Behind The Scenes with TSN at Grey Cup

So much happened last Sunday at the Grey Cup in Ottawa. Snow fell, creating a beautiful winter wonderland of images for tv viewers, but made the playing field a virtual slip and slide for the players. Shania Twain arrived via dog sled at half time wearing a shimmering red outfit to sing her heart out for Ottawa and the nation. And, as a result of late game heroics, including a unexpected fumble return for a touchdown, the Argos pulled off a giant upset victory.

I spoke to seven people to gain a behind the scenes understanding of what the day was like who for those who prepped and executed the television and radio broadcasts of the game for TSN and TSN Radio.

Below is a list of the people I spoke to for this piece.

James Duthie hosted the TSN television pregame, halftime and post game shows from the TD Place Stadium. Duthie grew up in Ottawa.

Chris Cuthbert provided the television play by play call for TSN on Sunday. Cuthbert has called twenty Grey Cups, nineteen on television and one on radio.

Giulio Caravatta was the colour analyst for TSN Radio’s Grey Cup game call. Caravatta worked along side play by play broadcaster Rod Black.

Kate Pettersen worked the Calgary Stampeders sidelines for the TSN Radio broadcast. Pettersen is the Toronto Argonauts sideline reporter during the regular season on TSN Radio. Pettersen’s father, the late Leif Pettersen, was a terrific CFL wide receiver and long time TV game analyst.

Jon Hynes produced the television game broadcast for TSN. Hynes has produced all ten of TSN’s Grey Cup game broadcasts.

Patrick Roberge produced the Shania Twain halftime show. Roberge is a producer for the production agency PRP.

Alise Wilson was the product manager for TSN’s Grey Cup broadcasts, looking after the over 125 members of TSN’s production crew.


Grey Cup Sunday

James Duthie: I wanted to go to this RNation (Ottawa REDBLACKS) party the night before. I never go out on the Saturday night before Grey Cup, but we went early, just for a half hour. I wanted to see it because it’s my hometown. It was crazy. I couldn’t believe how at 10:30pm the place was insane. I had a hard time pulling myself out of there but I did. I slept about 12-7am.

Chris Cuthbert: The one thing about Grey Cup is it’s the whole week. My week was a little bit different. I wasn’t feeling very well, so you’re completely geared to making sure that somehow and some way you’re ready to go on Sunday. I wasn’t hitting all the parties. I laid lower than I usually would.

Jon Hynes: I wake up about 6 in the morning on game day because I can’t sleep.

Giulio Caravatta: I got up around 8 o’clock because I had to go to the (Football Reporters of Canada) breakfast. I wanted to be there for that. I got back to my hotel right around 11 o’clock and did some fine tuning. Went through the news of the day. I spent the morning reviewing my notes, knowing who the players were.

Chris Cuthbert: Game day there’s a media breakfast in the morning that if I slept well enough I go to, and I did. I went because they were honouring Jeff Avery, a guy I hold in great regard, the longtime colour (analyst) in radio in Ottawa.

Patrick Roberge: I got (to the stadium) at 8am. We needed to get ready, because unlike other Grey Cups, we were doing a lot of extra rehearsals on game day in the morning for the pregame show. Usually we do those rehearsals in a normal Grey Cup week on the Thursday or Friday night. Because we did extra rehearsals for Shania’s half time show, we moved all of our pregame rehearsals to the Sunday morning.

Alise Wilson: I was up about 7:30-8 o’clock. Was at the stadium for 9:30. From there running around making the (production) truck is good, making sure the (broadcast) booth is set up, making sure people have food, they’re fed and watered. I always have a big brunch on Grey Cup Sunday. I book a big brunch for the whole crew. I had a catered breakfast with bacon and eggs, sausages, home fries for one hundred and fifty people.

Kate Pettersen: I set my alarm for nine. I had made notes on all of the (Stampeders) players because it was a brand new team for me. I follow the league all year, but there’s a big difference between your depth of knowledge of the team you’re around all the time and the team that’s out in the west.

Chris Cuthbert: I got (to my hotel room) and spent two hours condensing the best notes that I had on the game onto one sheet. Probably from 10:30am to 1pm I did that.

