I’ll apologise for this article in advance, because I know you’re used to me producing light-hearted content. However, I wanted to at least attempt to convey what I witnessed in the Argonauts locker room after yesterday’s loss to the Ti-Cats.
I’ve been fortunate enough to cover numerous sporting events, including MLB, NFL, MLS and of course CFL games. As such, being in the losing locker room is nothing new to me.
However, being around the Argonauts players just minutes after they missed out on a trip to the Grey Cup, proved to be more powerful than I ever imagined it would be. While people quite rightly say it’s just a game, this is still something professional athletes put their heart and soul into.
Within two steps of walking into the locker room, I was confronted by Chad Owens sat on a step, with his hands clasped together and looking down at the floor. Several teammates came up to console the Hawiaiian, but this did little to lift him from his stupor.
One of the reason’s I believe the Argonauts lost, was because of the absence of injured running back Chad Kackert. He couldn’t help not playing, and yet the 2012 Grey Cup MVP was hobbling around on crutches, apologising for not being out there on the field. Talk about a stand-up guy.
I was genuinely surprised by how much seeing so many devastated people in one room affected me. I guess that’s what happens when you’re an Argonauts fan masquerading as a sports journalist.
I went up to see offensive lineman Joe Eppele, one of my favourite people to speak with period, but I couldn’t bring myself to interview him. Instead, I just passed on my commiserations, congratulated him on his season, shook hands and was on my way.
Overall, people can mock the CFL as much as they want, or laugh at how seriously athletes and fans take sports in general. However, being in the Argonauts locker room yesterday resonated with me on a level I’ll never forget.
Photo credit: @TorontoArgos
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- By English Paul
- November 18, 2013