So didja watch the Big Game last Sunday? Didja catch that smarmy Brian Williams in his interview with the prime minister. The Big Stiff dropped a bit of a bombshell when he announced that next year's Grey Cup would be in Tiananmen Square as part of an ongoing series of trade agreements with the Chinese.
That certainly burst Williams's patriotic bubble. He went on about how the Grey Cup game was a cultural icon, a symbol of our country, part of our tradition, one of the things that bind us together much like the railway or our collective dislike of Celine Dion; and behind him a phalanx of RCMP officers brought the cup onto the field while outside in the parking lot thieves were breaking into cars.
The trophy had come across the country on a train and people actually stood by the tracks and watched. Not much to do on a weekend afternoon in Moose Jaw, I guess.
To top off the opening ceremonies, which seemed to have started at least a week before the game, two youngsters, children of immigrants, appeared holding the flag in front of a marching band from Quebec playing a rendition of Breaking Up is Hard To Do.
After Scottish born country singer Johnny Reid sang a couple tunes, the teams were introduced and of the 24 players who ran onto the field, three were from Canadian universities.
Not that there weren't, among the remaining members of each team, Canadian boys, they just weren't good enough to play first string, but they were good enough to sing the national anthem along with Burton Cummings while the Americans stood there with glazed looks on their faces - especially during the French portion of the song. At least they could have made an effort to learn the words.
Several of the Yanks actually make their homes in Toronto and have learned to ice skate at Nathan Phillips Square and everything. Some even thought that Pinball Clemons, the ebullient former player and coach of the Argos, was the mayor of Hogtown.
Canadian culture was saved during the half time show by Mission's Carly Ray Jepson, who is now a certified pop star, in the mould of thousands of young women from Amercian Idol and X Factor, Marianas Trench, a Vancouver band and the "Bieb" in a black tank top (a bad choice - his arms were smaller than Carly Ray's).
Stratford, Ontario's boy wonder isn't happy just being himself, he wants to be Michael Jackson which, I'm sure, will come as a relief to the remaining members of the Jackson 5.
Thank God for Gordon Lightfoot who came out and sang without back-up dancers doing aerobics while fireworks went off in the background.
The Game? Toronto's Americans beat Calgary's Americans, everybody drank champagne and viewers all over the country switched to the NFL game.
Someone, in a bit of patriotic fervour, declared Russ Jackson, the former Ottawa quarterback, as the greatest Canadian ever, much to Stephen Harper's disappointment. Russ went to my alma mater, McMaster University, which to my surprise, was a participant in last Friday's Vanier Cup, the Canadian college championship.
I watched for a while and as I saw all those fresh young faces in the stands, I thought back to my time at "Mac" some 40 years ago, four very entertaining years learning how to drink and use the photocopying machine and throw up with accuracy from the fourth floor of residence.
I phoned my former roommate from those idyllic days and we had a few laughs over how times have changed since we were young and stupid and thought we'd live forever.
We both, eventually, married girls from the residence across the way. He is still with his wife, I'm still trying to get it right. It just goes to show how your past has a way of creeping up on you.
@ Copyright 2013