Sec 8's beer-addled report from Edmontown - read at own risk

OK, the “determined to see the Cats score an offensive TD, no matter how far I have to travel” tour has been aborted with the TDs last week. But the "see T Vaughn catch his thousandth is his native habitat, coupled with the get J Lumsden’s autograph for New World Order tour is well in swing.

Arrived in Edmonton, checked into the hotel, turned on the tube to immediately hear some chirpy news girl on live remote say “The Eskimos host the Tiger Cats tomorrow . Hamilton has had a tough start to the season, so expect the Eskimos to have no problem with this one”. Guess they haven’t noticed the Esks have had “tough start” of their own this year.

By coincidence, staying in the hotel where the Ticats, and the staff of Mariah Carey and Busta Rhymes are staying. Ticats everywhere - in the elevators, in the mall, in the restaurant, looking pretty relaxed … go Cats. And guys with 80 pounds of gold chains around they necks - go Busta.

Lots of beers later … these gosh-darned Esk fans EXPECT to win … Cats fans have no idea. They EXPECT to win. Not hope to win. Not want to win. EXPECT to win! Every game. The beer being cold isn’t enough for these people. Sad. Because the beer, like the temp here, is COLD.

Sec8, reporting from Edmonton, Oilberta. Out. (Red eye out tomorrow after game, check in Sat for semi-related-to-football game report, if you’re so inclined.)

have a good time man!!!!!!!!!
wear our colours with pride.

Right on, Bro' !!!

Keep the reports coming and have a GREAT time in Commonwealth. :rockin:

Way to Go Sec 8 Have a good time and cheer them on to a WIN! :rockin:

LOL...now this is the kind of forum I like.

Looking forward to the update.

Ticats everywhere you say ... let us know if you bump into Khalil Hill.

nice nice man! have a good one! n keep us informed! Oski-Wee-Wee :slight_smile:

OK, here goes... haven't read anything else since I've been back, so excuse me if I tread on already covered ground. And of course you saw it on TV, with commentary and replay, so there's nothing about the game I can tell you that you didn't see. So I'll focus on the rest of it...

I like the mix of public transit and football. In Edmonton, most people take the LRT (a train) to the stadium, so you're on a train that gradually fills to capacity with fans, and it's a good atmosphere builder. Plus taking the train allows you to drink more. I guess we've got the Barton bus...

This goes without saying, but Edmontonians are, on the whole, extraordinarily good people. They remind me of Hamiltonians, just with bigger mustaches and more money. And even if they hate Ontario, they don't tell you that every chance they get like some Calgarians do. My work/travel itinerary didn't allow me to mingle much before and after the game, but everyone was real decent. Of course, I was wearing only a Ticat cap and not a fun-fur tiger suit like a guy sitting near me.

A few dozen times during the night, Esks fans (I assume seeing my Ticat hat) said, not to me but in a voice louder than the conversation they were having "Edmonton traded the wrong QB to Hamilton". When I pointed out that Maas has struggled as well, a few said they figured that you couldn't compare the two, because Maas has no one to throw to in Hamilton while Ray has a blue chip corps. Well, they do have Tucker but...

Lots of people kinda looked at me like you would a cat in the mall, as in, "hmmm, a Ticat fan, wonder what that is doing here" or like you would a rare breed of dog on the street, as in "hmmm a Ticat fan, I know they exist but it not's something I've ever seen - wonder if I should point it out to the kids".

Decent enough atmosphere at the game - not great like I remember, but good enough. Stadium looked to be about 60% full - they announced 36K+, but I don't know. A few thousand fans stand in the wide aisle behind the end zone the whole game, near the beer window, so maybe if they were in seats...

As I approached the stadium, a guy walked up and asked me if I needed a single - I said yes, so he gave me one - free. So good so far!

Outside the stadium, a local radio station was giving away free bottles of water, which you could then bring into the game. Yes Woody, you heard that right - outside water. No pat down, no cavity search, you could just walk right in waving your free water. Probably because...

When you walk through the gates, the first thing you see is a wall of beer. Dozens of people wearing big trays with thirty or so cups of draft in them. Beer as far as the eye could see - no variety, just standard ball game beer, $4.75 a small draft, coldish and waiting to be consumed.

Grabbed a dog and beer, went to my free seat, surprised to find it was in the second row from the field, around the twenty yard line. Cool.
Well, not totally cool because...

