Saturday, October 6, 2012

Taxpayer Trophy Train

Today, I ventured over to Union Station to see the Taxpayer Trophy Train as it stopped in Winnipeg as part of a cross-country tour. You might know it as the Grey Cup Train.

I’ll state up front that I am not a fan of the Taxpayer Football League, nor am I a fan of being an involuntary sponsor of its local team.

So why would I go?

I used to be a fan. I have the beer that a group of unruly firefighters threw on me to prove it. I have somewhat of an appreciation for the past history of the league and, additionally, I have an adopted fondness for trains, so I decided to check it out.

Upon my arrival, I was shocked to see the lineup just waiting to get in.

It was no better inside Union Station.

The Bombers had their mascots around and they some posters on display throughout the station. This is “Buzz” and at right is a poster for Manitoba Taxpayers Stadium II. Thanks for the reminder. I can only imagine how much of a kick in the gut it must feel like for people who live in Fort Richmond.

After waiting about 45 minutes, I got up to the platform and saw the train.

Green is the color!

This section dedicated to Doug Flutie was the highlight for me and an unexpected bonus. I never watched Flutie play in the TFL, but I was very dedicated fan of the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, the team that he made his pro debut with in the spring of 1985. This is a picture that I’ll probably use in the book I plan to write on the Generals’ three-year history.

Is it “Michael” or “Micheal”?

Farmers’ Republic of Saskatchewan Roughriders – Grey Cup Champions.

More from our western neighbors.

Outside on the platform, I took a couple of shots showing where the trains roll into the station. This is not an area where the public normally gets to visit without a train ticket, which is one of the reasons that I decided to attend.

I also took note of a pair of jerseys hung out on the platform.

Fans had the opportunity to stand behind the jersey and have their picture taken in a Roughrider uniform. There was a Blue Bomber jersey right next to it as well.

Upon leaving the station, I noticed the lineup outside.

I was relieved that I came early. I can only imagine how long these people had to wait to get on the train.

To my surprise, the actual Taxpayer Trophy wasn't on the train, but outside in one of the displays. I came for the train and I had no need to make a special effort to see it, so I left to return home. Despite the crowds, I was glad that I went.

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