Cup par­ties fad­ing to GREY

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE -

ON Tues­day, Brad Oswald asked Free Press read­ers if the rec room Grey Cup party, com­plete with foot­ball-crazed friends and rel­a­tives, snacks and boozy re­fresh­ments, is still thing in 2015 or a relic from baby boomers’ pasts.

Here’s a sam­pling of re­sponses we re­ceived from news­pa­per and web­site read­ers:

FOR peo­ple still work­ing, the 5 p.m. starts are a killer. The best Grey Cup par­ties I ever at­tended were the ones ei­ther on Satur­day or the ones played in the East that started at noon. Brunch in the morn­ing, game at noon com­plete with ap­pe­tiz­ers and “soda pops” and home by 5 p.m. Per­fect!

The alarm is still go­ing to ring at 4:30 a.m. Take me back in time, please! I READ the Down(stairs), Set, Party, ar­ti­cle in this morn­ing pa­per and grinned.

This brought back mem­o­ries of our home in Bran­don in the late ’70searly ’80s, when my hus­band and I hosted many a Grey Cup party in our rec room for 30 or so friends of like age.

Yes, I re­mem­ber the room fondly; red and black foam­backed car­pet, wood-burn­ing fire­place with a Z-Brick front and a com­mand­ing size bar. Friends came early with their cases of beer and Cold Duck and all were ready to party! There was a job jar — some­one in charge of set­ting up the pool, re­plen­ish­ing the snacks, assem­bling the cheese and kubasa tray, emp­ty­ing the ash­trays, to name a few tasks. When all was said and done, fun was had by all and for sure there we’re a few hang­overs the fol­low­ing day!

I guess there is a time to ev­ery sea­son. Now in our mid-60s, my hus­band and I will watch the game on our own and maybe I’ll do some wings and have chips and dip.

Thanks for the mem­o­ries! I GREW up watch­ing my par­ents host or at­tend large Grey Cup par­ties into the late ’70s with all their friends and neigh­bours. I kind of lost in­ter­est in the CFL un­til my own chil­dren dis­cov­ered the Bombers and we ended up as sea­son-ticket hold­ers in 2005. Now we are the par­ents host­ing the Grey Cup bash ev­ery year for friends and fam­ily and hav­ing a great time do­ing it! GREY Cup is still a thing — its just in hi­ber­na­tion in Win­nipeg un­til the Bombers come back. When they do it will be old-fash­ioned Cup par­ties again! OF course it’s still “a thing.”

As Kiefer Suther­land says in Our League:

“For one week in Novem­ber, it’s the na­tion’s glue.” And it is. THERE’S one other rea­son you didn’t men­tion for house par­ties and the Great Cana­dian Drunk dy­ing off. In times gone by ev­ery­one would go to house par­ties, get loaded and have a great time, and then hop in their cars with­out a thought and drive home.

Thank­fully, we now re­al­ize the deadly con­se­quences that go with that be­hav­iour and it’s no longer so­cially ac­cept­able to do so. AS sea­son-ticket hold­ers, this year we will be in the stands watch­ing the big game, so our friends and fam­ily who aren’t at In­vestors Group Field with us will need to fend for them­selves, but nor­mally we are proud to host the an­nual Grey Cup party for up­wards of 20 close friends and fam­ily ev­ery year. We’ve been get­ting to­gether for a couple of decades now, feast­ing on chili, wings and var­i­ous snacks done up potluck-style.

We’ve got­ten used to hav­ing to find an alternate “home team” to root for (sadly), but as much as we love foot­ball, it’s really all about fam­ily, friends and food any­way, isn’t it? Maybe next year, Bombers! I’VE been to Grey Cup par­ties in re­cent years, but I no longer go be­cause there are in­vari­ably peo­ple not that into the game there who like to yak dur­ing game play.

When the Grey Cup is on, there are only two things I want to do:

1. Fo­cus on the game with un­blink­ing, laser-like in­ten­sity with the sole ex­cep­tion of ac­com­mo­dat­ing item No. 2. 2. Con­sume beer and na­chos. Any­thing else is an in­tru­sion and there­fore un­wel­come. I WILL be watch­ing the game in the fam­ily room with my wife. Most of my friends have given up on the game. If the Bombers had had a de­cent first half of the sea­son I would be sit­ting in the stands even though the Bombers aren’t in it as I would not want to take a chance of miss­ing out see­ing the Bombers. The glory days of the Grey Cup with things like the Grey Cup spe­cial train have long passed. I party less but still long for one more chance to see the Bombers win a cup. THE Grey Cup should be moved to Satur­day night in­stead of com­pet­ing with the NFL. I think you could see the re­turn of the Grey Cup party if you did that. I know per­son­ally I will be watch­ing the NFL un­til the 3 p.m. games are over and then I will turn on the CFL. I have not watched any of the CFL play­off games be­cause they went head to head with the NFL. THE Grey Cup’s move to Sun­day night was about the stu­pid­est move pos­si­ble. Why buck the NFL mar­quee Sun­day night game? Why not let the fans have some fun on Satur­day af­ter­noon, in­stead of think­ing about work on Mon­day morn­ing? Why not con­sider the com­fort of the fans in the stands and the play­ers?… It’s time the CFL gave some pri­or­ity to the fans in­stead of let­ting TV peo­ple call all the shots.

The TV broad­cast might be more en­joy­able if they didn’t play the same six to eight com­mer­cials in ro­ta­tion for the en­tire game. I am not ex­pect­ing Su­per Bowl-type ads, but how many times should one per­son have to see the same com­mer­cial in a three- to four-hour pe­riod? I HAVE not been to a Grey Cup party since around 1970, but I think I know why.

I ar­rived at the func­tion and had to ask who was play­ing. I then had to bor­row money to buy a pool ticket. I won the pool.

While Grey Cup party has not been on my agenda for decades, I will watch the game, or at least chan­nel surf dur­ing com­mer­cials else­where, out of civic duty.

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