No. 68 in blue.
That’s the number the O’Neill family in Corner Brook will be watching closely when the Toronto Argonauts tangle with the Calgary Stampeders in the 2018 Grey Cup Sunday in Ottawa.
Chris Kolankowski, a six-foot-two, 300-pound offensive lineman for the Argonauts, is the son of Debbie O’Neill, a Corner Brook native who has lived in Ontario for 35 years, and Roman Kolankowski, a former Toronto high school football all-star.
Kolankowski, a 25-year-old Toronto native who was selected by the Argos in the sixth round (49th overall) of the 2016 Canadian Football League Draft, will have his parents in the stands for his first Grey Cup game.
They, along with a handful of other family members, will make the five-hour drive from Etobicoke to see their boy in blue compete for the championship trophy in his rookie season.
His parents received complimentary tickets to the game, but the remainder of the group were fortunate enough to pick up a couple of tickets from scalpers and that was great because this wasn’t a game any of them wanted to miss.
“He had big dreams. He had to sacrifice a lot,” O’Neill said earlier this week from Etobicoke. “It was his dream to play for the Argos. He said he was doing it and he did it.”
O’Neill beams with pride when she looks at how hard her son worked to earn his way to the CFL. She has another son who is a Toronto police officer.
Two boys in blue and she couldn’t be prouder.
It will be a game she will probably remember for a long time.
It’s a safe bet Chris will feel the same way.