Kelly Bates is guilty and he doesn't care who knows it.
In the euphoria of the moment surrounding the B.C. Lions Grey Cup victory, Bates broke the hallowed mug.
Oddly enough, it was not the first offence for Bates.
"When I won a junior championship [Canadian Bowl] with the Saskatoon Hilltops, I broke that one, too," said Bates, before he posed for a picture outside the Lions dressing room. "You could see there was a picture of us all around it and I was looking at it because I had just bent it in."
Bates said he was so excited to see the Grey Cup, he was shaking it up and down and kissing it.
"[It] snapped on me," he said. "I'm the guy who broke the Cup. Regardless, it's a memory I'll have the rest of my life. Amazing!"
Generally, players are told what not to do before handling the Cup.
"I remember in '98 they told us not to hold the handle, so apparently we didn't get enough advice this time," said Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson.
- B.C. Lions are the second Vancouver team to break its trophy. In 1979, the original North American Soccer League Whitecaps beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-1 to win the league title. The team arrived the next day with the trophy separated from its base for a parade attended by 100,000.
That trophy is on display at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in B.C. Place.