Tonight is the end of an era, albeit one that many Toronto sports fans (particularly CFL fans) have struggled with over the last 27 years. Tonight the Toronto Argonauts play their last game at the Rogers Centre (formerly – and forever to me – known as SkyDome). I was at the first game at SkyDome on July 12, 1989, and I will be there tonight at the last game. In between those dates I’ve seen around 70% of the Canadian football games played there (including Vanier Cups and Metro Bowl finals but not including the Bills in Toronto series or the NCAA games). I’ve been feeling nostalgic today and reading some of the articles about the best memories at SkyDome including this one by the very talented Andrew Bucholtz, Mike Hogan’s trip down memory lane, and this one from the Toronto Star that focuses on Michael “Pinball” Clemons’ memories of the stadium where he played his entire CFL career and still calls home as Vice Chairman of the Argos.
It comes as no surprise to those who know me that I’m a sports nut. Football (particularly the CFL and the Toronto Argonauts, but also the NFL and the Detroit Lions) was and continues to be my first love, with Auto Racing (Formula 1, IndyCar, and NASCAR in that order) a close second. Third place has changed a few times – most of the time it’s Baseball, unless the Olympics are on, with Hockey and Basketball tied for fourth in my hierarchy of sports. Living in Blue Jays’ country (which, technically is all of Canada since they’re the only professional baseball team in the country) though, it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement that has been gripping the Toronto sports community.