On a night where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ended the CFL’s longest championship drought with a 33-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, one of the loudest cheers was heard when a middle-aged man put on a pair of pants after the final play.
Don’t bother going back to read that opening paragraph again. Your eyes didn’t deceive you.
With the Blue Bombers winning their first CFL title since 1990, Winnipeg native Chris Matthew was finally able to cover his legs up once again. It was back in 2001 that he pledged he wouldn’t wear pants until his Blue Bombers won a Grey Cup.
Like the Tiger-Cats coming into Sunday’s game, the 2001 Winnipeg team was the heavy favourite against the Calgary Stampeders. And like the 2019 Tiger-Cats, they lost the big game.
A man of strength, character and his word, Matthew has since endured nearly two decades of wearing shorts in one of the country’s coldest cities. As a result — after his story gained national media attention heading into this weekend — Matthew putting on a pair of trousers while the Blue Bombers celebrated their historic victory was a hilariously amazing moment.
“The game? Fabulous. The outcome? Fabulous,” he said to Devin Heroux of the CBC after adding the extra layer to his bottom half. “Wearing the pants? I’m not so sure yet because it’s all new to me now.”
“That’s the important thing,” Matthew said when asked about the Bombers’ win. “My pants? That’s secondary... In fact, I’ll probably live in shorts again after this. I’ll take these off. But, the fact that the Bombers have won, wow...”
As Matthew’s story picked up steam over the last week, so did sympathy for his wife, Darla. In fact, people following the story caused #DoItForDarla to become quite popular on social media. In fairness, while her husband has endured the cold with his legs unprotected for the last 18 years, she was the one that had to be seen with him in public.
Her reaction to everything as she stood on the field Sunday night was likely better than her partner’s.
“Certainly not me,” she said with a sarcastic smile when asked who picked the camouflage pants. “I actually know fashion. Those are horrible...”
But when questioned about putting up with Chris only wearing shorts for all those years, Darla was genuine and reminded us all of the important things in a strong relationship.
“He’s such a wonderful man that you pick your battles,” she said. “And, that wasn’t one of them.”
This clearly hasn’t been a fissure in their marriage as she too is quite aware that pants likely will not become part of Chris’ everyday wardrobe anytime soon.
“He has always said, he’ll wear pants for a day. He likes wearing his shorts. He will go back to them.”
With that, Chris Matthew is now undoubtedly the most Canadian person that you know.
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