Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the 100th Grey Cup championship game:
"Today's game is but one exciting chapter in the history of the Grey Cup. For decades now, determined athletes have faced one another on scrimmage lines from Vancouver to Montreal vying for Canadian professional football supremacy. They have fought for victory through snow, ice, wind, fog, mud, rain and injuries to capture the trophy that Earl Grey, former Governor General of Canada, donated to the winner of the amateur rugby football championship of Canada back in 1909.
"Giants of the game such as hall of famers Doug Flutie, Warren Moon, George Reed, Russ Jackson, Michael 'Pinball' Clemons, Tony Gabriel, and Sam Etcheverry - to name but a few - have emerged as Canadian legends during amazing seasons and epic championship battles that saw every current Canadian Football League team earn their place on the Grey Cup.
"The iconic trophy has also seen its share of remarkable sporting moments during championship games, from the 1948 Calgary Stampeders 36th Grey Cup victory capping off a perfect undefeated season, to the Toronto Argonauts victory in 38th Grey Cup 'Mud Bowl' in which teams battled through sloppy rain-soaked conditions. From the Winnipeg Blue Bombers winning the 50th Grey Cup "Fog Bowl" over two days given game delays caused by fog, to the Montreal Alouettes victory in the 65th Grey Cup 'Ice Bowl' during which the team gained advantage over their adversaries on an icy playing field by firing staples in their footwear for traction."
"And through all of the games in the Cup's history there have been the omnipresent, fervent, admiring and extraordinarily devoted fans who have also generated colourful stories. From the famous Green Wave of Saskatchewan Roughrider devotees to Calgary Stampeder fans who founded the Grey Cup Festival in 1948 when they came to Toronto wearing western gear, and spent the week square dancing, flipping flapjacks, partying in the streets and even riding a horse through the lobby of the Royal York hotel.
"Our Government recognizes that the 100th Grey Cup game is an important milestone for football in this country and a rich part of our nation's history. We are proud to have supported the Grey Cup 100 Train which has been on a 10-week, 100-stop tour across Canada showcasing the Cup and the proud history of the Canadian Football League to fans of all ages. We are equally proud to have contributed to 'Invitation to Our Nation', the ten-day, eleven-night 100th Grey Cup festival in Toronto encompassing over 50 events.
"It is fitting that this important historic moment is also being commemorated through a series of stamps produced by Canada Post and with a 100th Grey Cup one dollar coin produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
"I hope that the next century of Grey Cup history is as memorable as the first."