Patrick Roberge: It’s very interesting early in the morning (at the stadium) on Grey Cup day. I’m usually there early. I’m one of the first guys there and you can start to see the place come to life. It’s a neat time because you get to see all the different groups – the TSN team, the football operations team, the stadium staff, a lot of the police and security. That time between 8 o’clock to game time is when you see the place start to come to life. For me, that’s a really fun thing to watch because you see all these different groups and they all have their job to do, and they’ve got their blinders on because they are focused on what their job is.

Alise Wilson: Grey Cup Sunday is usually anywhere from an eighteen to a twenty one hour day for me because I’m running around dealing with lots of stuff behind the scenes – coordinating our drivers, the runners, making sure everyone is taken care of.

Kate Pettersen: I had written a few points about every single player on (Calgary’s) depth chart. So I wrote how many Grey Cups they’ve been in. How many years they’ve been in the league and how many years with Calgary, so that in the chaos of postgame had Calgary won, I could just flip my sheet. So I was going through all of that and making sure I had all the notes I needed and all the little tidbits for when the whistle blows and things just start to go really quickly.

James Duthie: For me it’s different. It’s not the heavy lifting that (Chris Cuthbert) or Glen Suitor would have to do where they have to know details on every single player. When I’m hosting the three hour pre game show and throwing to a lot of features, certainly the work load isn’t nearly as heavy as those guys.

Kate Pettersen: I was looking over any last minute stories that the beat reporters had put out because they’re the guys that are always the team. And I plan out my first two hits (for the broadcast) which were pregame and first quarter.

James Duthie: I was trying to think up in my head how I wanted to introduce this feature and how I wanted to introduce that feature. I spent a couple of hours doing that.

Kate Pettersen: At noon I ordered room service, breakfast goes till (1pm), so I had a late breakfast. I took about twenty minutes to just had a time out because for me this was my first Grey Cup, covering a team I don’t know as well. It was a combination of being a little anxious, nervous energy, which I think is good, and excitement and also exhaustion at that point in the week. Also for me, with my dad and not having my dad there was a lot of emotion thinking it was a really cool moment that I’d like to share with him. And the added part to that was that Rod Black was my dad’s (broadcast) partner in the booth. And Rod Black called the game (for radio) and threw down to me for my first hit on the sidelines. So I had a long shower and then just kind of lay in bed and was like, “OK, here we go. It’s game day.”

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Kate Pettersen with the TSN Radio broadcast crew. Giulio Caravatta (left) and Rod Black. (photo courtesy of Kate Pettersen)

Patrick Roberge: We got through rehearsals and my vantage point is in a tent and I was positioned right next to the TSN panel tent. The whole week the temperature was not too bad. Some days were plus eight or nine, but on game day morning it got really cold. It got to minus three or four. In contrast, it felt a lot colder. The heaters in our tent were still working keeping our equipment from freezing. And I couldn’t complain about the cold because the rest of my team was all outside, out in the cold. But when you’re sitting at a control position, you’re not moving around so you actually feel colder. Our rehearsals finished about two o’clock and I actually went out of my tent to Winners and bought blankets because I was so damn cold. It was the best purchase I ever made ever at a Grey Cup.

 


STADIUM ARRIVAL

James Duthie: I went over to the park around noon. I just like to get there early to check out the set and check out our situation, be able to walk around, get something to eat, and enjoy the park.

Jon Hynes: We didn’t go to the stadium until noon and that’s six hours and forty minutes till kickoff. Once there you’re just really finalizing everything.

Patrick Roberge: We started working with Shania’s team several months out. We all agreed, her creative team, Shania was very hands on, that we wanted to do something that was fun, that was unique, and something that was going to celebrate the Canadian aspect of what we were doing. We collectively came together and said, “Lets do a dogsled.”

James Duthie: It was a crazy beautiful day. It was sunny and perfect but I knew what was coming because I checked the weather app on my phone. That was the strangest thing. There was not a cloud in the sky at 1pm. It was cool. I think it was three degrees.

Patrick Roberge: There’s this kind of lull period which is the part I hate the most as you kind of sit around and wait for the action to start happening. But during that time we started dialling into the weather. And that’s what changed our day considerably.

