Players, fans celebrate 100th Grey Cup in style
Richmond Hill dancer party of week-long festivities
Celebrating the Argos Grey Cup win last night was CFL Most Outstanding Player, wide receiver Chad Owens, shown with his children in a media frenzy. Richmond Hill’s Melissa Mitro was part of the pre-game festivities leading up to the big game.
Ten days and 11 nights, featuring 50 events, added to the excitement leading up to the Canadian Football League’s historic 100th Grey Cup game.
While the Toronto Argonauts emerged with a 35-22 victory over the Calgary Stampeders Sunday night, football fans of all stripes were also big winners.
One longtime Argos fan contributing to gametime frenzy was Richmond Hill’s Melissa Mitro, who had the honour of performing at one of the pre-game events.
The 25-year-old dancer performed for Canadian recording artist Mia Martina at a players party Thursday evening at the Metro Convention Centre.
“This whole week has been full of performers and events dedicated to this anniversary,” said Ms Mitro, who fondly recalls going to her first double-blue football game when she was just nine years old. “Being able to share what I love to do, feels amazing.
“Everyone was really hyped,” she added of the players party event, which also featured K’naan and Kardinal Offishall. “I feel I really helped keep the uproar going until the game Sunday.”
With free live concerts, football film festivals, street festivals, galas and team pep rallies leading up to the actual Grey Cup, a couple of notable Argo players said the level of enthusiasm in Toronto for the Canadian Football League reached new territory.
“The fans have been amazing, people have come up to us from everywhere,” Argo Jeff Johnson, said. “My wife tells me that she sees a lot of young kids wearing Argos jerseys.
“This is a huge opportunity for the organization and the league. (With) the NHL on strike, this puts us right in the spotlight. It’s an opportunity to increase the fan base.”
Argos superstar, Chad Owens, paid tribute to the fans.
“(They) have been unbelievable, we can’t thank them enough,” the 2012 CFL Outstanding Player of the Year said.
The 30-year-old Argonaut wide receiver was thankful to be able to celebrate the championship win with his family.
“My family is everything to me. I thank them for everything,” said Owens. “It is so special to be able to have them here and share this with them.”
On winning the Grey Cup, Owens said it isn't something for which you can prepare.
“You just enjoy it when it happens and we’re all going to enjoy this moment.”
David Li is a Thornhill freelance writer.
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