This Sunday is Grey Cup Day. In 2014 the Calgary Stampeders hold the Grey Cup aloft after their victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Enthusiasm got the better of them and they broke the cup-since repaired of course.

This Sunday is Grey Cup football day in Canada. In 2014 the Calgary Stampeders hold the Grey Cup aloft after their victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Enthusiasm got the better of them and they broke the cup-since repaired of course.
Photo Credit: Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

Canada’s premier football event: The Grey Cup!

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All this weekend a huge number of parties and celebrations have been going on in the western city of Winnipeg Manitoba.

Today is marks the 103rd edition of the final match up and culmination of the Canadian Football League (CFL) season.

They’re playing for the coveted “Grey Cup”.

Edmonton Eskimos' quarterback Mike Reilly, left, is sacked by Calgary Stampeders' Keon Raymond during a game on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Reilly has put up some pretty impressive numbers since returning to action for his Eskimos. A minor detail that many will miss, Canadian footballs hae the white stripes on them, American footblls do not (also ours are inflated properly ;-)
Edmonton Eskimos’ quarterback Mike Reilly, left, is sacked by Calgary Stampeders’ Keon Raymond during a game on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Many sports journalists feel the Canadian version is superior to American football, with three downs and a wider field making it more exciting to watch. A minor detail that many will miss, Canadian footballs have the white stripes on them, American footballs do not (*also ours are inflated properly 😉 © Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Herb Zurkowsky is a sports journalist for the Montreal Gazette newspaper and follows the CFL and boxing.

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Montreal Gazette sports journalist Herb Zurkosky.
Respected Montreal Gazette sports journalist and CFL fan Herb Zurkosky. © twitter

Grey cup festival 

Unlike the US and elsewhere, most of the finals are played on open fields, and Winnipeg is not known to be warm at this time of year. Indeed, it holds the record for the coldest Grey Cup game in 1991 when temperature at kickoff was -18C.

There have been games where wind chills were even colder such as 2010 in Regina, where temps combined with wind chill during practices leading up to the game were around -25C.

Edmonton Eskimos fans warmly dressed for the western semi-final in Calgary on Nov 16 2014. Canadians show they are true fans, and hardy, temperature in the minus teens won't sto them from coming out to support the game
Edmonton Eskimos fans warmly dressed for the western semi-final in Calgary on Nov 16 2014. Canadians show they are true fans, and hardy, temperature in the minus teens won’t sto them from coming out to support the game © DG TSANG twitter via CBC

Luckily it warmed up somewhat for the actual game a few days later to around zero, and wind chill of a balmy -5.

In Winnipeg, McMahon stadium recorded -21C and heavy snow during the match in 1993.

Sideline heaters are de rigeur at Canadian Grey cups played in outdoor stadiums. this year in Winnipeg however, it could be actually above zero..a rare occurence for a Gry Cup in McMahon Stadium, Winnipeg
Sideline heaters are de rigeur at Canadian Grey cups played in outdoor stadiums. this year in Winnipeg however, it could be actually above zero..a rare occurence for a Gry Cup in McMahon Stadium, Winnipeg © Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

This year the temperatures at game time are expected to actually be above zero, but wind gusts could also be a factor from 30 to 50 kmph.

But the Grey Cup goes on no matter what the weather and this year Canada’s premier football event features the Edmonton Eskimos of the western division facing the Ottawa RedBlacks of the east.

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One comment on “Canada’s premier football event: The Grey Cup!
  1. Avatar Jim Cowan ( Benalbanach ) says:

    Give the TV rights back to the CBC . The babble of commentary voiced over the top of the actual play by play was irritating and completely unnecessary.