Jon Hynes: First thing I do is a walk through because the panel guys are on both panel sets. You’ve got Duthie on (analyst) Henry Burris on one and you’ve got our regular studio panel which is Rod Smith and the boys. I do a walk and talk to those guys for ten minutes, wish them good luck and get a gist of what their day is going to be like.

Patrick Roberge: The forecast was flurries, maybe one centimetre, no big deal. But as we started looking at the radar and started to hone in on what was really coming, we realized that we better start talking about the, “What if” scenarios of snow. And that changes the equation considerably, especially for us. That’s where things got quite interesting.

Kate Pettersen: I left for the stadium at (2pm) and got there and set up my desk underneath the stadium and walked around on the field a little bit. Walking around on the field I was checking out the logos because we knew that the logos use water based paint so when the sun went down and the frost set it, we knew (the logos) were going to get slick. I wasn’t supposed to but I put my toe on it. There was a sign that said no but I needed to know how they felt.

Patrick Roberge: The big changes were, we had to ground the planes, we grounded the helicopter for TSN. We started reacting to small things that were starting to happen, little things like microphones working and musical instruments working with half an inch of snow on them.

Chris Cuthbert: We left at 3 (to go to the stadium) because of the traffic. (TSN) wanted us there a little earlier than we had to. I would have preferred to have stayed a little longer because I missed our pregame show and I like watching it.

Jon Hynes: I walk around and remind myself of where the different camera positions are, because of the forty cameras we use, as opposed to fifteen the week before. The Grey Cup game is drastically different. We’re using facilities like they’ll use on a major NFL broadcast. We only do it once a year. Sunday Night Football does it every week. That’s one of the biggest challenges of doing the game is you have so many extra things that you’re not used to having.

Giulio Caravatta: I headed to stadium at 3:30. It took twenty minutes, half hour to get there via cab. It was actually a little bit of an adventure getting into the stadium because of all the people. There were a ton of people walking around doing their thing. It was cool going through all the people and seeing how excited they were, everyone’s getting ready for the game. It was a really good vibe.

Chris Cuthbert: We got to the park at 3:30 and get make up and then I headed up into the booth by 4ish. I always disappear for a half hour. I go sit in an empty box if I can find one. I think I sat in John Hufnagel’s box, (the general manager of the Stampeders). I just went over my notes. I’ve highlighted the night before all my key notes, but I like to go over and re-read everything one more time. It’s just like prepping for an exam. It’s an open book exam really.

Giulio Caravatta: I got up to the booth around 4:15. They were already doing the (radio) pregame show. I dropped my bags off and walked around the press box chatting with some of the other guys.

Chris Cuthbert: We got up to the booth and in about ten minutes it started to snow. I immediately had flashbacks to my first Grey Cup, which was ’96 which was in the snow in Hamilton. That day when I left (my) house in Brampton, (Ontario), it was not a bad day. It wasn’t till we got to Ivor Wynne (Stadium) that the snow had just closed in on the area of Hamilton. I don’t think any of us were really ready for a snow game. That wasn’t really in the forecast for the one in ’96 nor (this) one.

Chris Cuthbert: Our first live on camera (segment) was at 5:45. We’re usually not able to rehearse because the (production) truck is being used for the pregame show. For whatever reason, and I didn’t understand it, or I was caught off guard, we were getting ready to do the hit, and I didn’t get the message that we were actually going to rehearse. Our producer Jon Hynes counted me down, and I could hear the (live) show in my ear and I could hear they were in the middle of a discussion, and all of a sudden (Jon) went, “Three, two, one, cue,” and I panicked a little bit and thought, “How the heck are they throwing to us live without really any warning like this?” But I did the whole rehearsal as if we’re on the air and the old adrenalin started to pump because I thought for two seconds I was stammering on the air and caught off guard. We got through it and I thought it wasn’t a bad hit after all and I threw to where we were to supposed to go and when we were done the producer said, “Oh, good rehearsal.” And I went, “What? That wasn’t live?” It was kind of perfect because it got a little shot of adrenaline into the system before the game started.

John Hynes: When I started working in television trucks in the early ’90s, there was constant yelling. It was going on all the time. I’m talking on a regular season game that doesn’t have nearly the magnitude like four and half million people watching like the Grey Cup does. There’s not a lot of yelling (now). There’s urgency. You can hear it in everyone’s voices. You can hear it in mine. But there’s not question everyone is heightened urgency. You don’t do a lot of games where your president of your company and your senior vice president are standing over your shoulder for the entire game. That’s the way it is in Grey Cup.

