Tiger-Cats the only team without a real ‘home’
BY Jeff Schneberk
Everyone has heard of the term ‘home field advantage in sports. Well one team will technically have absolutely none of it starting tonight when their ‘home’ season kicks off in Guelph.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats could be making history this season, regardless of how the CFL team manages to finish in the standings.
When the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visit ‘Hamilton’ to open the Ti-Cats’ home season, they will in fact, be nowhere near Hamilton at kickoff. Instead, the Blue Bombers will head about 30 minutes down Highway 6 to meet the Ti-Cats at the Alumni Stadium in nearby Guelph.
With construction to demolish the club’s former home field, Ivor Wynne Stadium long been completed, the club has long been assigned to play its 2013 ‘home’ games in nearby Guelph, at the University of Western Ontario Stadium.
Has there ever been a pro sports franchise that played the entire season (both home games and away games) in someone else’s city? This year, starting on June 20 when Hamilton takes on Winnipeg, the game will be considered a home game for the Cats but it will be played 30 minutes down the highway in nearby Guelph.
IF the Ticats are in fact the first/only team to ever play an entire season without playing in their home city, this could make or break the team in their chances to win in the following years. All the players are going to tell the media that they think it will be an awesome fit for them (playing at Alumni Stadium), but when the season actually begins, there will probably be a lot more to tell about how they handle the situation. The veterans on this team may actually face challenges like they never have before, mind you guys who have been through the league in years past should be fine at adapting (Burris, Fantuz, even Stala, Marquith Knowlton 8 years in the league).
Even moreso than the players, You have to wonder how new Head Coach Kent Austin is going to find things in the early going. In a football season, there is not a whole lot of time to find your rhythm; last year, Burris and co., found it, but it was too little too late. There are 21 games in 2013 for the Tiger-Cats, that’s including the preseason, and as of now, it is down to 20, but that of course is thanks to a win over the Allouettes in Montreal on June 13. For more on the Ti-Cats and anything else in sports, follow me on Twitter @Game7overtime.