A funny thing happened at the Wiser’s Double Blue Bash on Saturday night. Actually, a lot of funny things happened. That’s the way it goes when Adriano Belli and Rob Murphy get a microphone in front of them.
With pounding live music, a couple of cheerleader performances and an extra dose of Roughrider green in attendance (it’s like that everywhere, isn’t it?) the joint had jump in it from the get-go.
Belli worked the room, planting kisses on anyone and everyone. Sure, he sucked up to the ‘Riders faithful by picking Saskatchewan to “kick ass” in the Grey Cup game. That was offset by the fact that the ’97 game was being played on a giant video screen, much to the chagrin of the greenshirts in attendance (Argos won that game, over Saskatchewan, 47-23).
Chad Owens felt the love when he arrived to talk about his Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award. Damon Allen made an appearance (said Henry Burris was full value for his Outstanding Player Award), as did Argos owner David Braley and club President Bob Nicholson.
Former SB Derrell ‘Mookie’ Mitchell dropped by too, reminiscing about the night (during his rookie season) that he was introduced to red wine (in copious amounts) by a friend.
A hard lesson was learned the next day (red wine hangovers are notorious, don’t you know?) and Mookie swears he’s only ever had ONE glass of red since.
Although, Saturday night at Grey Cup seems like a good night to revisit old habits, doesn’t it?
Michael “Pinball” Clemons‘ turn with the microphone was particularily dazzling. Part comedy routine; part pep talk; part old-time revival, Clemons wowed the crowd with a high – octane soliloquy. He had them eating out of his hand with his audience participation routine (“When I say Grey, you say Cup…”) and then had chests pumped out to the maximum when he related how proud he is to live in Canada and be a part of the CFL family. Honest to goodness, I saw a young woman standing right beside the stage with her hands clasped over her heart, looking up at him with blessed joy.
However, and this was strange, one football fan asked a friend of mine who Pinball was. Isn’t that kind of like a devout catholic not knowing who the Pope is?
Out into the Edmonton night I went, pondering that one.