I only post this press release because it details TSN’s special features during Grey Cup weekend. Brian Williams is involved in many of these, including the 30 minute TSN original documentary John Candy: True Double Blue. Grey Cup weekend is one of the few weekends (only 2 in 2011) TSN gives Williams a strong on-air presence. His CFL features can only be matched by Elliotte Friedman’s hockey features among Canadian sportscasters.
The glory and the grandeur of Canada’s game are front and centre on TSN, as the network shines the spotlight on the CFL with a series of special features leading up to the 99th GREY CUP broadcast this Sunday.
Headlining TSN’s slate of specials is the original 30-minute documentary JOHN CANDY: TRUE DOUBLE BLUE, about beloved Canadian movie star and former part-owner of the Toronto Argonauts, John Candy, and his life-long passion for the CFL and the Argos. The original TSN production premieres Friday, Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. ET on TSN (encore on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 1:15 p.m. ET on TSN).
Marking the 20th anniversary of the “Hollywood Argonauts” and their Grey Cup victory in 1991, JOHN CANDY: TRUE DOUBLE BLUE looks back at the life and times of Candy – from his roots in Toronto to his passing in Mexico – and delivers a moving and, at times, shocking account of the star’s first love: the Toronto Argonauts. Presented by Brian Williams, JOHN CANDY: TRUE DOUBLE BLUE includes interviews with Candy’s children Chris and Jen, friends and actors Martin Short, Eugene Levy and Jim Belushi, former Argonauts wide-receiver Raghib ‘The Rocket’ Ismail, and Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall, who both owned the Argos along with Candy in 1991.
Additional features airing on GREY CUP SATURDAY (Nov. 26) and GREY CUP SUNDAY (Nov. 27) explore the compelling stories behind some of the CFL’s greatest milestones, achievements and venues:
“A Grey Cup Love Story” – airs during GREY CUP SATURDAY (1-6 p.m. ET)
Love is in the air as the CFL ON TSN sits down with 91-year old CFL fan George Hitzroth, who has attended 65 Grey Cups – more than any other living person. Along with his love for Canada’s game, Hitzroth, born and raised in Hamilton and currently residing in Port Perry, ON, also fell in love with Jean Wood, his date to his first Grey Cup game back in 1943 at Varsity Stadium. In this feature, Hitzroth fondly recalls the circumstances that kept him and Wood apart after the 31st Grey Cup, and the unbelievable twist of fate that saw them reunited in Toronto for another Grey Cup date 64 years later.
“Grey Cup Ring Song” – airs during GREY CUP SATURDAY (1-6 p.m. ET)
The CFL ON TSN sits down with Donovan Woods, a folk singer from Toronto, who wrote a song that speaks to what the Grey Cup means to Canadians across the country. Woods explains how his father’s cousin, CFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman Glen Weir, inspired his wistful ballad about winning a Grey Cup ring.
“Journey to the Grey Cup” – airs during the GREY CUP SUNDAY PRE-GAME SHOW (1-6 p.m. ET)
In two separate features, TSN follows the BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers from the end of last season to now, as they each travelled towards the CFL’s championship game. Seen through the eyes of the players and coaches, fans can relive the highs and lows of the Lions and Blue Bombers’ respective regular seasons with unprecedented access into the teams’ dressing rooms before and after the games. “Journey to the Grey Cup” also includes pre- and post-game speeches and in-game commentary from key players who wore microphones on the gridiron.
“History of BC Place” – airs during GREY CUP SUNDAY PRE-GAME SHOW (1-6 p.m. ET)
Brian Williams celebrates the recent renovation of BC Place with a look back at the historic stadium, which staged the CFL’s first indoor championship game in 1983 and was the backdrop for the Canada-US Grey Cup showdown in 1994 featuring the BC Lions and the now-defunct Baltimore Stallions. Williams also revisits the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, when BC Place became the first stadium to host the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games indoors, and sits down with John Furlong, former CEO of VANOC, and Johnny Lyall, who kicked off the proceedings by jumping through the Olympic rings inside BC Place.
“1991 Grey Cup Anniversary” – airs during GREY CUP SUNDAY PRE-GAME SHOW (1-6 p.m. ET)
The CFL ON TSN goes back 20 years to revisit the 79th GREY CUP, which was played for the first time in Winnipeg and went down as one of the coldest championship games in the history of the league. Presented by Brian Williams, the feature looks back on the dramatic match-up between the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders and includes interviews with Martin Short, Wayne Gretzky, former Argos Raghib ‘The Rocket’ Ismail and Matt Dunigan, and former Stamps quarterback Danny Barrett.
“Hometown Advantage” – airs during GREY CUP SUNDAY PRE-GAME SHOW (1-6 p.m. ET)
CFL ON TSN profiles Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive lineman Doug Brown, a 10-year veteran of the team who has never won a Grey Cup. With his retirement set for the end of this season, Brown’s dreams of becoming a CFL champion all comes down to the 99th GREY CUP. The stakes are set even higher for the Vancouver native, who is chasing his storybook ending in his hometown in front of his friends and family.
“Will to Win” – airs during GREY CUP SUNDAY PRE-GAME SHOW (1-6 p.m. ET)
TSN tells the comeback story of BC Lions quarterback Travis Lulay. Hailing from a small town in Oregon where the name Lulay is synonymous with sports success, Travis fought through many setbacks in his football career before reaching the 99th GREY CUP. Anchored by a strong support system, including his wife and high school sweetheart Kim, Travis explains how his family and small town roots have shaped his unwavering determination to pursue his dreams of becoming a football champion.
“Cauchy and Henoc Muamba” – airs during GREY CUP SUNDAY PRE-GAME SHOW (1-6 p.m. ET)
In a tale of football sibling rivalry, TSN looks at Cauchy and Henoc Muamba, two brothers who will square off in the 99th GREY CUP. The Muamba boys were born in the Democratic Republic of Congo before their family moved to Canada, where the brothers excelled in football as teammates in both high school and university. After landing on separate teams in the CFL – with Henoc chosen first overall in the 2011 CFL Canadian Draft – Henoc, a linebacker for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Cauchy, a safety with the BC Lions, will play against each other for the first time ever in Sunday’s championship game.
CFL ON TSN Montage – airs during GREY CUP SUNDAY PRE-GAME SHOW (1-6 p.m. ET)
TSN gets fans fired up prior to kick off as Canada’s international multi-platinum selling rock band Nickelback lends its power track, ‘This Means War,’ from the band’s latest CD Here And Now to a special CFL ON TSN montage capturing the emotion of the players preparing to battle for Grey Cup supremacy on Canada’s biggest football stage.