Although I don’t have a season ticket anymore, I’m a huge Edmonton Eskimos fan. I’m from a family of 3 daughters, so my poor father had to teach his daughters the rules of football. My world stops when Eskimos are playing. I’ll listen to it. I’ll watch it on TV. I’ll go to the odd game when I find somebody to go with.
A favourite memory is going to the Grey Cup when it was here in 1984. It was a million degrees below zero and I went to a breakfast out at one of the golf clubs where they fed us lots of warm comfort food. Then going to Commonwealth Stadium, sitting out there and thinking, “I’ve got to be nuts.”
But it was amazing being there and just being so excited. The person who invited me had been given these stellar seats right on the 50 yard line and he wanted to take somebody who was gonna appreciate it. I got this call saying, “This is a really strange invitation, but I know you love football and you will savour it.” And I did. Yeah. It was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.
My son played football and they have their playoffs in the fall. Now some autumns around here are quite okay, and others are like the middle of winter. I remember sitting in the Jasper Bowl by Jasper Place High School. It was around November the 11th. I think I still have the clipping. Matt was playing for Harry Ainlay and they were in the finals and it was 20 some below with the wind chill. But I mean, he’s my only child. You gotta go and watch!
I borrowed my father’s snowmobile suit and took a big thermos of hot chocolate mixed with coffee. I felt like the Michelin Man. I could hardly walk. There I was, cheering away and they won and it was just amazing. I can’t even remember who they played but that was a highlight.
And there’s Bryan Hall, who’s been the voice of the Eskimos ever since I was a little girl. To think that he’s still doing it – although I think he’s got one more year before he’s retiring. It’s going to be weird not to have him. I mean you love him or you hate him, but he’s the voice of the Eskimos. Sometimes my dad and I watched football together and we’d turn off the TV’s sound and listen to Bryan Hall. That’s something really special to me. My father passed away a year and a half ago and this last fall he wasn’t around to cheer on football with me anymore. I really miss that.
Yeah. I love football. I really, really do.
Joanne Christie has always dreamed of setting people up for success. She's an instructor in Grant MacEwan's Management Studies program, and also coordinates field placements for students in management studies. She took the same program she now teaches in, and admits to being a cheerleader for MacEwan.