Kate Pettersen: I went and met with both (teams) equipment guys to find out if there were any discussions about changing their cleats and also get their opinions on what the guys were going to wear.

Jon Hynes: From 6 to 6:40 is when our truck takes over and the pre game truck is clear. We do anthems, coin toss, coach interviews, coach speeches, team intros, all that stuff leading up to the 6:40 mark for kickoff.

James Duthie: It was a special day for me. I grew up in Ottawa and my parents were big (Ottawa) Rough Riders fans. When I was eight years old and moved to Ottawa, they bought seasons tickets. They lived there before. That was the one thing I did with my mom and dad every week or every two weeks whenever there was a home game for twenty two years. I moved from Ottawa when I was thirty. That was the one thing, even as an adult, that I would do with them. They’re still alive, still go to the games, still die hard fans, but they’re getting up there. My dad is eighty six, my mom is eighty four. So to have a Grey Cup back in my town after football died there twice, I never thought it would come back. My dad is about the biggest Ottawa football fan ever. Next to family, that was his life. Seventy percent of conversations you’d have with my dad after he retired were about football. So, I went up and brought them down to (our) set, which is cool in itself. They sat on the set for a while, they got to meet (2016 Grey Cup MVP) Henry Burris. There’s actually a crew from Ottawa doing a little documentary on them. That was really cool. So from 6 to 6:30, I just spent some time with my folks. That was the favourite part of the day for me.


SNOW

Kate Pettersen: It was chaos when the pregame show started when (hip hop artist) SonReal was on the field. It was hilarious because you’ve got these guys that work in the league office in suits and dress shoes expecting to pitch in, but not expecting to be shovelling the field. Glen Johnson, Vice President of Football, Chairman of the Board Jim Lawson, all the PR staff. It was mass chaos. It was kind of comical.

Giulio Caravatta: It reminded me of back when I played, back in 1994, we played in the Western Final against Calgary. We played in the snow in the second half. The first half was cold but no snow. I remember the same kind of feeling. The snow was falling in a mystical kind of way. It was all kind of coming down soft. It reminded me what it was like back in ’94. I was thinking to myself how cool it was that it was the Grey Cup and we were getting this snow. At the time it wasn’t something that was sticking to the ground, it was just coming down, and the 15-20 minutes later you’re saying, “Oh god, it’s starting to stick.” At the time when it first started, I thought this was kind of cool. If it stays like this it would be really neat to play a game where it’s just kind of snow and flurries. But it ended up being more than that.

Kate Pettersen: I knew it was going to get cold because you could feel the temperature dropping before kickoff. I learned that the temperature really fluctuates in Ottawa. Each day was completely different.

Jon Hynes: We’ve had cold, we’ve just never had constant snow like we had. Two things happened. One, the CF-18 fly over after the anthem and right before kick off got cancelled because of the weather. We always have a helicopter cam at Grey Cup that flies over the stadium. It gets you a great shot going to commercial. It gets you a great shot coming back from commercial. The helicopter couldn’t fly until the fourth quarter.

Kate Pettersen: I froze during the East Final because I didn’t wear my snow pants because I was trying to be fashionable. So I came into Ottawa thinking, “I’m all in. I’m going to be a snowman.” I actually couldn’t get my snow pants done up because I had so many layers underneath them. I was in tights, sweat pants and snow pants with layers on top, mittens, and my hand warmers and toe warmers. I also wore socks that (Argos equipment manager) Danny Webb gave me in Calgary last year. I never actually put the toe warmers on and I was fine the entire game.

 


Grey Cup First Half

Patrick Roberge: The first quarter of the game went incredibly quickly. I’ve never seen a Grey Cup quarter go by so fast. I don’t know why, but it did. Normally we have two full quarters and the second quarter usually drags out but this one was whipping by so fast. It was like, “We gotta move quickly here now.” Looking back on it, if the first quarter didn’t go by so fast, it wouldn’t have been snowing during the half time show. And frankly, I think the snow in the halftime show was epic.

