Why CFL fans from across the country attended the 108th Grey Cup

Photo courtesy: Amanda Ruller

Over the past 20 months Canadians have seen our country, and the world, face a
number of historic events and challenges.

One of those moments being the unprecedented cancellation of the 2020 CFL season. However, on Sunday CFL fans from all over Canada got to experience the 108th Grey Cup at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.

The celebration and events of the week were as much about bringing back the fun and
entertainment that CFL fans have been missing as the actual Grey Cup game itself. The joy of CFL football runs deep nationwide from coast-to-coast. Personally, the Grey Cup represents an opportunity to gather and reconnect with CFL fans all across Canada in celebration of the return of our beloved football season and the progress we have made during the turmoil of the last year-and-a-half.

As a sports fan, I know we all appreciate more companionship with our fellow sports
fans and community given the fact that last year the world was deprived of those
opportunities to gather and enjoy our common love of the game of football.

In September, I moved to the Hamilton area from Saskatchewan and as any passionate CFL
fan would, I attended my first Ticats game at Tim Hortons field. The ability to say I’ve
attended a game at every CFL stadium has made me even more appreciative of the
uniting aspect of football, and I wanted to showcase the passionate fans of each CFL

During the 108th Grey Cup game I found a few CFL fans and got a chance to hear
why they support their team and decided to make the journey to the Grey Cup.

Photo courtesy: Amanda Ruller

Joel Steacy and Georgina Bell — Hamilton Tiger-Cats fans

Joel: “This is our first Grey Cup in person. It was tough to miss a season due to COVID but seeing my home team in the Grey Cup is exciting. We are cheering on the Ticats but as Canadians we welcome the Blue Bombers to the stadium so we can all celebrate Grey Cup
being back!”

Georgina: “We love the Ticats fan base. The atmosphere and the fans make it great to be part of. We have been hooked from day one and dress up every game. People always
take pictures with us. This is the only time we will see jerseys and fans from across the

Photo courtesy: Amanda Ruller

Nancy Malone — Saskatchewan Roughriders fan

“I was born in Regina but live in Calgary and come out to the Grey Cup every year. This was the last CFL stadium on my list to see and now I have been to all of them, although Mosaic Stadium is still my favourite place to watch a game. The Grey Cup is the best national festival for sport or otherwise. The season being cancelled last year was pretty tough but it is so great being back with all the fans from all over Canada.”

Photo courtesy: Amanda Ruller

Nathan Akesson and David Tod — B.C. Lions fans

Nathan: “We are season ticket holders and love going to every B.C. Lions game because of the vibe and energy you get from being part of the crowd. The fans from all over are here for a good time and it’s heart-warming.”

David: “It was a last minute call to come to the Grey Cup, my son and I made it work and we are so happy to be here. It’s the ultimate Canadian experience that everyone should have a chance to be part of at least once in their life.”

Photo courtesy: Amanda Ruller

Clint Pollonais, Tyler Doyle, and Matt Wight — Calgary Stampeders fans

Clint: “This is our tenth Grey Cup all together. We always come to represent the Calgary Stampeders whether we are in it or not. This is the true Canadian experience! You see fans from all over the country supporting a great league.”

Tyler: “It is tradition for us to come together for Grey Cup. We and everyone else missed it last year and you can’t beat this experience. You can talk to any fan walking around here and I really encourage anyone who has not been before to come out. I can’t even begin to explain how much fun it is.”

Matt: “It was extremely difficult being without the CFL for a full year. The friendships you build with all the different fans across the league is unbelievable. Every year at Grey Cup it is like a big family getting together. Whether you are winning or losing it does not matter. Being a Stamps fan means a lot of things but being an overall CFL fan it’s about supporting the league and making sure we have longevity so every team can be prosperous.”

Photo courtesy: Amanda Ruller

Kyle Malkosk and Mark Harding — Winnipeg Blue Bombers fans

Kyle: “Why NOT be a Bombers fan!? It doesn’t matter who wins it tonight because the
good people of Hamilton have put on an absolutely fantastic party, we love them. Everyone has a great time no matter the outcome. I see Canada coming together here tonight around me.”

Mark: “I am from Philadelphia but try to catch as many CFL games as I can with my
friends. I can watch all the games in the states so I became a live long CFL fan. I like the three-down environment, the bigger field and the no fair catch rule. I personally feel the CFL is the best football there is. This is my first Grey Cup ever and I didn’t expect Hamilton to go all out for the fans — great experience.”

Photo courtesy: Amanda Ruller

Matt Machado — Edmonton Elks fans

“This is my 13th Grey Cup total. The Grey Cup is Canada’s largest gathering of the year for Canadian unity there is. If we are to take a look around you see people from
all over that come together with a common bond. Look at the friendships that are created here and they last for a lifetime. This league has been engraved on our nation for 108 years long and defines what Canada is about.”

The CFL saved the best for last with an overtime thriller that kept all CFL fans on the edge of our seats. Being around the 108th Grey Cup was an experience I will never forget but it wasn’t really about he game itself or who had won. It was about all CFL fans coming together and appreciating live sports again. I can’t wait to see you all again next year.

Amanda has been an athlete all her life, competing for Women’s World Team Canada Football, Team Canada Bobsled/Skeleton and Team Saskatchewan Olympic Lifting. She is the current Saskatchewan Snatch & Clean and Jerk record holder for her weight class. Throughout this, she has been able to share her athletic journey through social media. Her passion for this allows her to be a sought-after brand ambassador for major companies both local and international. Amanda is a sports broadcaster. She works for a local show ‘In the Huddle’ and can be seen as a media host for the Sask Junior Hockey League. She also is currently the In-Game Host for the Saskatchewan Rush.