Toronto fans dismiss Calgary mayor’s trash talk over Argos’ season attendance

Terry Pedwell, Canadian Press

Fans were talking down the trash talk between two big city mayors as they streamed into Ottawa’s TD Place stadium for today’s Canadian Football League championship finale.

The mayors of Calgary and Toronto exchanged jabs about the Grey Cup on Saturday, ahead of the showdown between the Stampeders and Argonauts.

The banter was sparked after a reporter tweeted that Jim Watson, the mayor of Grey Cup host city Ottawa, would be supporting the Argos since his hometown Ottawa Redblacks were eliminated in the CFL East semifinal.

In a message on Twitter, Toronto Mayor John Tory welcomed Watson to the Argonauts’ fanbase, telling him there was “plenty of room on the Toronto Argos bandwagon.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi quoted Tory’s tweet as he took a shot at the Argonauts’ low attendance numbers in Toronto, saying there was plenty of room on the Argo’s bandwagon, “since there’s never been anyone actually on it.”

The Argonauts struggled to fill BMO Field all season, averaging 13,914 fans in the stadium with a 27,000 person capacity, nearly 11,000 fewer than the average league attendance.

But the low numbers at home didn’t dampen the spirits of Toronto fans who ventured to Ottawa to cheer their team to victory.

“They don’t look very hard because we’re here, and they’ll hear us today,” Toronto supporter Charlene McNair said of Calgary fans as she made her way into the sold out Ottawa stadium.

Still, McNair, decked out head-to-toe in blue and white Argos colours, admitted she was a little surprised that Toronto made it to the playoffs considering how they started the season.

The team was 4-6 at the end of August, but McNair said she has watched as Toronto has turned its game around enough to bring it to a Grey Cup game for the first time since 2012 when they beat the Stampeders.

“I’ve gone to a lot of practices, and I’ve seen them progress and I’ve seen it keep going,” said McNair. “And they’re not going to quit until they with this Cup.”

Calgary fans, however, were upbeat about their odds as they entered the game Sunday, despite the Stampeders’ shocking loss to the underdog Redblacks in last year’s battle for the championship.

At the end of the day, the trash talk all falls to the side and CFL fans come together to celebrate, no matter who wins, said Jade Vallek, a Roughriders fan from just outside Saskatoon.

“We love the CFL,” Vallek explained as her fellow Saskatchewan fans chanted “ABC, ABC (anybody but Calgary) behind her.

“I watch every game, I cheer for players on every team. If you don’t like the team as much, you cheer for players you like,” she said. “That’s what I do.”

Cloudy skies and temperatures dropping below -3C brought light snow onto the field in the hours before the 105th Grey Cup coin toss by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.


10 Comments on Toronto fans dismiss Calgary mayor’s trash talk over Argos’ season attendance

  1. Dustinjunk // November 26, 2017 at 9:22 pm //

    Apparently the mayor has never been down to rickety old McMahon during a Stamps game. Stadium is never close to full. Most fickle fan base in the CFL.

  2. lol, let alone look how stupid that mayor of calgary looks, he looks as arrogant as most people from calgary do 🙂

  3. Maybe the mayor of Calgary should be more concerned ab out that HUGE CLOUD OF CKOE that ALWAYS hits his city in NOVEMBER or at somepoint in the CFL playoffs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Alex Droho // November 27, 2017 at 8:47 am //

    How Nenshi could become mayor is a mystery. He did nothing but complain about the fairness of his main opponent in the recent election. His platform appeared to be more about attacking the others than about offering positives about what he was going to do.

  5. Colour me green // November 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm //

    Hey, it’s Calgary. Gods gift to …. choking teams.
    Karma is a …..

  6. Nenshi may not be nice but he’s not wrong. A shame that the Grey Cup was won by a team who play in a city that truly doesn’t care about the CFL.

    So depressing to hear about the lack of support in Toronto, both in ticket and corporate sales. The team put up a good effort in the second half of the season, but fans don’t seem to give a hoot. They used to blame the stadium but that can hardly be the case now.

    Credit where due. At least Sun/Postmedia print and broadcast entities and TSN have done their part to promote the Argos. But what is the Toronto Star doing? They sent a mere single person – a hockey columnist normally – to cover a national championship that their CFL team was playing in. That’s disgraceful.

    There’s a rally at City Hall. Hoping it gets a better turnout than the 2012 parade when people gathered on the sidewalk were mostly complaining about how long it was taking to cross Bay St. so they could get to their next investment meeting. At least we won’t have to put up with the on-stage shenanigans of that clown Rob Ford.

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