News, Sports

Canada Gets Grey Cup Fever, Toronto Hotel Gets A Visit From A Horse

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The Grey Cup
The Grey Cup. Image: Roland Tanglao

Excitement is building as Canadians everywhere are getting Grey Cup fever.

The fever is particularly high in Toronto. Not only will the game be played there, but the Toronto Argonauts are one of the teams vying for the championship.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup championship, which decides which Canadian Football League (CFL) team is the best. It is played between the winners of the CFL’s East and West Divisional playoffs.

The Toronto Argonauts are set to play the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday. The winner will take home the trophy known as The Grey Cup.

Toronto was the site for the first Grey Cup, back in 1912. The 2012 game will also be played in Toronto, at the Rogers Centre.

It’s unusual for the city hosting the Grey Cup to also have their team playing in the Grey Cup. The last time Toronto won the Grey Cup while playing at home was in 1952.

Each year the host city organizes numerous events as part of the annual Grey Cup festival. Concerts, parties and fan festivals are held in the days leading up to the big game. Some of the roads in downtown Toronto have even been blocked off for the events.

Leading the excitement are Ricky Ray of the Argos and Kevin Glenn of the Stampeders. They both play quarterback. The quarterback is responsible for trying to get his team to score points. Quarterbacks have a direct impact on the game.

The mayors of the two cities in the Grey Cup are excited about the game. Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi, has challenged Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, to a bet on the outcome of the Grey Cup. The one who loses will donate his weight in food to the other mayor’s city food bank; he’ll also have to wear the other team’s jersey for a day, according to sports website TSN.

The premiers of the provinces represented in the Grey Cup (Ontario’s Dalton McGuinty and Alberta’s Alison Redford) are also betting on the game. Whoever loses will donate 100 items of warm clothing to a charitable group in the other province, according to TSN.

Calgary is making its presence felt in Toronto. Fans from the western city have converged on downtown Toronto; they can be seen wearing western garb such as cowboy boots and hats. The Stampeders’ lucky mascot, a horse named Marty, was even seen roaming around the lobby of the Fairmont Royal York hotel in downtown Toronto. The stunt was a throwback to the Grey Cup in 1948, when someone brought a horse into the hotel.

At first the owners of the Fairmont locked the horse out and said he couldn’t come in. But when people protested the lockout — through Twitter and Facebook — the owners changed their mind and let Marty have the run of the lobby.

The Stampeders’ horse, known as the touchdown horse because he gallops along the sidelines whenever the Stamps get a touchdown, will also be in the stadium during the game on Sunday. However, he won’t be allowed to do his celebratory sideline run. (The Stamps may use Marty or possibly another horse on Sunday.)

At half-time during the Grey Cup it’s traditional to have an exciting show and this year the featured performers include some huge Canadian stars: pop star Justin Bieber, singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, pop-rock group Marianas Trench and pop star Carley Rae Jepsen. Singers Johnny Reid and Burton Cummings will do a special show before the game.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan and Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Today’s article mentions that several politicians have made creative bets about who will win the championship game. What are some of the friendly bets you’ve made with friends or family? Why do you think people get such a kick from making bets?

Reading Prompt: Comprehension Strategies
Creating a picture in your mind while you read is a great way to help understand what it is that you are reading. This comprehension strategy is called visualization.

Most likely, as you read about The Stampeders’ lucky mascot, Marty, in the lobby of the Fairmont Royal York hotel, you created a picture of the scene in your mind.

Draw this bizarre image and share it with a friend.

Primary & Junior
Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand texts (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Intermediate
Identify a variety of reading compre- hension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand increasingly complex texts (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Grammar Feature: Writing with Voice
One of the ways in which journalists engage their readers is by writing with “voice”. Voice is when the personality of the writer comes out in their writing.

When reading a text with voice, you can gain an idea of who the writer is and how they might feel about the subject they are writing about.

What is the voice of this journalist? How do you think he feels about the Grey Cup? What words and sentences help you to understand the writer’s feelings and perspective?