Tuesday, November 22, 2005

42 Years Ago Today

In memory of a flawed, great man from a sadly brief era when being U.S. President meant chutzpah.

Vancouver - Some Olympic City That!

Those of my readership who know my not so small prejudices shall be unsurprised by my saying that I have very little use for the city of Vancouver or for the economic sink-hole otherwise known as the 2010 Olympics. Thus, it raised my always wry eyebrows and tickles my always chagrined grin to hear on CBC this morning (Tuesday, Nov 22) that disgruntled Lions football fans are avidly peddling their Grey Cup seats just because the Leos came up short against Edmonton in Sunday’s semi-final.

And this parochial, bloated backwater is going to play host to the world’s premier sporting spectacle!

Time was that that it mattered not a whit to local demand for seats if the home team happened to make it to the Grey Cup. Good thing too, because at least during the heyday of the 1950s and on to 1967, the site alternated just between the old CNE Stadium in Hogtown and Empire Stadium in Vancouver without either city making it once to the fall classic. Indeed, between 1952 when Toronto won in Toronto and 1972 when the Ticats triumphed in a rare Hamilton-based Grey Cup, no home town team ever made it all the way. Impact on ticket sales and local attendance? Zero.
The event was an institution not much short of Christmas and probably equal to or exceeding every other special occasion in this country.

Against this background, today’s Lotus-land whiners show just how classy Vancouver isn’t as a venue for top flight sports events. What are they going to do come 2010 if local boys and girls aren’t well represented at the Winter Olympics?

Of course, the real laugh is that this fair-weather fealty to the home team is directed to a bunch of not-quite-good-enough-for-the-NFLers who, by and large aren’t from Vancouver, B.C. or even Canada. Today, the Grey Cup is little more than a chance to cheer the best second stringers from Chattanooga Collegiate on against the undrafted heroes from Sam Houston State College. And I’ll bet ya' an unsold ticket (they come cheap in Vancouver) that most of the fallen heroes have scooted on back to Des Moines or Lubbock from where next Sunday they will most definitely not be watching what used to be Canada’s premier sports event.