The CFL Grey Cup Delivered the Full Canadian Experience

We saw Trudeau take selfies, Shania Twain come out to her halftime performance on a dog sled, and a snow storm blanket the nation's capital. Welcome to Canada.
Photo by Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Trudeau selfies, dudes ripping through the falling snow, dog sleds, Mounties, and Shania Twain crushing the halftime show were just some of the components that made up maybe the most Canadian-ass football game ever.

The 105th edition of the Grey Cup was another classic, played on a snow-covered patch of frozen grass in the country's capital of Ottawa, with the underdog Toronto Argos winning a wild game over the heavily-favoured Calgary Stampeders. The game, to a lesser extent, is usually an annual celebration of Canada and its version of the sport. But for various reasons, this year's contest had a bit of a different tone to it.


The Canadian-esque backdrop was set right from the get-go as heavy snow fell furiously and blanketed the field at TD Place Field in Ottawa from before kickoff right through the first half. Every throw, tackle, run and kick had to be executed through the falling white powder that blankets most of the country more often than we'd like. It was a glorious sight for viewers on the TV side, and made for one hell of an atmosphere for those 36,000-plus in-stadium spectators braving the beautiful elements.

It was a legit snow bowl. Photo by Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

As the first half concluded and the falling snow began to slowly die, the pinnacle of the country's 150th anniversary celebration was about to get a lot more Canucky. Shania Twain, the highest-selling female country artist of all time and one of Canada's most famous music stars, graced the stage at halftime and threw down a hell of a show, but it was her entrance that had everyone buzzing.

She came rolling up to the stage on a legit dog sled with actual live-ass huskies pulling the Canadian icon toward a Mountie who escorted her the rest of the way through the snow—which was constructed with hockey sticks and 100 percent pure Canadian maple (probably). Sliding into your DMs like…

A couple well-known pieces of Canadiana, one in the form of a human being and the other a large brass trophy, were also spotted through the snowy skies at TD Place Field. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in attendance, mingling with the common folk and posing for selfies with the commissioner of the CFL.


The Grey cup, meanwhile, had way more visible police protection than Trudeau did. The historic trophy hung out on a condo balcony overlooking the snowy turf, protected by a couple RCMP officers before being escorted down to the field by the Mounties as the game winded down. It was weird and hokey, but very much Canada and the CFL.

As for the game itself, it was an absolute thriller, featuring an improbable come-from-behind win by the Argos in which Toronto completed the third-largest fourth-quarter comeback in Grey Cup history. Veteran Matt Black sealed the Argos' first championship in five years with a crucial interception with eight seconds left, moments after Lirim Hajrullahu nailed what turned out to be the game-winning field goal.

The night's most crucial play may have happened earlier in the quarter, however, with the Stamps looking to go up by two touchdowns when Kamar Jorden fumbled and Cassius Vaughn scooped up the ball and took it back 109 yards to knot the contest at 24. It's importance was rivaled only by Argos QB Ricky Ray hitting game MVP DeVier Posey for a 100-yard TD strike—a Grey Cup record.

Even the trophy made a polite entrance into the Argos' locker room for the postgame celebration, wrapping up an evening that was Canadian AF.