8. A Classic – And Historic – Vanier Cup
I wasn’t at the Vanier Cup game, but I still experienced it.
I was walking in along Pine Avenue, in front of Percival Molson Stadium about 45 minutes after the end of the game. Most of the fans had cleared out, although it was a sea of royal blue at the McGill metro station.
I saw the two teams. I saw McMaster, heading the opposite direction I was, and they were not a happy bunch. The dark and drizzly weather fit the mood quite well.
Most of them at their heads down, with their hoods up, and their hands in pockets, dragging their feet. I saw Crapigna – although I didn’t know it at the time. He looked a lot like his teammates, dejected. I came face-to-face with the coach, Stef Ptaszek. He had a straight face, but his eyes looked like they were ready to pick a fight with someone.
Then, as I turned up Avenue du Parc, I saw U of M. Well, actually I heard them. Whooping and hollering emanated from somewhere I couldn’t see, but the steady stream of fans heading towards the Fieldhouse lead me to believe it was coming from the dressing room. Or maybe they took the celebration outside, what do I know?
There were two sides of the 50th Vanier Cup, just like there are two sides to every championship. For many – heck, for most – of the players, that was the pinnacle of their football careers.
And the hometown team in blue had a happy ending.
– Graham Neysmith
You couldn’t have scripted it any better. When the Vanier Cup was announced to be held in Montreal, you hoped a Quebec team would be there. Since Laval never loses the Dunsmore Cup, it was a dream for the hometown Carabins to make it there – never mind win it.
The dream came true.
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