Giulio Caravatta: They had the booth closed for the pregame show but we insisted on opening it. We had windows that slid up so the lower half of our booth was open. I had a big heavy jacket on and hat and gloves, (and) half way through the first quarter taking my jacket off and gloves off. I thought it was going to be colder in the booth but it was quite comfortable even with the windows open.

Chris Cuthbert: It was kind of a running joke because I ran a poll earlier in the week. I had sent out a tweet criticizing the commissioner for wanting to move the season up by a few weeks. I got a lot of response pro and cons. I think over twelve-hundred people responded. A lot of people thought, “Yeah, but you just sit in a warm, heated booth.” So that was more tongue in cheek for those folks, “Yeah, the windows are open.” As it turns out, we didn’t have heaters. We have heaters in some of the stadiums but there weren’t any heaters (on Sunday). It wasn’t painfully cold.

Kate Pettersen: It was a wet snow and it was blowing. I kind of wanted to ask someone in the stands for their (ski) goggles. It wouldn’t have been a good look but you kind of needed ski goggles because of the way it was swirling. It was getting in your eyes. The way they pushed the snow off the field, right by the net where the kickers warm up at the end of the bench, there was a big pile of snow and I just climbed on top and I could see over all of the guys.

 

Chris Cuthbert: I noticed a mistake on our bug on our the first series or two. (The bug) said it was on the forty-three and I knew it was the forty-eight and I kind of smiled at myself thinking I’m seeing it better than they are and then about five minutes later I was out by five yards on a call, and I thought I just better keep focused here because in the first half it wasn’t always easy to see.

Giulio Caravatta: We had the advantage of having (tv) monitors in our booth so we had live feeds of what television was giving. There was a little bit of an issue to the far side of the field. You had to really pay attention especially when the ball was thrown and guys were going to the football. The difference between (jersey numbers) 20 and 26 was getting a little bit harder.

Kate Pettersen: My first quarter hit ended up being about two things – one, the iPads because they had them in plastic bags and they had a guy assigned to wiping the iPads off because the snow was so wet you couldn’t see them. That was the first part of my hit. The second part was (Stampeders punter) Rob Maver told me (he) got a little to close to the (sideline) heater. I went on the air and said it’s a new style of fishnet (stockings) because he had literally burnt holes in both of his tights.

James Duthie: For the most part I like to hear the play by play, so I stayed on the set, plus (I was) a little bit sick. I walked for maybe five minutes of the second quarter. I walked up and down with the guys that hold the first down markers. But I was getting so much damn snow on me that I was going to be completely soaked. Typical TV boy. I wanted to stay warm and dry so I went under the tent. I find sometimes if I unplug (from the play by play feed) then at half time I may repeat something that Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor might have said ten times, and then you look like a bit of an idiot.

Kate Pettersen: I had DaVaris Daniels at halftime for my walk off (interview). Grey Cup we only get one question instead of two (we get for regular season games). I always get second (choice) to TV, so (TSN TV sideline reporter) Sara Orlesky told me fairly early that she was taking Jerome (Messam).

Patrick Roberge: We didn’t bring the dogs on scene until well into the first quarter. Dogs like to run. And as soon as they’re there, they don’t like to sit around and wait. They want to run. So, we kept them off site. It was also easier to bring them once the game started. That was a tight moment too, getting the dogs all hooked up and ready to go and getting Shania into place for the entrance. It all came down to the last few minutes for sure.


The Shania Twain Half Time Show

Patrick Roberge: When we push out the half time show, we push out about seventeen pieces of staging and equipment with about two hundred people. And we’ve never done it snow before. All week we’d been practicing on nice, clean turf. So we were concerned.

James Duthie: They had to bring Shania’s set out right behind us, so we went to commercial break for three minutes. Henry (Burris) and I come up for two and half to three minutes and then we go to (commercial break). The producers coordinate with (Rod Smith and the panel) because obviously we don’t want to repeat everything Dunigan and Stegall and those guys are going to say. As soon as I went to break I knew I was clear for the whole Shania segment so I unplugged and went right up to the stage like a geeky fool.

Kate Pettersen: I ran (inside) and tried to dry off a little bit. I ate a banana. That’s my thing. Either at halftime or third quarter because I fade. So I had my banana and then I ran out there and watched the first song. I’m front row fan-girling like a champ.

