Wednesday’s keeper of the Grey Cup shared it with family and friends on his home turf at the St. Albert Rugby Football Club.
“To be able to bring it down here is a pretty cool feeling. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just neat,” said Graeme Scott, the assistant equipment manager for the Edmonton Eskimos and St. Albert rugby player.
Football fans huddled up inside the SARFC clubhouse for selfies and group pictures with the Grey Cup.
There were others who chugged beer out of the CFL championship trophy that was commissioned by Albert Grey, the Governor General of Canada from 1904 to 1911. Grey originally planned to donate it for the country’s senior amateur hockey championship but the Allan Cup was later donated for that purpose.
Instead, Grey made his trophy available to the Canadian Rugby Union in 1909 to recognize the top amateur rugby football team in Canada.
“I thought this was the right place to bring it to,” said Scott, a slippery scrumhalf. “You can bring some children down or you can bring your friends or any age group. You can have a drink if you want or you can just take your photo and then you can zip out or you can stay and share some stories.
“It’s a great place.”
It was a dream come true for Scott to experience the thrill of victory with the Eskimos.
“It’s a pretty surreal feeling. When you grow up watching football you kind of think, wow, this must be pretty cool to win something of that magnitude when you watch the game.”
The Paul Kane High School alumnus savoured the magnitude of the moment at the 103rd Grey Cup, when the Eskimos defeated the Ottawa RedBlacks 26-20 in Winnipeg for the team’s first championship since 2005 and 14th in franchise history.
“I got to touch the Grey Cup once the players started enjoying their time with it and had the champagne before heading towards the showers to wash off some of the champagne,” Scott said of the post-game dressing room celebration.
“I was kind of thinking it would be important to make sure that we clean up first because obviously at the end of each road trip our job is to clean up,” he added. “I wasn’t sure on how responsible the players would be, being that they just won such a big event, but the players were actually awesome. They helped us out a ton and credit to Winnipeg’s equipment manager; he kind of helped us out that week and he made sure that we were all OK.”
This is Scott’s second full season as one of the unsung heroes on the Eskimos.
“I work inside the dressing room and I help the players with any gear issues that they might have problems with. I make sure the coaches are happy and bring whatever equipment they might need on the field, like pylons, cones, bags, you name it,” he said. “I also make sure the players are happy with all the gloves or equipment issues that might come up.”
Ten- to 14-hour workdays are not uncommon during the football season.
“When you sign up you know what you’re going to get. You know that you’re going to have some really long evenings and it’s all worth it once you come home and get to bring the Grey Cup,” Scott said. “In the off-season it’s a little bit of inventory and that type of thing so it’s not quite as long of hours. Obviously there are fewer players in town but there are still players in every day so we’re doing laundry and stuff like that.”
One of the perks of the job is the sideline view of the game.
“I have one of the best seats in the house. As long as there is no equipment malfunctions or unforeseen circumstances, I just get to watch the game and enjoy it.”