Im not sure this deserves its own thread but its quite lengthy so I decided to give it, its own thread. It kind of hit me today that they are actually tearing down the old barn and it made me think of how much IWS actually has played a role in my life thus far. Here it is:
I still remember my first ever football game at IWS. I was maybe 5 years old. I sat right under the press-box.To be honest I could not tell you if the Ti-Cats won or lost but I do remember I fell in love with the game of football and the Tiger-Cats.
I still remember playing in my first ever football game, and I just couldn't believe I was playing on the same field as so many CFL legends before me. I also remember that same season ending in heart break as we lost in the championships. I cried right at centre field as the other team celebrated their upset victory.
I also remember overcoming all odds in 2007 as we pulled off a massive upset over the Riders in the finals. I remember staring up at the old scoreboard over top endzone seating as the final seconds ticked off the clock and I remember thinking "...did this really just happen". Then I turned to look at our bench and saw my team swarming the field in jubilation. I raised the championship trophy right on the 50 yard line
I still remember a night game against the Montreal Alouettes at IWS; I couldnt have been older than 8. The referees made a terrible call and set the Alouettes up in field goal position to win the game. In great Hamilton fashion the crowd went insane and an orchestra of 20,000+ fans began screaming "BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT" . It was absolutely deafening in that stadium. And i remember it like it was yesterday; the Als kicker lined up for the game winner and almost everyone in the stadium was still fuming because we thought the refs cost us the game....but then the Ti-Cats blocked the kick attempt and we won the game and IWS absolutely erupted. I get chills just thinking bout it.
I honestly could go on and on but I really never realized how much this piece of crap stadium meant to me. It will likely be the weirdest thing taking the bus home from the Creek and just seeing a big empty hole where IWS used to sit.
Sure IWS2 will look whole lot nicer, and itlll have comfier seats, and the visiting locker room will not be the size of a postage stamp with no hot water....but it just won't be the same.
IWS defines what it means to be from Hamilton. It might not be the prettiest looking place, it might not be the most sanitary, there may be a lot of drunks, and a lot of people may just not care about it all but when I am sitting in IWS with 20,000+ Hamiltonians screaming at the top of my lungs; it feels like home.
To some IWS may be just that; a stadium but for me, it is so much more.