Looking down from the top of Evergreen Place with a chicken wing in one hand and pizza slice in the other, I could see the streets of Osborne Village were deserted on Grey Cup Day because we were all hunkered down in front of our flat screens for the Grand National Game, live from Regina.
With the Roughriders and their 45,000-strong Rider Nation so drastically dominating the Ti-Cats, we had to turn to the halftime show to sustain our interest. And our prairie cousins in Saskatchewan did us proud.
Can you possibly get more Canadian than the show at this year’s Grey Cup? Regina’s decision to try not to compete with some Hollywood/Broadway-style extravaganza like the Super Bowl was a wise one.
There was something special about the stripped-down stage, and using nationally but not internationally recognized pop band Hedley (from Abbotsford, B.C.).
They even set up a motocross jump over the stage and you just had to know it would be a snowmobile doing the theatrics. While some people might cringe at putting on a show that belonged more in community theatre than at such a prestigious event as the Grey Cup, I was quietly proud.
I truly wonder if American audiences who watched our national football championship on satellites or the Internet didn’t long for a better day. The show put on by the football faithful in Regina was so pure and sincere, it had to have Yankees yearning for the time when all the seats for their big show weren’t bought up by CEOs who could afford the five grand it costs for tickets in the end zone.
The world is changing and it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the neighbours, especially when you live next door to the most powerful nation on Earth.
You don’t compete with them by trying to out-perform them, you show them up by being different, unique and true to your roots.
Don Marks is a community correspondent for Osborne Village. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org