this is ticatfan. Couldnt get that NN here. Anyway, it was great to see you again. It is always good to have Ticat fans at the tailgate, the game and Badalis. Dont think I saw you at Joes. See you on the 17th!