The CFL is blessed with passionate fans, from coast to coast. It’s hard to imagine, though, more love for a football team and a league coming in as wee a package as little Lori Bursey. Lori stands all of five-foot-three, but when she talks about the team and the league she loves, she gets so pumped up that I’m sure she can look any defensive lineman in the eye.
President of the “Friends of the Argonauts” Fan Club, Lori is back at yet another Grey Cup (her 29th) and she couldn’t be happier about it unless, of course, her favourite team just happened to be playing on Sunday.
Despite her lingering heartbreak over the Argonauts’ loss to the Montreal Alouettes in last Sunday’s Eastern Final, Lori has her Grey Cup fever appropriately stoked.
You see, for Lori, Grey Cup week is akin to Christmas eve for an 8 year old, with all the anticipation and energy building to unwrapping the gift of a championship game the next day. Actually, it’s bigger than that.
[quote]This is Disneyworld for adults[/quote]
When asked if she could celebrate only Christmas OR Grey Cup, she doesn’t hesitate in giving Christmas the heave ho.
“This is Disneyworld for adults,” says Bursey, sitting in the lobby of the Westin Hotel. “The game is really secondary to all the friendships I’ve developed over
the years. It’s like a huge family reunion. There’s a common bond we all share and it doesn’t matter which team you root for.”
If there were a hall of fame for CFL fans (hmmm, maybe there SHOULD be) Lori Bursey would be a first ballot inductee. She attends practice on a regular basis, treats the players to an annual barbecue at training camp, makes yearly road trips to see her team in enemy stadiums. and has fostered an almost maternal link with the players.
It’s not uncommon to see Lori just about completely disappear in a loving bear-hug from one of “her boys.” Along with her partner, Ron Keffer, and a host of volunteers, Bursey has turned the annual Friends of the Argonauts Cornroast into a must-attend event, and over the years has raised some Eighty thousand dollars for charity.
All of this great passion for her team and her league comes to Grey Cup, year after year, after year.
“My personal favourite is Spirit of Edmonton. It’s where the people always congregate. If you ever want to find me late at night, (Spirit of Edmonton) is where I am.”
So it’s Spirit of Edmonton number 29 for Lori Bursey, perhaps the biggest football fan in all of Toronto. Then will come number 30, and 31 and 32….
“I will never ever miss this. I tell people that if one year I’m not at Grey Cup, it’s because I’m dead. And I just want you to hoist a drink in my honour.”
Hard to imagine Argo football without Lori Bursey. Hard to imagine a Grey Cup Festival without her shining CFL spirit. If you see her, introduce yourself. If you love the CFL, you’re welcome in her family. Just don’t make fun of the Argos.
[box type=”info” border=”full”]Link: “Queen of the Argos”, CFL.ca[/box]