Though the Algonquin Loggersports team was able to attend the Grey Cup in Winnipeg, it wasn’t exactly the way they had planned.
After touchdowns at home games, the team used chainsaws to cut a “cookie” off a log of wood that is be branded with the Redblacks logo, and given to a community leader.
The CFL initially allowed the team to perform as they would at homes games. However a protest by Edmonton reversed their decision a day before the game was to be played.
“Our flight out of Ottawa was 4 o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday,” said Jamie Bramburger, the manager of Community and Student Affairs at the Pembroke campus. “As we were checking in and getting ready to board the plane I received a phone call”
There was much disappointment among the Redblacks staff as they were hoping that the Grey Cup could be an opportunity to showcase their new traditions.
“It was disappointing to us that they didn’t get to do their thing because it’s fun and the fans love it,” said Randy Burgess, the VP of communication and content for the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. “It’s game day entertainment, and we’re all about game day entertainment at TD Place and Redblacks games.”
Despite initial disappointment, Burgess said he understood the CFL’s decision.
“This wasn’t our game,” he said. “This is the Grey Cup game and it’s their game. We pride ourselves on providing great game day entertainment, but this was not our game.”
Initially the team wasn’t going to be allowed in the stadium at all after the Eskimos protest. However, the CFL compromised and allowed them to be on the field but did not allow them to cut cookies off the log.
“It was set up just like we would be at a Redblacks game,” said Bramburger. “We had the chainsaws there and we had out wooden log and our team was dressed in their red and black flannel shirts. We were there, we were part of the game and it was an absolutely wonderful experience.”
The Algonquin Loggersports team has been partnered with the Redblacks for the past two seasons.
“Since Ottawa was granted a CFL franchise, the Loggersports team has been in partnership with the Redblacks,” said Bramburger “The Redblacks initiated that. They were looking to enhance the fan experience at the games, they learned that we had a loggersports team and they reached out to us.”
Burgess says he hopes the loggersports team will be able to perform on the sidelines if Ottawa is awarded the 2017 Grey Cup.
“We certainly would hope that the loggersports team would be able to cut logs should we host the 2017 Grey Cup,” said Burgess. “But, it’s the CFL’s call. It’s not up to us.”