PHOTO | Canada Grey Cup 2012

TORONTO — They broke the Grey Cup somewhere in the whirlwind of Champagne and beer and big men in close quarters, letting out all the joy and pain and pressure from a long and strange season. The handle snapped clean off, but then, it’s never been the sturdiest trophy. Which is fitting, since the Toronto Argonauts, for all the 139 years of their history, have never been the sturdiest franchise. On Sunday night, though, in the 100th Grey Cup, they were immovable from beginning to end in a 35-22 victory over the imploding Calgary Stampeders. The game capped a smashing Grey Cup week, during which Toronto felt more like the rest of Canada than it has in a long time; the dusty old Rogers Centre came alive in a way that it simply never does. Usually, this place is half-empty or worse, and the games feel small. This time the sellout crowd of 53,208 turned the dusty old dome into a multicoloured, raucous, sold-out festival. And their team measured up. “It’s something we can be proud of the rest of our lives — that when all the lights were brightest, and all the eyes were on us, we answered the call and made Toronto a city of champions,” said defensive back Jordan Younger, one of this team’s most enduring presences. “As an athlete, it’s a perfect moment. I mean, perfect.” This town has become a black hole of despair when it comes to sports, but for the Argonauts it’s been Toronto’s week, and Toronto’s year. From the moment this last-place team traded for quarterback Ricky Ray the conspiracy theories bloomed, as if the Canadian Football League had somehow convinced the Edmonton Eskimos to torch their franchise for the good of the big picture. Speculation swirled around the job security of Toronto’s general manager, Jim Barker, despite the heist. Late in Grey Cup week, speculation swirled around their immediate future. This team has always been a little uncertain, and this version was no exception. But on Sunday, they were the best team in the country, and not by a little. No conspiracy theory would have arranged a 9-9 record in the regular season, a climb over Edmonton and Montreal in the playoffs, and the demolition of a team that had won 13 of its previous 15 games. But here we are.
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Hanno contribuito: Anna Maria Barone, Frank Verrillo, Margherita Rainone, David Verrillo
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