Commonwealth is a decent place to watch a game, but the running track around the outside gives the first seven or eight rows Skydome-like sightlines. Five or six feet above the turf (grass there) and fifty or so feet from the field. And if you've got fifty feet of empty space between the fans and the field, the game day experience people are gonna fill it with dog and pony shows. There's the fifty or sixty co-ed collegiate-type cheerleaders. Man, do I not like collegiate-style cheerleaders. Yeah, make a freaking human pyramid between me and the game, hold up three foot by three foot pieces of cardboard with the word GO on it, fake-smile like hell, and see how long you can hold that pose. But do it after the game. Please. Then there is the two mascots - well, at least the football-shaped guy made me chuckle at first. Firemen and kids throwing footballs. Miscellaneous people of unknown purpose looking for and waving at their friends in the stands. Oh, and the contest winners in the hot tub - OK, admittedly it was kind of good when the young women first stripped down, especially the one in the bikini, but you know what happens when a half dozen twenty-something girls in bathing suits and cowboy hats drink waaaay too much over a course of three hours - that's right, they forget it's not them you're there to see and hear. There's those advertisement things that ring the field. Then the players, the coaches (the bench is at the sidelines), the injured players in street clothes, various other personel, the benches themselves, the gatorade table, and so on and so on. All between you and the field. I'm pretty sure there was a game going on behind all that, but I wasn't always sure. I'm not really as bitter about any of this as I might sound, and I could have moved and sat anywhere, but hey, I was on assignment. And speaking of Gatorade...

I was pleased to see AJ Gass just play a solid, clean football game. Really. I considered him to be a dirty player and chest-thumping moron for years, but I sat behind the Edmonton bench and saw no hint of that last night. He was all business, focused, just went out and played. Two thumbs up for him. But man, does that dude drink a lot of Gatorade - never seen anything like it. Gatorade every time he's off the field, gatorade brought onto the field between plays - he needs one of those novelty beerhat helmets with a couple of gatorate bottles strapped to the top. Either he'd sweat profusely in a freezer or he's got a hollow leg.

Got to witness the Vaughn 1000th catch, which I'd hoped for. And, like I hoped, it was on a big play, making it extra good. It was announced to the crowd, got a semi-standing ovation, and the game went on.

Random game thoughts ... Hats off to the O-line for playing real hard - they were pushed around a bit but played HARD. Nice start for Lumsden - fun to watch him bounce off tacklers and keep running. Peterson - want to not like the guy because of the easy ones he drops, but got to give him credit - he's been our best rec this year. Morreale - like the way he steps up when someone needs to. Loved the reverse to Ralph, and the noise in the stands from the people that came expecting Ralph to cower in fear after last week. Maas - thank dog, I really, really, really wanted to believe that he'd get it together and the team as a whole would look more like what we thought we had as a result. Boreham - well, a mixed bag as usual, but he hit the important one when all the pressure was on.

Love to see guys get up with a big clump of real grass and muck stuck to shoulder pads or face mask - well, that's not really about the game.

With a few minutes left, went to the other side of the stadium, nearest the LRT, so I could bolt after and make it to the airport. Unlike skydome, stands are on a decent slope, so sightlines MUCH better up high - just like home in my lofty perch at IW. But, given what was happening on the field, a few in the crowd were a bit more surly over there. Standing at the top of the aisle, I felt a bit more like a mouse seeing a cat in a mall. After Boreham's winning kick, a drunk guy walking by (purposely?) stomped on my toe as he walked past. I was wearing boots, so he just bounced off, but I figured it was time to go. Missed the last seventeen seconds and the single. Everyone on the train platform and train were good, asking me if I was from Hamilton, wishing me well, telling me how much the Eskimos Svck.

Re: my previous comments about Eskimos and winning. Talking in a pub the night before to some solid fans, reading the local paper, and listening to sports radio, I get a sense that Esk fans have been spoiled by success. They don't expect to lose, they haven't ever lost, and maybe they don't know how to lose. Not saying that's all bad, but it's so different from Hamilton and this forum. They talk about the guys on the wall of fame and how these guys (coach and RR mostly, but other guys too) are not worthy of wearing the Green and Gold. An interesting mix of deep pride in being an Edmontonian, a strong connection between city and team, and frustration about being a fan of a team that is actually going to miss the playoffs like other teams do. But then, as stand up as I found all that, the vibe on game day was a bit different - they too have lots of fans that just want to act out and scream that the team svcks, and the coach f-in svcks, and the QB svcks, and anything else that pops into their mind svcks.

Anyway, to the airport and home... well, not quite. You know how, sometimes, in some cicles, as a grown man wearing CFL gear you feel that people are looking at you like you're into monster trucks or wrestling or something (not that's there anything...). Well, I never got that feeling anywhere in Edmonton, except at the airport. Big time - aw, who cares.

If you got this far, well, damn, thanks for stickin in there. Hope it was worth a read. Good trip, good win, good day. Go Cats.

Hey, I was just thinkin - can I be the new Pigskin Pete? I'm not really one for acting out - I just kind of sit there and watch - and sometimes I drink too much, but I'm old and I'll go to away games on my own dime.

Great read. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you had a good time and that you saw us win.

It's been a while since I read a whole post here. Glad I picked this one. Thanks!

The whole attitude of people in the West is very different from S. Ontario. The connection to community is real, not pleaded for, or expected, or marketed to, or manufactured. You see this in many ways, including with the connection of people to their football and hockey teams. Heck, even with their junior hockey teams.

