This season, the Outriders were given the exciting opportunity to head out east to support the Calgary Stampeders in an away game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
This away game, however, was hosted much farther east than Hamilton. Instead, Moncton, N.B., was our destination to participate in the second Touchdown Atlantic.
Having never been to the Maritimes, I didn’t really know what to expect but it was a part of Canada I had always wanted to visit.
We took an overnight flight on Wednesday to Halifax and another three-hour bus ride to Moncton from there. Although the journey was long, the hospitality, friendliness and appreciation of the citizens of Moncton well made up for it.
The days leading up to the game on Sunday were filled with all kinds of events in the community. The Outriders sidelined and performed at three high school football games and one CIS football game. They were the loudest and most spirited football games I have ever seen.
Main Street Moncton on both Friday and Saturday was bustling with CFL Street Festival activities including concerts, the Stamps House at Moncton’s Old Triangle pub, sponsor activities and games. We also got a chance to be part of the Nissan and Scotiabank client events.
Although most of our time was busy with promotions and events, we were able to take a bit of personal time to experience Moncton as well. The weather was amazingly warm and humid, something us Calgarians aren’t quite used too, and the seafood was unreal!
After three very busy days, Game Day kicked off with a pre-game Family BBQ and Tailgate Party. There were draws, prizes, and giveaways, former CFL players on-site giving coaching and tips to kids, face painting, games and challenges, a Grey Cup appearance, performances by bands like High Steppin’ Daddy, Contrast and Old School and even us, the Outriders!
As the day kept getting hotter and the sun shone brighter, it came time for us to turn our attention to the game. Although the Stamps didn’t manage to pull out a win, it was an absolute pleasure to visit.
A big thank you on behalf of all the Outriders goes out to everyone involved in making this experience happen, in particular the CFL, the Calgary Stampeder Football Club, organizers of Touchdown Atlantic, the City of Moncton and our coaches Stacy Ruddell and Meagan Reid for whipping us into shape to perform our best.