Toronto fans toast Argos

York University featured prominently in coverage of the Toronto Argonauts’ victory parade. Television coverage showed York cheerleaders, dance squad and Lions mascots on stage at Nathan Phillips Square holding a large York banner and heralding the Grey Cup winners’ arrival. The scene was featured repeatedly on CP24 and City-tv coverage.

As the Grey Cup made its way up Bay Street to the square, fans reached out to touch the Argonauts who won it, reported Toronto newspapers. Co-owners Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon, riding in the back of a separate truck, were treated with the same approach, reported the National Post and Toronto Sun Nov. 24. The local businessmen have already committed $20-million of their own funds to help build a new stadium at York University, a venue that is expected to open in time for the 2006 season. Star quarterback Damon Allen told the Toronto Sun he wants to play until at least 2006, when the Argos are expected to move into their new stadium at York.

Basketball a symptom of the times

Last week “something happened in Detroit I would have never imagined possible – the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers piqued my interest in basketball,” wrote York environmental studies master’s student Jeff Rezansoff in a commentary in Alberta’s St. Albert Gazette. “After a late game foul by the Pacers’ Ron Artest on Ben Wallace of the Pistons, Wallace gave Artest a shove and a little brouhaha between the two teams ensued. One of the geniuses in the stands figured it would be a good idea to shower Artest with a beer. Seems fair. After all, Artest did foul one of Detroit’s star players and I’m sure that the fella who tossed the suds wouldn’t mind if someone came to his work and threw a Dr. Pepper in his face. What this fan and many of the other Mensa members in the stands didn’t count on is Artest and some of his ball-bouncing buddies leaving the court and raining indiscriminate blows upon their nacho-munching, beer-swilling mushes. But that’s the nature of TV, that’s entertainment – it’s not real! It only becomes real when 240-pound athletes take it to the crowd, a rapper at an awards show pulls a knife on someone or some kid emulates his favourite wrestler and breaks his friend’s arm. Or, so it would seem.”

Gymnast turns stunt man in Vancouver

After 16 years as Canada’s unofficial ambassador for men’s gymnastics, former York student Curtis Hibbert was more than ready to pass on the duties to one of the heroes at the recent Summer Olympics Games in Athens, reported The Delta Optimist Nov. 24. Since retiring from competitive gymnastics in 1993, Hibbert remained the measuring stick and role model for most of this country’s up-and-coming gymnasts. That was until Kyle Shewfelt’s electrifying gold medal win in the floor exercise. Hibbert’s outstanding career included a record six national all-around titles, Commonwealth Games’ gold medals and two medals from the world championships – a silver on the high bar in 1988 and a bronze on the vault in 1992. He was also the top ranked gymnast in North America for a six-year stretch (1987-1992). The 38-year-old jumped into coaching soon after his retirement when he opened a recreational club in his hometown of Mississauga, Ont. He has also found a career as a movie stunt man – the main reason he decided to move to Vancouver last July. Between projects, he has been more than happy to help out Delta Gymnastics boys head coach Mike Hood – a friend since their days at York University. (Hibbert was a part-time psychology student from 1988 to 1990 and Hood earned a B.Sc. in geography in 1993.)

York film students shoot in Woodstock

A group of York University students have set their sights on the Friendly City for a film later this month, reported Woodstock’s Sentinel-Review Nov. 23. As part of a fourth-year project, the students will produce a film short in Woodstock. “This is our final year, so obviously we’re putting our all into it,” said Lisa Cannon, 22, producer of the film and a third-year film student. The story, written by London resident and fourth-year film student Lara Mrkoci, 23, will be filmed at her grandparents’ home. The script, titled Ruby Red, is a modern-day fairy tale.