Parade of Champions!
It could have been coming down in sheets of ice but nothing was going to rain on the Ottawa Redblacks parade. 40,000+ came out to pack both sides of Bank Street as the Grey Cup champions paraded through the city amongst proud admirers.
The jubilant hoard wouldn’t be satisfied with seeing their hometown heroes simply pass. After all, they waited 40 years for this! The fans would take to the street to follow the float all the was to TD Place.
It was a nailbiter of a game Sunday night with the Calgary Stampeders pushing it right down to the wire where the Redblacks took it 39-33 in overtime. The hard-fought victory only made their moment today shine even brighter. Game MVP Henry Burris had a smile that beamed so brightly it could probably be seen from Saturn!
“Being able to experience this and see the number of people that turned out and the waves of (them) lined up I honestly had a tear come to my eye,” he said still on crutches from an injury suffered in the big game.
“We dream of this moment right here!”
Mayor Jim Watson and colleagues from city council were present to not only praise the redevelopment of Lansdowne but to also thank the fans who made the new arena a success with multiple sell-out games.
“We all ended up on the right side of history,” Watson shouted over the cacophony of fandom!
Those fans were repeatedly reminded by Burris and the players how they were the best fan base in the CFL. Their admiration reached a furious peak when Burris tried to share his plans for next season amidst speculation he would not return to the game. The thousands wouldn’t even let him speak drowning him out with shouts of “One more year!”
Burris wasn’t making any choices today, choosing the relish the moment he and his team earned, a moment some said couldn’t happen. In three seasons, the Redblacks proved them wrong and to this city the Grey Cup is back where it belongs!