Toronto Argonauts bring the Grey Cup back home

Sports Nov 28, 2017 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Thousands of fans came out to celebrate the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts at a rally at Nathan Phillips Square on Tuesday, Nov. 28, and while none could doubt their love of the team some of the double blue’s biggest fans were also on-field participants in the Argos’ thrilling come-from-behind 27-24 victory.

This year’s team boasted a number of Toronto natives playing key roles, from Scarborough’s Jermaine Gabriel, who forced a Calgary fumble with under five minutes to play to Northern Secondary School alumnus Matt Black, whose last-second interception sealed the deal.

Etobicoke resident Chris Kolankowski, who now lives near – and attends – York University, was an Argos fan long before he lined up as part of the team’s offensive line. He said bringing the Grey Cup back to Toronto was beyond his wildest dreams.

“If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be here, bringing the Cup back to Toronto, being able to play with Ricky Ray and all these guys, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said.

Kolankowski learned his craft with the Etobicoke Eagles, where he played alongside current Argo teammate Llevi Noel. He further honed his skills while attending high school at Michael Power.

“High school football was a lot of fun and it’s where I probably learned the most,” he said. “It was a great group of guys and we still get together every Christmas.”

Jamal Campbell, who was unfortunately sidelined with an injury when the Argos won the Grey Cup, said he was nonetheless thrilled to get a chance to bring the Cup home. He vowed to bring it to his Jane-Finch neighbourhood and to York University when he has the chance.

“It means a lot to me, being born and raised in this city, to bring the Cup back to where I got my introduction to football,” he said.

He noted, even though he was injured, he relished the opportunity to be around a group that gelled as the season progressed.

“It was great just being around my teammates and seeing how they came together in all aspects of the game – offense, defense, and special teams,” he said.

The team’s camaraderie was evident not only in the thrilling Grey Cup comeback – they squeaked out the win by scoring 11 unanswered fourth quarter points and stifling a last-gasp effort by the Stampeders – but as they celebrated at Tuesday’s rally.

“It all came together in the back half of the season, the pieces of the puzzle came together,” said Argos general manager Jim Popp, who joined the team prior to the season. “I’m proud to be in the double blue. I’m proud to call Toronto my home.”

Mayor John Tory congratulated the team on their win, and poked light-hearted fun at Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, who was forced to wear an Argos jersey after losing an intercity bet. Tory said he was sending Argos jerseys to other city mayors across Canada in preparation for another, similar bet.

“Next year, some mayor in some city is going to be wearing that jersey again,” he said.

Toronto Argonauts bring the Grey Cup back home

Double blue had plenty of Toronto connections

Sports Nov 28, 2017 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Thousands of fans came out to celebrate the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts at a rally at Nathan Phillips Square on Tuesday, Nov. 28, and while none could doubt their love of the team some of the double blue’s biggest fans were also on-field participants in the Argos’ thrilling come-from-behind 27-24 victory.

This year’s team boasted a number of Toronto natives playing key roles, from Scarborough’s Jermaine Gabriel, who forced a Calgary fumble with under five minutes to play to Northern Secondary School alumnus Matt Black, whose last-second interception sealed the deal.

Etobicoke resident Chris Kolankowski, who now lives near – and attends – York University, was an Argos fan long before he lined up as part of the team’s offensive line. He said bringing the Grey Cup back to Toronto was beyond his wildest dreams.

“If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be here, bringing the Cup back to Toronto, being able to play with Ricky Ray and all these guys, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said.

Kolankowski learned his craft with the Etobicoke Eagles, where he played alongside current Argo teammate Llevi Noel. He further honed his skills while attending high school at Michael Power.

“High school football was a lot of fun and it’s where I probably learned the most,” he said. “It was a great group of guys and we still get together every Christmas.”

Jamal Campbell, who was unfortunately sidelined with an injury when the Argos won the Grey Cup, said he was nonetheless thrilled to get a chance to bring the Cup home. He vowed to bring it to his Jane-Finch neighbourhood and to York University when he has the chance.

“It means a lot to me, being born and raised in this city, to bring the Cup back to where I got my introduction to football,” he said.

He noted, even though he was injured, he relished the opportunity to be around a group that gelled as the season progressed.

“It was great just being around my teammates and seeing how they came together in all aspects of the game – offense, defense, and special teams,” he said.

The team’s camaraderie was evident not only in the thrilling Grey Cup comeback – they squeaked out the win by scoring 11 unanswered fourth quarter points and stifling a last-gasp effort by the Stampeders – but as they celebrated at Tuesday’s rally.

“It all came together in the back half of the season, the pieces of the puzzle came together,” said Argos general manager Jim Popp, who joined the team prior to the season. “I’m proud to be in the double blue. I’m proud to call Toronto my home.”

Mayor John Tory congratulated the team on their win, and poked light-hearted fun at Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, who was forced to wear an Argos jersey after losing an intercity bet. Tory said he was sending Argos jerseys to other city mayors across Canada in preparation for another, similar bet.

“Next year, some mayor in some city is going to be wearing that jersey again,” he said.

Toronto Argonauts bring the Grey Cup back home

Double blue had plenty of Toronto connections

Sports Nov 28, 2017 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Thousands of fans came out to celebrate the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts at a rally at Nathan Phillips Square on Tuesday, Nov. 28, and while none could doubt their love of the team some of the double blue’s biggest fans were also on-field participants in the Argos’ thrilling come-from-behind 27-24 victory.

This year’s team boasted a number of Toronto natives playing key roles, from Scarborough’s Jermaine Gabriel, who forced a Calgary fumble with under five minutes to play to Northern Secondary School alumnus Matt Black, whose last-second interception sealed the deal.

Etobicoke resident Chris Kolankowski, who now lives near – and attends – York University, was an Argos fan long before he lined up as part of the team’s offensive line. He said bringing the Grey Cup back to Toronto was beyond his wildest dreams.

“If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be here, bringing the Cup back to Toronto, being able to play with Ricky Ray and all these guys, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said.

Kolankowski learned his craft with the Etobicoke Eagles, where he played alongside current Argo teammate Llevi Noel. He further honed his skills while attending high school at Michael Power.

“High school football was a lot of fun and it’s where I probably learned the most,” he said. “It was a great group of guys and we still get together every Christmas.”

Jamal Campbell, who was unfortunately sidelined with an injury when the Argos won the Grey Cup, said he was nonetheless thrilled to get a chance to bring the Cup home. He vowed to bring it to his Jane-Finch neighbourhood and to York University when he has the chance.

“It means a lot to me, being born and raised in this city, to bring the Cup back to where I got my introduction to football,” he said.

He noted, even though he was injured, he relished the opportunity to be around a group that gelled as the season progressed.

“It was great just being around my teammates and seeing how they came together in all aspects of the game – offense, defense, and special teams,” he said.

The team’s camaraderie was evident not only in the thrilling Grey Cup comeback – they squeaked out the win by scoring 11 unanswered fourth quarter points and stifling a last-gasp effort by the Stampeders – but as they celebrated at Tuesday’s rally.

“It all came together in the back half of the season, the pieces of the puzzle came together,” said Argos general manager Jim Popp, who joined the team prior to the season. “I’m proud to be in the double blue. I’m proud to call Toronto my home.”

Mayor John Tory congratulated the team on their win, and poked light-hearted fun at Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, who was forced to wear an Argos jersey after losing an intercity bet. Tory said he was sending Argos jerseys to other city mayors across Canada in preparation for another, similar bet.

“Next year, some mayor in some city is going to be wearing that jersey again,” he said.