With it being the last season of Ivor Wynne Stadium, I said I am going to post some of my personal memories I have of the stadium. I will start, where else, than with the story of my first adventure down to the stadium.
When you're young, you don't remember much and the memory of my first game at Ivor Wynne Stadium is rather hazy. There is one thing I know for certain: the Ti-Cats played the BC Lions.
I believe the year was 1988, but it could have just as easily been 1987 or 1989. It would have been during that three-year span because that was around the time I got into football. I became a football fan immediately after I saw Joe Montana throw a touchdown pass for the San Francisco 49ers, and after the 49ers, it was on to the Tiger-Cats.
As far as I am concerned, there is only one person a young boy should go see his first game with and lucky for me I got to go to my first game with the greatest person I have ever known, my dad. I have attended many games over the years with my dad, and I hope to get to attend many more in the future, but no matter how many games we sit and watch together, the first one will always have a special place in my heart.
So it was me and my father in the southside stands at Ivor Wynne Stadium as the Ti-Cats did battle with the Lions. I could not tell you who won the game (if we went in '87 or '89, the Cats won; if we went in '88, it was the Lions) but I do remember doing something I never did before and haven't done since: I cheered against the Ti-Cats.
Yes, I admit, that when I was in the stands for my first game, I cheered for the Lions. But I have a good reason, I swear. I started off the game cheering for the Cats, but at some point I noticed a guy sitting a few rows behind us that was waving a Lions flag and taking some heat from fans in the stands. I turned to my dad and asked why everyone was booing that guy and he answered my question as best he could (a generic answer about him cheering for the opposing team) and I told my dad that I felt bad for the guy and so I decided to cheer for BC too. So out of empathy, I turned my back on the Cats and rooted for the Lions. Again, I don't know who won, but I didn't stay a BC fan for long. As soon as the game was over, I was a Tiger-Cat fan once again.
There will probably be some little boy in the stands on Friday who, like me back in late 1980s, will be sitting with his dad taking in his first game. And like me, it will be a something he will never forget. I don't have any pictures of that outing and I can't remember everything, but I still remember enough to say that my first game at Ivor Wynne was truly something special.