The Western Mustangs won the Vanier Cup yesterday. For those not in the know, that is the Canadian University Football Championship. As I went to Western, I both watched and celebrated the win.
I try not to get too wrapped up in sports (though, sometimes I succumb to lure) but yesterday seemed more about nostalgia.
My Western Mustangs have been perennial winners. They are usually in the conversation, to use some sports parlance, for the Vanier. What I didn’t realize is that the last time they won was 1994.
The 1994 game was quite special to me. I was living in Japan–at a time when there was no windows 95, no widely available internet, and very narrow broadcasting. Though some North American sports were reported in the newspapers, not very much of it was. I was living a more isolated life than people nowadays do. For me to get the result of the game, I would have had to call somebody or wait for a letter.
Fortunately for me, my friends sent me a video cassette of the game. Yes, that’s right. they sent me a video cassette. Getting a video cassette of anything was an amazing occurrence back then. When my friend got a tape of a Leafs Flames hockey game, we turned it into a weekend party. When my American Friends got a tape of the Super Bowl, we treated it like a holiday–no turkey, but quite a bit of beer and snacks.
Watching that incredible Vanier Cup from 1994 was awesome. The game was exciting (blown leads, overtime…it had it all) and for a few brief moments I was connected to life in Canada while overseas.
Yesterday’s game did not have the same gravitas. I have long (long) since graduated, and even though I toured the campus last year, I am not a Frosh living in residence. Funny though, school ties are stronger than you expect.
Congratulations Mustangs. Job well done.