Football’s Grey Cup Brightens a Winter Day in B.C.

Chuck McMann, a member at Willoughby Christian Reformed Church in Langley, British Columbia, brightened a dull winter day with some grey—the Grey Cup, that is.

Chuck McMann shares Grey Cup victory with Langley Christian Elementary students.

McMann is a defensive coach for the B.C. Lions football team, which won the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup in 2011.

McMann brought the Grey Cup to the school’s two campuses. High school students gathered in the gym to hold it, middle schoolers passed the cup through their classrooms, and primary students lined the halls as McMann paraded it through. “There was such excitement,” said McMann, “especially at the elementary where the children just wanted to see what was inside the cup.”

One of the rewards of winning the cup in the Canadian Football League (CFL) is the privilege of bringing it home to the team’s community. McMann arranged to have the cup brought to the northern town of Ft. St. James and then to Langley, where McMann lives with his wife, Margaret, a teacher at the school.

McMann also brought the cup to local community organizations, including Gateway of Hope, a shelter for people in Langley who have no homes.

McMann has participated in eight Grey Cup games over his career as a football player and coach. This is his fifth Grey Cup win, the first with the B.C. Lions.

But for McMann, coaching is more than just the game. “I try to make a difference in players’ lives in how I relate to them. They know that I will do anything I can to help them, whether it is football-wise or in any personal matters. I am honest, respectful, and try to love them as Jesus would.”

The Grey Cup dates back to 1909, receiving its name from Earl Grey, Canada’s governor-general at the time, who donated the trophy.

About the Author

Jenny deGroot is a teacher/librarian in Langley, British Columbia.

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