One thing I can say is that I have never found a similar experience to what you get in the stands at Ivor Wynne. The sightlines, the stale beer smell slightly tinged with particulate matter, the conversations in the stands, the low humming roar of the crowd (be it 12K or 25K) and the committment to the team by the long term fans.

Great report sec8since72!! You are a true fan and I enjoyed your post greatly! :thup:

Maybe we could have 3 Pigskin Pete's one for the North Side, one for the South Side and one for the Endzone. You can be the South side since that's where I sit and Lenny and 00Fan can divide up the endzone and the North side :smiley:

I was wearing only a Ticat cap and not a fun-fur tiger suit like a guy sitting near me.
You mean this guy? [url]http://www.edmontonsun.com/PhotoGalleries/EskTiCats/2006/09/22/1883531.html#top[/url]

I was sitting in Section T row 10 on the South 54 yard line right behind the Ti-Cat bench. This is right in the middle of a lot of season ticket holders. The one thing I heard over and over last night was they are completely fed up with Maciocia. However on the drive home, I was listening to the post game show on 630 CHED and Hugh Campbell said a number of times there is no way Maciocia's job is in jeopardy this year or even next year.

Yea, thad't be the guy. Looking at the pic, I'm glad I went with the more low-key Ticat cap look - that finger in the nostril move looks painful.

There is one very important thing that happened at the game that has not been mentioned and I'm sure was not televised.

During half time there was a short football game between two peewee teams. Their game was still being played when the Ti-Cats came out of the locker room. Tay Cody was the first one along and patted some of the kids on their helmets as he passed by. I thought that was great. As the rest of the Ti-Cats approached the kids almost all of them made some sort of contact with the kids. Then Rob Hitchcock came through and he stopped and talked to some of the kids for a minute or so. That must have been absolutely awesome for those kids. Then Coach Lancaster approached the kids and did the same as Hitch. I could see by the look on the peewee coaches face that he was heaven when the Little General took the time for the kids.

GREAT ON YOU GUYS!!! After that you truly deserved to win.

I never did look across the field to see if the Eskimos were doing the same thing. I'm sure they did, but I didn't see it.

Good point - a few of the Esks were jogging along the sidelines near where the kids were playing. At one point, one of the kids ran wide toward the sideline. One of the Esks stopped a few feet from him and yelled encouragement. Unfortunately it seemed to rattle the kid, who slowed down and was gang-tackled. But he meant well.

Good afteroon all.. Sec8, I went to that game too and had the exact OPPOSITE experience you did, by the sound of it.

In fact, I think Edmonton may have the highest proportion of a-hole fans in the league.

Me, my brother and our girlfriends went to the game, me and my girl all decked out in Hamilton gear (I'm even wearing a Ti-Cats helmet). In front of us are 3 nice people who made the trek from Hamilton to be there.

About halfway through the 2nd quarter, people started throwing stuff at us. Twizzlers, popcorn, etc.. then bigger stuff (you know those free water bottles? yeah, they were throwing those at us). My brother's girlfriend got hit square in the head with a cup of $4.75 beer. I guess they're stupid as well as rude.

We finally found out who was doing it.. about 5 or 6 19-20 year old punks 8 rows behind us. We told security and they got a warning, but that's all.. they kept throwing stuff. I told them to meet us outside, but they snuck out after Boreham's winning kick. Figures. We found out afterwards from one of the Eskimo fans that there were actually 2 other groups of people throwing things.

The next day we stopped by west-Edmonton mall to do some shopping and I wore my jersey there too.. some guy in Champs started in on how embarrassed I should be to wear that and how Edmonton has won more Grey Cups than Hamilton (wtf? He said we only won 5, and when I corrected him he called me a moron), and how "at least Edmonton has a stadium" (again, wtf? It wasn't built for football like Ivor Wynne was).

We left the store with red hot blood, still hearing the Ticats s*ck from people who obviously didn't see the game.. Thought we better just get out of town before we got in a fight.

We've never been treated as badly as we are in Edmonton. It's disgusting.

Although you are going to find a-holes anywhere you go your statements really surprises me.

I have been to every stadium in the CFL, including Frank Clair and Olympic Stadium and I have found that the Eskimo fans are the most fun loving, friendly and gracious fans around. (Winnipeg fans being the worst. But that’s another story.)

I have lived in Alberta for the past 13 years and in Edmonton for the past 4 months and have never come across anything like you did. I even have a Ti-Cat license plate on my vehicle. Of course I do stay away from WEM like the plague, even though I live two blocks from it. The only establishments worth while in there are Hooters and Earls. (in that order)

We lived there from 1995-2000 and attended lots of games. Every time the 'Cats were in town we would go all decked out and my son would carry a big 'Cat flag.
We were usually applauded by the Eskimo fans that we met so this doesn't reflect our experience. Bad apples everywhere. I think.