CFL's special bond with Canadians

GERRY MODDEJONGE, EQMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:32 PM ET

EDMONTON - There is plenty of room for football in the hearts of Canadians.

CFL commissioner Mark Cohon shared one of his experiences from the Vancouver Olympic Games during a visit to Edmonton Tuesday for the kickoff of Grey Cup ticket sales to the public.

“I had the opportunity to meet a whole bunch of great Canadian athletes when I was there,” Cohon told the audience at the Hot to Huddle Grey Cup kickoff lunch at the Shaw Conference Centre.

“I was at an event with a bunch of CEOs and some of the gold-medal athletes were there, and I met a hometown girl from Edmonton, the goaltender for the Canadian women’s hockey team, Shannon Szabados,” Cohon said. “She was showing us her gold medal. She was obviously a little tired and maybe a little hungover from the win and smoking too many cigars.

“Not that she was going through the motions, but clearly she had had a big night the night before.”

Upon finding out Cohon is commissioner of the CFL, Szabados’s inner-football fan woke up and her gold medal took a momentary back seat.

“Her eyes lit up and she said, ‘I’m a huge Eskimos fan, I can’t wait for the Grey Cup to be in Edmonton. I want to be there,’ ” Cohon said. “She is a huge fan, and I realized what we have in the CFL is pretty powerful: from gold-medal athletes to grandparents to parents to young kids to college students, we have this special bond with Canadians across the country.

HUNDREDTH HOST: With the 100th Grey Cup being held in 2012 in a yet-to-be named CFL city, Cohon said special plans are in the works to celebrate the centennial.

Whether or not Edmonton would be in the running to host two Grey Cups in a three year span, he smiled and said: “I think that’s some wishful thinking.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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