Cauz: Thanks for the memories Ivor Wynne | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
 
 
THE CANADIAN PRESS
 

I’m a bit of an anomaly when it comes to my rooting interests.

I'm an Argonauts fan who also roots for the Tiger-Cats as long as they're not taking on the Double Blue. I have no love for the QEW, but I do have some love for both organizations.

Now before you rightfully accuse me of being a CFL Polygamist, let me explain.

When I think of Ivor Wynne Stadium, my first memories are of McMaster Football, not the Tiger-Cats. Not only was I student at McMaster, but I also did the radio play-by-play for the Marauders.

Photo Essay: Inside Ivor Wynne


As one of the most storied stadiums in the world prepares to close its doors, award winning photographer Adam Gagnon captures the charm of Ivor Wynne Stadium.

» Images: Inside Ivor Wynne

During my undergrad years, the team was so bad they would be routinely outscored by the baseball team; to say the team was irrelevant would be an understatement.

But then in my senior year the team hired Greg Marshall as their new head coach and he immediately transformed the entire culture of the team. I was covering the team for the school paper and would soon be invited to do the radio calls for the team, a job I held for nearly a decade.

I know this is sounding autobiographical, and I apologize, it will lead back to Ivor Wynne soon, I promise.

For most of those years the home games were at the University while the bigger playoff games would shift to Ivor Wynne. During my final days, the University tore down the old stadium to make way for the shiny new Ron Joyce Stadium.

That meant that every Marauder home game would now be at 75 Balsam Avenue. It was such a thrill to be calling games from a real life press box filled with free food, an excellent media relations staff and local media celebrities like Stephen Brunt exposing on the 40 time of Jesse Lumsden.

Now if I may indulge you for one more autobiographical moment, because I absolutely have to.

I can't think about Ivor Wynne without reminiscing about my old broadcast partner, Dr. Donald Dawson ... or as everyone called him Dr. Don. I could tell a thousand stories about his enthusiasm for the game, the times his near 70-year-old body would scale the sides of press boxes up a ladder just to get to the roof where the visiting teams were forced to call the games.

Did I mention he would also be carrying the majority of our broadcast equipment during his ascent? In so many ways we could not have been more different. He was 30+ years my senior, would not understand half of my pop culture references and had a far higher constitution for colder weather.

But we both shared a love for Canadian football and for the city of Hamilton. He passed away in the summer of 2010. So when I think about Ivor Wynne, Dr. Don will occupy my thoughts before Flutie, Montford or McManus.

I so miss those days of calling games with him. I miss being delighted the first time we got free pizza, I miss watching the growth of Ben Chapdelaine, Adam Archibald, Jesse Lumsden, Jason Pottinger, Chris Van Zeyl and so many more. I miss the small fraternity of fans we got to know who were at every home game. I miss Dr. Don.

I understand why moments like the Argonauts’ 43-37 Grey Cup win over Edmonton in the snow or the Danny McManus glory years are the prominent memories for most people; but for me it will be feeling like I was almost a professional broadcaster calling games with my friend at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Now I can't finish this article without at least one funny story.

I can't remember the exact date, but it was during the 1997 season when the Argonauts, led by Flutie, were an absolute juggernaut. Hamilton on the other hand, well let's just say that it was a transitional year.

Sitting in the stands with my friends we soon realized it was better to just enjoy every touchdown quietly while gulping back bad beer and shady hot dogs. I always got a kick out of the one mysterious fan with a mega phone who always knew when to bellow out insults at Paul Masotti.

I have no idea why Masotti was his target but this guy had his timing down. He could perfectly anticipate when those moments of dejected silence would fill the stadium. Now in writing there is nothing really funny of the line "You suck Masotti", you just had to be there in the stands it was hilarious.

But the best moments were early in the fourth quarter with the score 88-1 (Mercy rouge).

The crowd, undeterred by the score would start chanting "Leafs Suck". I always got a kick out of a crowd who still found a way to insult the city of Toronto.
 
Yes the stadium had a thousand warts, but I never went to games for luxury and comfort, I just went to watch football. Thanks for the memories. 

About Matthew

Matthew Cauz is the Weekend Host for 'GAME DAY' on TSN 1050 Radio. Previously, he was a producer and football analyst for SUN TV where he appeared regularly on the “Casino Rama Grill Room” and he spent seven years working for TSN's “Off The Record”. Follow Matthew on Twitter @mcauz56.

Fan Comments
tabbiefanmcb
Have read many memories of Ivor Wynne from a variety of people but especially the fans. Thanks for yours, Matt.
October 31, 2012 - 10:36am
 
tabbiefanmcb
Some of those empty seats including ours for a part of the 3rd quarter were because of long, slow lines at the concessions, a problem that will hopefully be solved in the new digs. I also noticed that some BB fans who had been sitting near us were no shows in the second half. Sitting in the rain watching your team win is bearable; sitting in the rain and watching them lose badly is NOT! In spite of the wet conditions and chilly wind, many stayed around for the closing ceremonies (rain had FINALLY stopped!).
October 31, 2012 - 10:33am
 
als rule
WHAT? disgusting!! how many EMPTY seats on a day the old girl closes her doors and says good bye!! now will come all the EXCUSES as to why!! PITYFUL hamilton!!
October 30, 2012 - 11:28pm
Dekkoy
What are you talking about als rule? This was a rain game. They almost had a packed house regardless. Add that and also probably scalpers that thought they could make a bit of coin on the last ever game and you have very good numbers for attendance.

Especially for a stadium that's 'falling apart'. Ivor Wynne seated more than the McGill campus. So what you're telling me is if 500 people don't show up for a game in Montréal then it was disgusting percentage wise?

Didn't think so. Do your homework and quit whining.

I like the last sentence where you try to defend yourself by being negative again. Even though its not even warranted.

On a positive note: Thanks for this summary article Matt Cauz. I know it must have been interesting to write for a Toronto writer and supporter. It shows some class for sure!
October 31, 2012 - 7:26am
tabbies rule
Old Man Calvillo retires! HURRAH! LOLOL
October 31, 2012 - 9:32am