It’s nicknamed the Grand National Drunk for a reason – Grey Cup is perhaps the only weekend when your recklessly irresponsible drinking is socially acceptable. How do you make the most of these precious few days?
By following this very simple plan! I can’t make it any easier for you to cover as many parties as possible, short of driving you to each one myself which, as you should know by now, I will not be able to do.
Required reading before you go further:
- The Hoser’s Guide to the 105th Grey Cup: Part 1 – The Essentials
- The Hoser’s Guide to the 105th Grey Cup: Part 2 – Parties, Ranked
Anytime – Let your boss know your truly honest opinion of his or her managerial skills. Then start drinking immediately and catch a flight//train/bus/car/rocket to Ottawa.
Evening – Thursday’s always a little thin but especially so this year. You’re basically choosing between Spirit of Edmonton or RNation. Bomber House will be open as well but it’s just a night club that probably won’t contain too many CFL fans. I’d go with Spirit. They should all be open until 2am.
You probably killed Captain Morgan when you thought one was looking, so go to bed you’re drunk! Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
10:30am – There’s a very good chance you’re hungover. That’s to be expected. Remember, you’re at Grey Cup. There’s no time to feel sorry for yourself today so get out of bed. You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.
The Fan State of the League address (Shaw Centre) starts at 10:30. The (pretty decent so far) commish will answer lots of questions from fans that won’t make into print media. You have a good chance of being able to ask one yourself. Plus, at 104 Matt Dunigan stayed well after to sign autographs and have his picture taken.
12:30pm – This is either really well planned or an amazing coincidence: Touchdown Manitoba is in the exact same building. This is the only place you should be spending Friday afternoon. Your ticket here also comes with lunch.
5:00pm – TD MB should have slain your hangover. Soon you’ll be looking for dinner and wanting to show your face at the team parties. I suggest wondering over to the ByWard Market but Lansdowne/Bank Street is a suitable option as well.
- Pigskin Pete’s Pub Crawl – Cornerstone Bar & Grill
- Spirit of Edmonton – The Lowertown Brewery
- Bomber House Eve Nightclub (no food?)
- Lion’s Den (no food?)
- Any one of the dozens of other restaurants and pubs.
- Stamps House – Industria
- Riderville – Lansdowne Park
- RNation – Lansdowne Park
- Bank street has a good selection of restaurants as well.
10:00pm – You oughta have a full head of stream by now! Where should you roll the dice on the rest of the night?
- RNation (Red Blacks fans)
- Riderville (Riders fans)
- Atlantic Schooners DownEast Kitchen Party
- Spirit of Edmonton
I usually try Schooners on Fridays. Some years are better than others. Any one of these could be absolutely rockin’ or completely desolate, with the exception of Spirit. That’s your fall back when all else fails.
1:00am – Last call at many of the parties! Quick, three more!
2:00am – Still in control of your motor functions? Good, go to bed, you’re very drunk!
10am – No, you don’t have the bends or a communicable disease from that cod you kissed last night. What you’re experiencing are the debilitating effects of dehydration. You could drink a bottle of water and take two extra strength Advil Liqui-Gels OR you could just drink two extra strength beers!
11:00am – Ha! It worked didn’t it? Vroom, vroom! Want free grub? Of course you do. Get over to Lansdowne for the Calgary Grey Cup Committee pancake breakfast!
1pm – This is best time to check out the Street Festival, Grey Cup HQ and the Hall of Fame Museum at Lansdowne. There are many greasy places to grab some grub from too. You should easily be able to slay the afternoon and crush a couple of cans here.
5-8pm – Beer O’Clock! Take your pick, all the team parties should be in full swing or about to kick off. This is the big night. Spend some time at your team’s party and get a good meal in because Grey Cup isn’t done with you, not by a long bomb.
8pm – Prime Grey Cup party time and I highly recommend evaluating the Atlantic Schooners Down East Kitchen Party if you haven’t already.
9:30pm – Experience has taught me that the best place to shut down Saturday night is Spirit of Edmonton. You want to get here relatively early to ensure entry. In all probability there will be a line (like every other year).
1:00am – Last call and last chance to redeem the 5 tokens you bought 5 minutes ago!
Go to bed, you are unquestionably drunk!
It’s here! Canadian Christmas!!!
11:45am – Sleep in, you’ve earned it. I bet you feel like just Jason Maas did on Monday. That’s the price the Grey Cup Weekend Warrior pays.
Buck up and make, beg or steal some coffee. Replace top 1/3rd with Baileys or rye (if that’s all you have). It’s not the plunge into alcoholism that kills, it’s the sudden stop.
1:30 – Unfortunately the Grey Cup Fan March died a mysteriously quiet death in Toronto last year. So that’s down the toilet, tragically.
You could go to the indoor VIP Tailgate Party and watch the Flutie Brothers band. However, if you’re like me you don’t have the $150 needed for cover, at most a twenty and three Spirit of Edmonton drink tokens. That leaves the decidedly not VIP outdoor tailgate party. It’s conveniently beside TD Place and luckily, it looks like your Grey Cup ticket gets you in gratis.
5:30pm – Beer and then another beer. It’s called “pre-gaming” for a reason so don’t turn jaundiced on me now, we’re almost there!
6:30pm – Game time! Wooohooo! No one knows how bad the bathroom or beer lines will be. Be strategic. Sometimes finding a urinal at the game is the hardest thing about Grey Cup Weekend. Good luck!
Post-game – There doesn’t appear to be any official post game party. For sure Bank Street will be rocking and I wouldn’t hesitate to wager on the champs tearing up the ByWard Market. Let me know where you wind up on Twitter and we’ll down several more in honour of Lord Grey.
I can’t wait to see you scurvy dogs tomorrow!!! bbbblllLLLLLUUUUEEEE!!!!!