My apologies, this got very long.
Hey everyone, I've been on the site here a bit this season but haven't done a proper introduction. I'd thought I'd offer this as point of view of someone who has ended up a huge CFL and Ticats fan recently.
I was never a huge football fan growing up, in fact I guess you could say I was pretty indifferent to it. I played soccer and baseball off and on as a kid, but quit before I got to high school. In the spring of grade 10 a friend convinced me to come out for the school rugby team. I also played junior football that spring, but I don't even know what position I played (Lineman- I think defensive? Not sure). The next year I had to pick one sport to play, and had fallen in love with rugby so football fell off the radar again. I'd watch the odd Super Bowl, and my dad, who is not a sports guy at all, turned the Grey Cup on one year, but that was pretty much it. This was in 2008.
One year, I think in 2009-10ish, my best friend's dad asked if I wanted to come with them to a Ticats game. He had grown up in Hamilton and was meeting a friend, and my friend was a big NFL fan. I had no idea who the Tiger-Cats were, but it sounded like a fun day out so I was in. We parked on someone's lawn, climbed up to the very top of the north stand, it poured rain, we got soaked, we had a great time. I don't remember a thing about the game or who they played.
Around the same time I started listening to Y108, so of course I started hearing Ticats chatter, game day stuff, some interviews with players. Getting the feel of some of the community spirit around the team. I vaguely remember hearing tidbits about the stadium debate, although I didn't particularly follow it.
A couple years later. That friend I went to that first game with is now going to Mac. I hear that the stadium is going to get torn down. So kind of on a whim we get tickets to a game. That was the last regular season game at Ivor Wynne.
I still didn't actively follow the team or any football yet. I heard about the new Ottawa franchise, my friend asks if I want to be an Ottawa fan with him the same way we started cheering for the Jets. Sure, why not, but probably second to the Ticats. Whoa, whats this? I suddenly realize I have an allegiance now.
The new stadium is almost done. My friends birthday is in June, and the home opener was going to be against the Ottawa team he wanted to cheer for, so I bought tickets. Unfortunately it was postponed, so I couldn't bookend the last game at Ivor Wynne with the first game at THF. Oh well, we went to a game that September. We went to the last season game against Montreal for my birthday.
By now I wanted to be a fan. I convinced my dad to get the family satellite for Christmas so I could watch games. I read about the CFL and it's history, and loved how it came from the rugby that I still play and love. I've grown to appreciate the Canadian-ness of it, and how it's NOT the NFL, or even the NHL. Who wants to try to keep up with 30 or more teams?
So here we are, 2015. I've been to the home opener, the week 2 Bombers game, the Sept 19th Edmonton game, and just bought my playoff tickets. I drag my brother to games, I get my girlfriend to come. When I'm with her Mac friends I try to get them to go somewhere that'll have the game on TV. I'm not even sure how it happened, but I've become a huge Tiger-Cats fan and I love following them and cheering them on. I've considered seasons seats but I don't have a reliable enough schedule. Maybe in a few years. For now I'll keep cheering on Jeff and the boys and hope for a Grey Cup win.
They say the CFL needs more younger fans. I'm not sure how it happened, but here I am. I'm jonny24, I'm 21, and I love the Ticats :rockin: