November 30, 2015


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Snake in the grass... er, Astroturf

In this gig, there are days when you cover breaking news. And there are days when you cover features.

But sometimes, if you’re lucky, there are other days: in particular, days when you feel like you’re stuck in an issue from The Onion and can’t escape.

That was the case for this humble reporter yesterday, when I was asked to cover the official demise of the Beer Cup Snake. Apologies in advance if I offend anyone who takes this plastic monstrosity’s life or death with the utmost gravity, but I’ll be blunt: while Blue Bombers president Jim Bell was holding a brief press conference to announce the snake’s ban, I couldn’t stop smothering laughter.

It started, for me, when Bell so firmly intoned that any "beer snakes gaining momentum" will be axed. It continued when he explained that stadium staff needed to "find a way to discontinue the beer snake," that some fans had been hit in the ear (I kept hearing Tyler Durden in my head) and that despite the buzz over the snake this week, the "beer snake initiative" is new to Bomber brass.

Beer. Snake. Initiative.

If this isn’t the funniest thing you’ve heard a mature man in a suit say since the original rumours on the Internets, then I guess we just come from different funny planets. This should have been satire, but appeared – for all intents and purposes – serious.

Why did Bomber brass call a press conference about this? Why not just quietly crack down on it under whichever of their existing security policies they feel it breaches?

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they were playing with us. But if so, nary a twitch of Jim Bell’s moustache gave it away.

No matter. I predict that at the next home game, we shall see a Protest Snake rising from the ashes. Perhaps the folks over at Save The Beer Cup Snake shall hold a rally, and encircle the Blue Bombers administration office with a beer cup snake so long and firm that it shall block all entry or exit.

Now that would be inspiring.

In the mean time, let’s all enjoy basking in the glow of what has to be one of the most ridiculous headline-news stories to come out of Winnipeg in at least a month.

Let me put it this way: never mind crime or cold, we are at least a little bit lucky to live somewhere where life is good enough that a beer cup snake makes headlines on every major media outlet two days in a row.

Cheers to all who were entertained by the saga.

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