For the lumberjacks on the Ottawa Redblacks chainsaw crew, it was the unkindest cut of all.
Just days after learning they could perform their post-touchdown celebrations during Sunday’s Grey Cup game — and after scrambling to find flights and a place to stay in Winnipeg — they were told Saturday they wouldn’t be allowed on the field, after all.
Later, the Canadian Football League revised its ruling to permit the saw squad to appear on the sidelines. But they can’t do their signature cutting of a “cookie” from a log to mark a Redblacks TD against the Edmonton Eskimos.
Why the flip-flop? For reporters gathered in Winnipeg for the championship — and hungry, as usual, for the tiniest morsel of pregame intrigue — the decision prompted plenty of finger-pointing, all directed at Alberta.
Officials for the Eskimos, however, referred all inquiries to the CFL. The league, for its part, would only say the touchdown celebration will not be allowed “in response to concerns raised.”
CFL communications director Paulo Senra noted that the Grey Cup always takes place at a neutral site — this year the Investors Group Field in the Manitoba capital — “and we want to be as equitable as possible to both teams.”