What the TiCats are to us.

My dad told me when I was a baby that I'm a TiCats fan, and I believed him.

The TiCats have always been my Dads team, which is odd considering he is from Montreal. He has lived in Nova Scotia most of his life. I grew up on the military base in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (Dad was in the Navy) but have lived in Hamilton for the last 20 years. When I left home at 19 to find work, I decided I to move here because of the TiCats.

While Dad and I often bumped heads and rarely saw eye to eye, we would often talk at length about our beloved Cats. We watched all the games we could together. They were great times and Dad sure knows alot about football. When Dad talked about the Cats or the CFL I'd hang on every word. I sometimes wonder if we didn't have those games together if we'd have spent any time together at all. The TigerCats gave us a common ground upon which we built a strong foundation and strengthened our bond.

Fast forward 25 years. Let me set the scene.

Its Friday August 20th 2010. The TiCats are playing an important game tonight against an arch rival in hostile territory.

My wife (Tammy) is busy preparing snacks for the game. She is decked out in all her TiCats gear, including her TiCats cowboy hat. She knows how important this game is so she's "pulling out all the stops", she says. She loves the TiCats, but it wasn't always so. When we met, she stated she doesn't like football. I looked at her confused, like I didn't understand the words she had just spoken.

My daughter (Tori), who is 10 and a junior TiCat cheerleader, is decked out in her cheer uniform, pom poms and all, anxiously awaiting kickoff. Her friends think she's weird. She loves football and opted out of a sleepover party because she didnt want to miss this game. She loves to talk about the TiCats, and seems to hang on my every word....

My 17 year old son (Tanner) is walking around in his gold Lumsden jersey. When his girlfriend arrives, he insists she change into one of his TiCats t-shirts. He's worried she'll jinx us if she doesn't. She complies with his request. She states she doesn't like football. Tanner seems confused by what she's said, like he doesn't understand the words. His friends think he's weird. He opted out of god knows how many parties because he didn't want to miss this game. Instead of running the streets on a Friday night, exposed to drugs and booze and peer pressures, he'd rather stay home and talk to his Dad about the TiCats. He seems to hang on my every word...

As the game ends, the noise level is deafening. We are cheering, clapping and high fiving each other. "Winning that game was better than Christmas", Tori exclaims, and I think she means it. Two days later, Tanners girlfriend remarks how much fun it was to watch the game with us, and how tense and exciting it was. She says her heart was pounding at the end. She asks me if she can come with us to the Sept. 11th game that Tori is cheering in. I smile and call my ticket rep.

The TiCats aren't just a football team to us.

well done :thup: My mom and I are diehards and my step dad too.

Great post Alexander

If the tigercats do leave Hamilton,and I hope its a big 'if', it would be like one of my family has left my home. :cry:

we are also father son and grandson all fans

I think Alexander says it very well. What the team means to his family, what the team means to the fans, and what the team means to the City. It’s not just a team, it’s an institution. Well said Alexander!!

I am a 3rd generation TiCat's monster fan and now my 9 and 11 year old girls are into their 4th season as big supporters. The Cats are family in our home and we would all be devastated if they ever left the Hammer - their true one and only home!

Sounds like me, my friends are just beginning to learn to not even bother asking me to hang out when there’s a Ti-Cat game because there is no way in hell i’m going to miss it.

More than a football team indeed. :thup: Great first post, sir. Welcome to the forum.

A great first post, Alexander. I enjoyed reading that very much.

Looking forward to seeing more posts from you.

Thanks to all for the kind words.

I’m glad you enjoyed my story and felt it was important to illustrate how the Cats have become intricately woven into the tapestry of our lives.

The team has become to us, and thousands of others, truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Thats just one example. One voice in a chorus of voices. I’m sure there are thousands of similar stories out there.

Great story

and when my 95 year old mother and all the dear old ladies at St Stanislaus church cheer for their Ticats - thats a more meaningful measurement about the true fabric of the city than any business case spoken…for the same reason we call that little bump that separates the upper and lower town— a mountain…Cities are made of intangibles = which all come together to make character…with all respect to my cricket and soccer loving buddies… a velodrome and soccer academy just dont cut it…

outstanding first post. gotta love fans like that. ti-cat fan since the 66 eastern final. don't ask me why I started to sheer fro the ticats then. they got bombed. growing up, took in a couple of games at iws and was at the grey cup in 96. but living in jasper, alberta from 74-81, you lose touch with things. only 1 tv station-cbc. get this-eskimo games (3.5 hour drive away) were blacked out because the station was off the air. remember driving to hinton (1 hour closer to edm) to watch a game cause it was on ctv. had to drive into bc to watch a western final cause it was in edmonton and it was blacked out. good old days? there's something about small town fans. you fans in the Hammer, rider fans and (you can like both) packer fans. there's a bond there.

A few years ago I went for a job interview in Michigan. The company had a facility up here but asked me to go there for the interview. I met two men, the CEO from Phoenix Arizona, and the President and COO from Chicago. One of the first statements they made, "we see you are from Hamilton, that's where the TigerCats play ".

That's what the TigerCats mean to this city!

Again, thanks to all for the kind words.

Like I said previously, I'm just one voice in a chorus. Nomad said it best when he said the Cats are an institution, and that was the understatement of the year.

I liked Jordans response to my post best. The Cats give kids a fun alternative to some of lifes peer pressures. Lord knows theres worse things Jordan could be doing on a Friday or Saturday than spending his nights as part of our TiCat Nation.