Blaise’s first CFL games

On Blaise’s 10th birthday, I took him to his first football game. As we were walking into the stadium I learned it was also his first time in a stadium too! The first 15 minutes of the game were focused on catching a mini-football. Turns out we could have gotten a half dozen of them if we wanted – I tossed several further up the crowd (we were in row 10) during the game.

The Toronto Argonauts were visiting the Calgary Stampeders – a rematch of the 100th Grey Cup two years ago. Blaise was quite interested in the game and I was pleased with how well he followed the ball and scoring. We aren’t big sports fans and when I do catch a CFL game on TV, he usually doesn’t watch for longer than 5 or 10 minutes.

The game was very slow as it included many TV breaks and there was a flag on nearly ever single play and four injuries. It was exciting on our end of the field as four of the five touchdowns were scored there. Calgary managed to pull off a victory with only 3 points in the second half.

On Thursday night, Blaise and I took the metro to McGill Station and walked up the hill to Percival Molson Stadium to watch the Alouettes take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It was $2 hotdog night, so we picked up a few of those on the way to our seats and stopped in at the shop for Blaise to buy an Alouettes cap.

I didn’t know that our cheap seats in row 2 in the end zone were in the “make noise” section. All game long between plays and during TV breaks (lots of those), two or three people had us leading the cheers for the rest of the crowd.

The stadium here is already loud and personal; it only seats 25,000.

The game itself was quite tight. There was never more than a 4 point spread and the home team ultimately won 17-13. At one point the Alouettes were on the 1 yard line and spent three downs trying the same hand-off-dive into the end zone and failed each time. The Als snatched a few interceptions and fumbles giving them a few more chances.

The sight line from the end of the field is really amazing when the players are there, but not super when they are at the other end. We did watch both touch downs happen right in front of us which was terrific and the boosters were really diligent in ducking down during the plays so we wouldn’t miss anything. For the final quarter, Blaise and I snuck up to the second to last row at centre field to get a different view of the game. He liked that.

On the walk out of the stadium and during the 40 minute commute on the subway, Blaise thanked me for taking him to the games. There will be many more.

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