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Cup crazy

Jason Unrau
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Dec 02/05) - It was East vs. West in the 93rd Grey Cup game Sunday and fans - both Montreal and Edmonton - turned out at the Legion to show their Canadian Football League spirit.

"When you don't watch a football game all year, it's really for the sport of it all," said Don Craik before the kickoff.

As this year's CFL championship was played under the climate-controlled dome of B.C. Place, many of the football faithful in the climate controlled Legion harkened back to Grey Cups past, in which thick fog or driving snow tested the mettle of competitors.

"Doesn't matter who wins the toss 'cause there's no wind," called a voice above the political commentary as Prime Minister Paul Martin strode onto the field to make the official coin toss. Add some cynical Canadian voters to the mix and one supposes "election" could be substituted "toss" to sum up the general public's sentiment about going to the polls early next year to elect a new government.

And speaking of politics - in particular Martin's approval rating - if the PM's could have been gauged by his reception at B.C. Place maybe he'd prefer a coin toss to a vote (the fact Montreal won the toss certainly didn't boost his approval rating among Edmonton fans at the Legion).

Part of the pregame show included sightings of Premier Joe Handley sitting with Ralph Klein.

"Hey look, it's Handley," everybody pointed out to everybody else. Well, at least we can recognize our own premier, even if it was in the relative pre-game sobriety.

Anyways, enough about politics. There was a game to be watched, beer to be had and great food cooking in the kitchen. "The food," said Eloise Peacey when asked who she was rooting for while checking cabbage rolls baking in the oven. "I'm a golf fan and I don't think we'll have a golf-Sunday anytime soon, not unless the golf course gets built."

Following a surprise first half that had the slightly favoured Montreal team trailing the Eskimos 10-1, some great intermission eats and a minor disagreement over whether door prizes would be awarded during the Black Eyed Peas half-time concert or after, Legion patrons, and for that matter football fans across this great land, were treated to a spectacular finale that ended in the Eskimos' 38-35 overtime victory.

"It's too bad we don't get a Super Bowl like this once in a while," remarked Gary Dahlseide before heading home.

While he didn't miss this year's CFL barnburner, he did miss out on a festive moment of Grey Cup table dancing. But, there's always next year.