July 9, 2020

Touring With The Trophy | As Told By Community Relations Coordinator Max Campbell

Over 93 days, it made dozens of appearances spanning no less than four provinces.

Altogether accumulating in one remarkable memory.

Back in late November of 2018 after the Stamps were crowned CFL champs over the Ottawa RedBlacks, Max Campbell eagerly accepted the task of managing Grey Cup trophy itself while in possession of the Red and White.

“Having the opportunity to share the trophy with as many people as possible across Canada was definitely rewarding,” said the team’s community relations and communications coordinator. “Of course, it was in very high demand, but every effort was made to accommodate the requests of players, coaches and staff along with local alumni, longstanding community groups and our valued sponsors.”

The trophy was seemingly always changing locations, and was not limited to the Southern Alberta region. Earl Grey’s iconic donation back in 1909 to the winner of Canada’s amateur rugby football championship also visited BC, Ontario and Quebec for players to share with their communities during the three-month celebratory period.

“It’s such an important part of our national identity,” Campbell remarked in reference to the Grey Cup. “The history of that trophy is tremendous and Canadian football fans alike have so much respect and admiration for everything it represents both in a sporting and cultural context.”

Among its stops made in and around the Calgary area, the Grey Cup toured towns including Priddis, Cochrane, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Olds and even Banff’s Sunshine Village on a one-of-a-kind voyage to the Rocky Mountain slopes.

Even closer to home, the trophy was on display for everyone to enjoy at the Canada Sports Hall of Fame and Alberta Children’s Hospital. It was even on hand inside the Stamps’ locker room for an exclusive viewing with local minor football teams and was paraded through numerous schools as the centerpiece of special assemblies.

“When we first brought it home to Calgary, it was almost overwhelming to start putting together the first drafts of the schedule,” admitted Campbell. “But then, as the days and weeks went by, everything started to fall into place. Of course there were constantly revisions being made, and I did my best to fill in any available pockets of time to maximize its reach and impact on those who would cherish it most.”
One particular moment throughout the process stands out the most for Campbell, who rewinds to when the C of Red ignited in unison at the sight of the sparkling silver chalice.

“Thinking back on that period of time, the highlight for me was probably seeing the players and coaches take the Grey Cup out onto the ice prior to the Flames’ first home game after our big win,” Campbell declared. “The crowd gave a standing ovation and you could really sense how special it was to the entire city.”

The trophy was hand-delivered – thankfully still in one piece – by players residing in Southern Ontario to Hamilton’s Canadian Football Hall of Fame on February 28, 2019.

Despite the logistical logjam, Campbell would instantly welcome second a go-around with this prized responsibility.

“I’d love nothing more than to have the opportunity to do it all over again.”