Five keys to recovery after abusing your body & mind at Grey Cup

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

This was my personal motto during much of my early 20s as I powered through late nights of partying, studying, more partying, essay writing, a bit more partying, various part-time jobs and, finally, just a wee bit of fun.

These days, I’ve altered the slogan somewhat and use it at the same time each year: “I’ll sleep after Grey Cup. Or when I’m dead, whichever comes first.”

Like many CFL fans, I’m back home after several days in Ottawa for the 2017 Grey Cup. And while I was there ostensibly to work, there is always plenty of revelry built in, which makes for a rather diabolical combination: early-mornings, followed by long days, followed by late nights, followed by another early morning. Repeat. And repeat. After a few days of this – I was in Ottawa for almost a week – it takes a toll on the body and the mind.

Now back home, I’ve entered recovery mode and after nine straight Grey Cups, I think I’ve got it pretty much mastered. So he’s my helpful five-step process on recovering from what sports writer Dick Beddoes once called the Grand National Drunk.

Step 1: Get some sleep.

The earliest I went to bed during this Grey Cup was 1:30 a.m. and the latest was just a bit before 4 a.m. and that, believe it or not, makes me kind of weak-sauce when compared to many other journalists and a large contingent of fans: people go insanely hard, day after day.

The lack of sleep has a compounding effect that turns your body into a shaky wreck by the end of the week. While it’s often possible to check some ZZZZZs on the plane or train ride home – I once took a morning flight home from Edmonton without having slept the night before – a nice 10-hour nap the first night back has a tremendous restorative effect. It usually takes me about three nights of regular sleep to feel semi-normal.

Step 2: Eat real food again.

The famous food aficionado Homer Simpson once said “You don’t make friends with salad,” and this is particularly true of Grey Cup where the food is a gastrointestinal nightmare. It’s not unusual for every single meal to be the product of a restaurant kitchen, fast food joint or, in the case of Ottawa this year, late-night shawarma stand. It is possible to, quite unintentionally, go an entire week without eating something green (no, lettuce on your burger doesn’t count and fries are a technically the product of a legume.)

The key is to ease back into a healthy diet. Eating nothing but fruits and vegetables after a week of junk is likely to put even more stress on an already shocked system. Maybe just add a tomato to the burger to start.

Step 3: Dry out the liver

There is a lot of alcohol consumption at the Grey Cup. There are team parties, private parties, after parties… there is, quite famously, a big Spirit of Edmonton breakfast where they serve mimosas in pitchers along with the pancakes.

Swearing off alcohol after Grey Cup shouldn’t be hard: if you’ve done it right, it will take a considerable amount of time before the urge to engage in copious consumption returns.

Step 4: Check your VISA statement

Remember that round of shots you bought at last call? Me neither. But your credit card does.

Step 5: Go back and look your photos

Sleep-deprived, malnourished, perpetually hungover and broke doesn’t exactly sound like a great time but that’s the Grey Cup aftermath in a nutshell. But a scroll through the pictures on your phone will inevitably provide a reminder as to the fun that was had (and likely fill in some gaps.)

The Grey Cup isn’t a good time, it’s a great time. But there’s a reason it’s only once a year.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1193 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

7 Comments on Five keys to recovery after abusing your body & mind at Grey Cup

  1. Bill deHoog // November 29, 2017 at 9:04 am //

    Funny but true. It was meeting you Drew at 3Down Nation event at Lansdowne (I am the Redblacks fan)

  2. Oskee Wee Wee // November 29, 2017 at 9:22 am //

    Awesome Drew,lol.. Thanks for all the Grey Cup coverage. Now get some sleep…

  3. Rider Girl // November 29, 2017 at 9:31 am //

    See Drew rider fans do that all season long preparing for the grey cup that’s why the tailgate parties starting the morning of each game and finish late 18 times during the season. The lady rider fans know more about football than most males from the other teams just ask them during Grey cup

  4. Truer words were never spoken. Over 5 nights, the longest sleep I had on one night was 4 hours. Back to real life from my Disneyworld for adults. Sociable!

  5. Alex Droho // November 29, 2017 at 1:16 pm //

    I have a two beer limit. Most of the time I can’t finish the second one. Must be getting old.

  6. Billinburlington // December 3, 2017 at 8:58 am //

    Glad to hear on you recent podcast that the 3Down-get-down was a big success… I wish I could have been there. Excited to hear that consideration being given to a few mid season events… start with one in Hamilton on CFL draft day,

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