Grey Cup: How players cope with the added pressure from tens of viewers - The Beaverton

Grey Cup: How players cope with the added pressure from tens of viewers

WINNIPEG — With the outcome of the 103rd between the and the far from certain, the pressure on the athletes is compounded by the dozens of viewers that may be watching the game.

“The stress couldn’t get any greater in this league,” said sports psychology expert Claire Scherman. “It could be encouraging since many Canadians are unaware of what the CFL is and what sport they play, but it could also discourage athletes as their family and friends watching may realize the players never made it to a higher league.”

, the network that will be broadcasting the event, believes there is an important niche audience who will passively watch three-down football on a Sunday if there’s nothing better to do.

“There might be people who accidentally watch the game momentarily thinking it’s the Patriots-Broncos game,” explained Redblacks quarterback Henry Burris. “We have to be ready for that. That person might know a person who knows an NFL scout. I won’t let that get to me.”

Having up to fifty strangers watching at one time is not the only psychological burden for these modestly paid athletes. Certain competitors have, at one time or another during their lives, thought winning the championship would be a fun thing to do.

“This could be the ninth greatest event in my life,” explained Edmonton’s Offensive Lineman Matthew O’Donnell. “Next to graduating high school, buying my first car and getting an A on my grade 10 math exam, winning a Grey Cup is a goal that I would like to achieve.”

According to sources, players from both sides were just happy to get their names written in the local Winnipeg newspaper.