Looking for something to do in Ottawa tonight?
I previously wrote about my love for the Olympics and my earliest memories watching the games, but the sport that captured my fanatic heart isn’t one that’s ever been to the Olympics. My parents were HUGE football fans (CFL thankyouverymuch), they had Ottawa Rough Rider season tickets before I was born (South Side all the way!), they squished me in to their seats when I was small and then as I got older (like say 7) they unleashed me on the end zones with my brother (and maybe sister) in tow. I had my own season tickets in high school and Bill and I had tickets right up to the bitter end, and even during the Renegades revival.
Their passion for the game was so great that the year before my father died of stomach cancer he was in his seat watching the Winnipeg Bluebombers beat the BC Lions at the Grey Cup game…one month after having his stomach removed. The family love affair for football paid off for the team, both my brother and sister had tickets in the South Side as well. And when Ottawa gets their act together and gets that stadium built we’ll be there with V cheering the new team on.
I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with anything today. Bear with me, it’ll all make sense in a second. One of my coolest memories was lining up at the airport in 1981 after Ottawa’s heartbreaking Grey Cup loss to the Edmonton Eskimos. We were there to cheer on the returning players, and to thank them for a hell of a game and to say goodbye to Tony Gabriel. [Now this is totally off-topic: We saw many of the players there that day, but the one and only autograph we all got (my brother got his on his ever-present cast, man could that kid break bones!) was from the game's outstanding offensive player, the Rider's quarterback, JC Watts. Yes, that JC Watts.]
Did the Olympics captivate your kids? Did they cheer Team Canada through the wins, the losses and the heartbreaks? Is your family experiencing post-Olympic let-down? OttawaStart has posted the arrival times of several Canadian Olympians at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport tonight. How about heading down there between 5:50 and 6:10 for one last London 2012 cheer and to thank them for their fine efforts. Who knows, you might just make a memory of a lifetime.