I am a reporter for OpenFile Hamilton and we are looking into the history of season seat holders.
Have your Ticat season tickets been in your family forever? Are you sitting in the same seats your parents did or maybe even your grandparents?
Do you know who sat in your seats before you or what their history is?
We want to hear your stories about the spot where you rest your seat during Ivor Wynne Stadium.
If you are interested in sharing your story, head on over to: http://bit.ly/kR54lF or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing spectacular, but I went to a pre-season game with my parents and grandmother in 2006 that we got for free and I didn’t even want to go.But I went anyways and wouldn’t you know the CFL game was the greatest thing I had ever seen.Ever since then i’ve been enjoying my season tickets to the max year after year.
[i]We are the season seats of Mark. It was five, maybe six years ago (hey, we're wood... don't expect us to be fully numerate) that my buddies and I were slapped down across some open spaces where some other knotheads used to rest. Next thing we knew we were getting slapped with yellow paint and a few days later some kid with a magic marker came by and wrote somethings on us at intervals down our length. That year Mark came.
We serve Mark now, and his wife or son mostly, and then a bunch of people who just seem to come and go and never return. We're used to his seat cushions (we're so thankful that he uses them) and also thankful that he doesn't spill a lot of stuff on us.
We're called "cheap seats" but to Mark and the buddies around us in Section 30 we'll always be.... Family.[/i]
And that's the story of our season's seats.
Well...my buddy invited me to a Ti-Cat game. I had been years before, but I wasn't as big into sports back then (even though I played football in highschool for Westmount) so it had been my first time in a while. However sometime around 2006-07 I got back into sports thanks to the UFC. So I went to the game with him, and then ended up going to a couple more games and then decided that next year I'd buy season tickets. Pretty much from then, I've been buying them since.
It all started with a group of childhood friends growing up together, along the way our activities and interests evolved.
Organized football was the start for us young lads back in 78 and of course interest in the Tiger Cats was always great from the tradition our parents instilled in us. The majority of us would go down to Ivor Wynne Stadium before each Football game and sell souvenir programs. After the first quarter we could cash in our sales and collect our profits but the biggest profit was free admission for the remainder of the football game. We did this for many years until we started purchasing our own tickets for the games.
Along the way you make more friends and acquaintances and tend to hang around everyone with the same interests which of course for us were the Cats so in 95 a group of us decided to purchase season tickets. We thought it was great but we wanted to be closer to the team and all the diehard fans, which have held season tickets for many years. So the next year we took advantage of a vacancy and purchased our tickets in box J behind the player bench. As time went on, our group being very vocal and always having a good time became friends and well known to the other fans around us. Upon meeting people in passing they would always greet us, as “hey there are the boys?. So back when our team was in financial trouble and they needed support and ticket sales one of our boys Jason came up with an idea to have t-shirts made up and to revive the old hard hat tradition from the past for our group to spark up some fan interest and hope others would follow with similar ideas. The name was derived from always being called “the boys? and our seats were in box J so were born the BOX J BOYS. Along the way we have improvised the hard hats and added eye catching Kilts, bearing the closest to our teams colours. Every year the slogan on the back of our T-shirts changes but it always relates to the game or the team.
We have had a few additions to our group along the way and The BOX J BOY family is certainly extending everyday. We support Grey Cup every year and always attend if our team is there or not. CFL is one of the most entertaining sports in the world and probably one of the most affordable to attend, too bad many Canadians let it go unnoticed. Then there are the true CFL die hard fans which are a different breed of there own, from east to west all CFL fans share a passion and camaraderie that cannot be explained but through all the years of the league struggling has made the bond amongst CFL fans stronger.
Our main goal as the BOX J BOYS is to support our team the Tiger Cats and the great league they play in the CFL and hopefully create some interest so that others may become CFL supporters or become more involved if they already do support the league.
This is one thing left that we have Canada that is truly Canadian and it is ours to enjoy.
Have you ever wondered what stories the benches at Ivor Wynne would tell if they could talk? This is the tale an aisle seat in the lower half of section 22 would spin...
Do you remember that old movie and TV series, "The Odd Couple"? It was about two roommates; one was neat, the other was messy. Well, I'm one half of an Odd Couple of a different sort.
I have seen many people come and go over the years, but my yarn goes back to 2008. sigh I remember like it was yesterday. It started at the home opener that season against Montréal. The normal people who frequent around me had returned to their usual roost; however, I was bestowed the honour of having two new people sit on me and the spot beside me. These two were unlike any other. They had purchased flex packs that season and I would see them 4 more times during that 2008 campaign, but what made them unique was they were attending a Hamilton-Montréal game; yet, at the time, they were not only season ticket holders for our much despised rivals down the Queen Elizabeth Way, but residents of the eastern stretches of that same burg.
The buzz I heard was these two people were upset with the perceived notion that those said rivals had "rolled over and played dead" when a team from a different pro football league decided to expand their territory and claim the rival's stadium as a sporadic home. Nevertheless, these two were willing to make the 2 hour trek on the GO Train and Bus to Hamilton to cheer on what would become their new "home" team.
The next year, the guy in the seat beside me would relocate to a more cost-effective locale in section 30, but the one in my perch would remain and upgraded his seats to the full season; where he has remained since. This is his 3rd year as a full-season seat holder, and those other fans around him have welcomed him with open arms; almost as if he's one of the regulars. Sure, he's missed the odd game whether it be to financial hardships or, in the case of the pre-season game this year, feeling under the weather, but I've grown accustomed to the big 6'3" lug who lives 55 miles away. That's why it always brings a smile to my face whenever I see that black #71 jersey with the name "Dief" on the back lumber down the stairs to take his place amongst the avid Ti-Cat supporters.
They'll be tearing the place down in a couple of years and building it back up anew. I don't know how I will be reconstructed during that project, but until that day comes, I will cherish the moments I have with "Dief" with a solomn hope and prayer that when I'm back after my makeover, the two of us will be reunited once more.