Patrick Roberge: We worked for quite a long time. We did some tests with the dog team. There were lots of concerns because Shania had never done a show on a dog sled before. Is she going to fall out? How’s she going to get out of it? All of these kinds of things. It took a lot of work to make that happen and we did keep it quite quiet because we wanted to make it a big surprise and it certainly was that.

 

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Shania Twain pulls into TD Place Stadium on a dog sled. (photo courtesy of PRP)

 

Kate Pettersen: It was right in front of me. They keep a lot of that stuff under lock and key. They did release prior to halftime, the song list. She came flying around the corner. I thought it was great. When you have America talking about it the way they were on Twitter and social media. That’s great. It’s funny because Americans think of us as, not all, I’m saying this in a general sense, a stereotype of Canadians is we all live in igloos with our dogs and it’s freezing. So how perfect if Shania Twain shows up on a dog sled in the middle of the snow bowl.

Chris Cuthbert: I was mad at myself because I missed Shania coming out on the dog sled because I would have referenced that in the second half for sure. I went out with all the other media slugs and we were lining up for pizza.

Alise Wilson: Halftime we kind of step back because (Patrick Roberge) steps in. I went and watched Shania. I usually try to because it’s part of the event and I miss so much of the game and what’s happening in the broadcast because I usually am running around, I’m not just sitting there watching the show.

Patrick Roberge: She was prepared for the snow. She was prepared for the weather. There was not one second was there any fear that Shania was not going to do her show no matter what the weather was. I really applauded that, because not all artists are that courageous.

Kate Pettersen: I knew she was going to do one of her new tracks as the second song. So I literally sprinted back across the field, went (to the washroom), got myself organized as I went back out on the field for Man, I Feel Like A Woman.

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Shania Twain performing live at Grey Cup. (photo courtesy of PRP)

 

Patrick Roberge: The good news is we anticipated some precipitation. The staging we prepared was very anti-slip. (Shania) was being careful, but you know what I loved about it? She gave it a go no matter what.

Giulio Caravatta: I was kind of hungry and I needed something to eat because I didn’t have much to eat for breakfast. I (got) a piece of pizza. I was concerned (when) I went back to the booth. Matt Sekeres and Lee Versage were (on air doing the radio halftime show), we had a couple of producers, stats guys were in there. I had my binoculars and I was getting ready for Shania. I thought to myself, I won’t be able to see her because these guys are all in (the broadcast booth).

Kate Pettersen: Everyone was excited about Shania.

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Shania Twain performs during the half time show at Grey Cup in Ottawa. (photo courtesy of PRP)

Kate Pettersen: She wore her power suit. She wasn’t messing around with that.

Patrick Roberge: I was worried about her shoes. She had some pretty epic boots on. They were very high heeled. I don’t think she ever wore those boots before, so there was a little bit of concern when she got up on that stage.

Giulio Caravatta: I started up opening up a couple of doors they had where stats guys were for the league but they didn’t go anywhere. So there was no room anywhere. So I walked to the end of the press box and opened up the door and I put my jacket on and I went outside and was basically at the top of the stands. I watched the halftime show from up there with my binoculars.

Chris Cuthbert: You shut off a little bit. I did come back in the booth to see Shania. And then you want to dial back in before you’re back on the air because sometimes when you get away from it for a little too long, you have trouble starting again.

Jon Hynes: First thing I do when we get to half is go through what video packs we need for the second half. Player X had a great first half, lets have a pack on him. (But) basically that’s a time to clear your head a bit because there’s a lot going on. I’ll take at least ten, fifteen minutes where I’ll just go outside the truck and clear my head. You can hear the halftime show blaring away.

Patrick Roberge: There was one moment of nervousness. We used a lift for her big exit. And she wasn’t standing on the lift when we were supposed to take the lift out. It was like, “You gotta back up.” She finally realized she wasn’t on the lift and then she backed up. I don’t know if she couldn’t see the lift clearly because of the snow up there. She eventually figured it out. There was a little moment of, “We’re not going to cue that lift without her clearly standing on it properly.” That would have been the ten second memory right there.

James Duthie: I do the Super Bowl every year now and the Grey Cups, and I always find that you always find the show is better live, then I’ll go on Twitter and everybody hates it at home. I thought this one was pretty good.

