rime Minster Stephen Harper speaks during a question and answer panel at the Canadian Amercian Business Council conference in Ottawa Nov 19, 2012.
Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY
But, as he said Monday in Ottawa, the Toronto-turned-Calgary resident said "the shoe is on the other foot" and he will be cheering on his new hometown CFL heroes, the Stampeders, during Sunday's big game.
During a question and answer session at the Canadian American Business Council forum in Ottawa, Harper said he has spent his spare time watching football with no NHL hockey on the tube.
And when the topic of the Grey Cup came up, he admitted he used to cheer for the Argonauts, so much so that the team, and the big loss of the championship, once brought him to tears.
Harper recalled a moment during the 1971 Grey Cup, when he was 12 years old, when Toronto Argonaut running back Leon McQuay slipped on the wet turf and fumbled the ball on the 11-yard line in the closing minutes of the game.
The ball was recovered by Calgary who eventually won 14-11.
"The reason I remember that so well is I think that was the only time I cried in front of the TV at a sports event," he said.
"We had been waiting for 20 years."
He said growing up in Toronto, the Argos were his team, but now times have changed.
"I still have a soft spot for them but now the shoe is on the other foot," he said.
"I now live in Calgary, I represent Calgary in the House of Commons so I've got to be on the side of my new hometown.
"I'd be happy with either -- the good thing about a Grey Cup is that a Canadian team always wins."