New fun for old allies

BILLY POWERS

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Some long-term friendships can develop from playing team sports, we've learned over the years.

As an example, I still play golf once or twice a year with my old Victoria Composite high school quarterback and middle linebacker who lives in Edmonton where I was raised. We played together last in 1961.

Hardly a day goes by I don't run into someone I played fastball or slow-pitch with -- or against -- over the last 40-plus years in this city.

What brings this up is a neat story I just heard from the Grey Cup festivities in Montreal last month.

You will remember the name of Basil Bark, the former Calgary Stampeders centre, who runs the Stamps Store at McMahon Stadium and owns several Inter-Sport outlets in and around the province.

When it was determined the Stamps would carry West Division colours to the Grey Cup final, he got on the telephone and called Bob Minihane in Boston and Ray Lychak in California.

He said, "I've got a ticket to the game for you and a hotel room. Tell me, how you say no to that?"

Neither could or did.

It turns out Minihane was a defensive tackle when 'Baz' played with the Montreal Alouettes before being traded here for Terry Evanshen in the late '60s.

Lychak played guard on the same team, right beside Bark.

"We were very close as teammates back then," Bark explained this week.

"But we've never been together since I got traded. It seemed like the perfect time."

Minihane got to Montreal early with Lychak arriving a couple days later, but "we had a blast talking about old times, and with my connections in the sporting goods game and with the Stamps, they got into places like the Stampeders' Grey Cup party after the win over Montreal, they would never have been allowed in.

"It was old-home week for a few days and something we'll remember forever."

In fact, they are already planning on doing it again because next year, the Grey Cup will be played at McMahon Stadium.

Pub abuzz with big trophy

Grey Cup fever gripped the city after that victory last month, but I caught it first hand this week when doing my Monday Night Football thing at Peanut's Pub in the Carriage House Inn.

Having made an early request for punter Burke Dales to bring the Cup one night, the assignment went from Dales to public relations man Mitch Bayliss and finally to Stefan Kalenchuk in the marketing department.

And Monday, as the NFL game reached half time, who should come through the door with the big trophy but long snapper and defensive lineman Randy Chevrier?

Now I've been around the Grey Cup many times, but the reaction on this night was simply incredible.

I only saw one camera during the first half, but instantly there were 20 or more filling the room with flashbulb lighting.

I'm betting 'Chevy' posed for 200 pictures while signing countless autographs.

He said he had 15 minutes but stayed for the better part of an hour, partly because people weren't going to let him get away.

Kalenchuk showed up as Chevrier and his father-in-law Bob were leaving and decided to stay for awhile.

He put the Cup on a table and for the second-half patrons by the dozens got themselves pictures holding onto the cherished trophy.

They were ecstatic.

And I might add that if the Stamps go back-to-back, Chevrier promised to bring it back next year.

In my yarn last week on St. Francis High football coach Gary Deman, I put former Stamps receiver Tommy Forzani at Brigham Young University and I apologize.

He went to Utah State.

At least I had the right state.


Videos

Photos