Giulio Caravatta: It was perfect. It was snowing, she was out there, everybody was really into it. It was really cool.

Patrick Roberge: Our goal was to try to make it a Canadian celebration, and the Grey Cup is that by default, but we were on the end of a Canada hundred and fiftieth year. We’re in the nation’s capital. We’ve gotta at least make an effort to celebrate this as Canadiana as we can. Sometimes that can go too far and people think it’s too forced. It was just enough for everyone to go, “Yeah, that’s what we were looking for.”

Kate Pettersen: We did have 5-10 minutes after (Shania), as they were clearing the field. At that point I switched socks for the second half. Added some hand warmers, Switched all my batteries for my mic and my IFB.


A Wild Finish

James Duthie: I spend most of the fourth quarter thinking in my head, who’s going to win these awards? Who’s going to win the game? So I can ask intelligent questions. I think I spent most of the fourth quarter thinking the Stamps were going to win. Bo Levi was going to be the MVP and Jerome Messam was going to be the top Canadian. Then obviously things went hairy.

Chris Cuthbert: I know subconsciously, as Calgary was driving, before the fumble, that I was thinking this game is ending here, it’s over. I was caught off guard and maybe more astounded by that fumble return touchdown than maybe any play I called in Grey Cups. It came out of nowhere. It was like a thunderbolt that nobody saw coming and completely turned the game around. I remember when (Cassius) Vaughn was spiking the ball, thinking everything is now different than it was ten seconds ago.

Giulio Caravatta: I thought in the end we were going to go to overtime. (Calgary is) going to tie this game up. And they should have. The interception was huge.

Kate Pettersen: The most intense moment was standing on the sidelines in that final minute and I’m standing next to (Argos sideline reporter for the radio broadcast Mike Hogan). One of us is going to be dealing with mass chaos and one of us is going to have nothing to do because that’s the way it works. The winning team, you’re on the field getting as many guys (for interviews) as fast as you can. We were standing there (wondering) which one of us is going to be spinning in a one minute.


 

Grey Cup Post Game

Giulio Caravatta: I won’t soon forget the look on all of our faces after the game and thinking, “What just happened?” I remember Rod saying it on the broadcast, when they were getting down to the goal line, I don’t remember if it was on the air or off the air, “This is over. If they score here, it’s done.” The last four-five minutes were crazy. From a game stand point it was exciting.

Chris Cuthbert: I thought it was one of our better broadcasts ever because I just felt we were both on it for the whole game.

Kate Pettersen: The whistle blew (to end the game) and I jumped on the mic and I said, “Do you need me to help with the post game?”

James Duthie: I do the trophy presentation, that incorporates an interview with the top Canadian and the MVP and then introduce the commissioner to present the Grey Cup and interview somebody there.

Kate Pettersen: Hogie and I literally went back and forth. He had Cassius Vaughn. I’m standing there with Devier Posey. In the end, I got Ricky Ray and that was so cool.

James Duthie: It got a little hairy in the Grey Cup presentation and I think it was my fault. How it worked last year, there was a big stage in Toronto, they call up the Most Outstanding Canadian. He gets the trophy, I interview him, he walks away. MVP comes up, it was Burris, interview him. So all the players are down below. This year because of Shania and the configuration of the stadium, they only had time to put up that small stage. I announce Devier Posey as the MVP. While Posey is talking, I’m asking him a couple of questions, I’m looking for (Argos head coach Marc) Trestman out of the corner of my eye to invite him up. All the Argos were out there and I kinda saw Trestman in the middle of it. I gave one of those hand signals like, “Come on, get up here.” The whole team saw that as me inviting all of them. In twenty seconds there were thirty Argos on the stage and I just got destroyed, almost lost in this mosh pit.

Chris Cuthbert: We walked across the field after the game and I noted two things. How kind of frozen and bad the field was compared to what you think it is upstairs. The other is this, I saw at least twenty people kind of frolicking on the field wearing (Argos Offensive Tackle) Chris Van Zeyl jerseys. It was the whole Van Zeyl clan, and all I could think of was how cool it was for that family and all those people to share in such a spectacular moment. It was pretty cool. I was actually so struck by it, I went over talked to one of them just to offer congratulations. I had never seen that many people connected to one player celebrating on the field like that before.