Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/9/2012 (1398 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Let's be honest here. When there are eight teams (and occasionally nine) in the Canadian Football League, and one franchise hasn't won a championship in 22 years, there are obviously strange forces at work.
Professional athletes can be a very superstitious bunch, and along these lines, it would be fair to say the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been cursed for over two decades now.
I don't know what or how it happened, I don't know who offended the gods of football that brought this scourge to our doorstep, but I do know an opportunity has arisen to do something about it that is just as significant as the return of Buck Pierce to the helm of a maligned offence.
In case you missed the presser, the 100th Grey Cup train started steaming for Toronto some time ago, stopping in cities along the way to share the coveted trophy in various ways with various groups of people. I'm not sure of the rationale behind my involvement, whether I got the sympathy vote for losing three of them, or the commissioner thought it would be funny to finally see me touch the holy grail of Canadian football, but the Grey Cup will be in my possession for 90 minutes, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., on Oct. 5.
While the idea of a fake photo shoot on Portage and Main -- hoisting the cup in the back of my truck with Milt Stegall -- initially crossed my mind, that is a surefire way to extend this drought to a half century. This visit and opportunity needs to be about extinguishing the allergic reaction this prize has to the city of Winnipeg, while taking the necessary precautions to ensure it doesn't get any worse.
Anyone that knows anything about Grey Cup legend and lore, knows it is forbidden for an active player to touch the trophy unless he has won it. I am no longer an active player, and I sure as hell didn't ever win it. But just to be sure, I have already decided I will be wearing gloves for the entire visit.
This is where you come in.
A TSN camera will be with the Grey Cup and me for the entirety of this 90-minute visit to document and possibly package something for Sportscentre later that night. I want some ideas from you as to what we should do with it to dispel and eradicate this longstanding curse.
Kenny Ploen played in six Grey Cups and won four of them, so maybe I should just bring the Grey Cup to his house and have him sit and talk to it for an hour and a half, psychologist style, to find out why it harbours so much resentment against the city. Or maybe I should take it to Milt Stegall Drive, and have a priest bless it with holy water while Chris Walby drinks from it one more time.
Tell me I'm wrong, but I also like the idea of an exorcism and exercise. If you know of a priest that could perform an exorcism on the cup -- and then maybe some voodoo ceremony to pass this curse on to the Riders -- before I take it to my gym and work out my frustrations with it, you should definitely get in touch with me.
A visit to a local restaurant or community centre is par for the course for a championship trophy visit, or how about I take the cup to Investors Group Field and use a backhoe to bury it in the end zone for an hour so it bonds with the earth in Manitoba? Kind of like the loonie in the ice thing that is always done for Team Canada in the Olympics.
Or maybe I should take some water from The Forks, where the two rivers converge, just like Budweiser did with the Winnipeg Jets fans' brew when they poured it into the ice at the MTS Centre prior to the first game played there. Since Bombers fans enjoy their beer, maybe we could pour some of this water out of the Grey Cup on the field at IGF, and send the rest to Labatt to brew some Labatt Fan Blue.
You have 10 days to drop me a tweet, or facebook message me and voice your opinion as to what you feel the most productive use of the Grey Cup should be to end this jinx, and hopefully return this city to the days when this trophy made its home here 10 times.
Doug Brown, once a hard-hitting defensive lineman and frequently a hard-hitting columnist, appears Tuesdays and game days in the Free Press.