Before I left for Dallas, Texas to go to Super Bowl XLV, I thought, I hope I meet other Canadians there! I even twittered with all the appropriate hash tags to find people: Can't wait for #SBXLV! #Canada does #Dallas! Any #Canucks going to #SuperBowl? Holla #Canadians!!
Once I got there I met loads of people and always asked everyone where they were from. Nothing, no Canadians. I did feel fairly akin to all the Green Bay Packer fans who'd flown down. Living on a Great Lake in a freezing climate with a quirky accent is almost like being Canadian, isn't it? I finally resorted to asking the hotel bartender, Alisa (who was amazing by the way), if she'd met any Canadians. "Oh yes!! A few men just yesterday. Crazy bunch of guys!" I asked her, if she saw them again, to let them know I was around and she could call my room. Well, didn't I meet them the next day! I walked outside the hotel and saw three men in cowboy boots, jeans, suit jackets, and cowboy hats covered with Molson Canadian stickers. I overheard one say they were from Montreal so I politely interrupted and asked if I'd heard correctly. Yes! They were all there from Montreal. Francophones who'd come down for the game and had stellar seats: Front row, 5 yard line. I got one of their numbers as I was following up on a story for Jacqueline Czernin, the host of CBC Quebec City's, Breakaway show.
On Sunday at the stadium, I was down on the field for pre-game to take some photos. In awe of the sheer size of the stadium and the players on the field and, of course, all the sports broadcasters I admire milling around, I almost forgot about all the fans! So I turned around to shoot some pics of the people who really make the NFL the billion dollar business that it is. Trying to capture the wild groups of fans from Steeler and Packer Nations, I zoned in "Green and yellow!" and "Black and Yellow!" All of a sudden, my eyes caught a group of "Red and White! And Blue!" Nope, not Americans. Habs fans! There they were. The 3 fellows I'd met the day before and 3 others they were travelling with. Jeans, same cowboy hats, but this time all 6 were wearing Habs jerseys. My face broke into a huge grin. I walked to within 20 ft and yelled "Hey Canada!" They heard and waved and yelled hello. What a great picture. Canada, front row, centre stage.
During the game, all 6 made it onto the big screen! I spotted them again, not far down and over from the media booth I was in.
With the haystack that is Cowboys Stadium, you'd think they'd been a needle in my day. But when dealing with the size of Canada's heart, I felt like I wasn't far from home at all. Everything is much bigger in Canada.