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55 Yard Line

An ode to Marty the Horse

Marty in the lobby of the Royal York. (The Canadian Press)(Editor's Note: The recent horse controversies have rocked the 100th Grey Cup festivities, and indeed, all of Canada. On Thursday, the Royal York hotel relented and finally allowed Marty the Horse into its lobby. Puck Daddy's Harrison Mooney felt compelled to write a tribute about the trials and tribulations of Marty.)

By Harrison Mooney

Marty was Calgary's red-letter steed.
A horse born in Stouffville and born to stampede,
Procured by the Calgary Grey Cup Committee
To go to Toronto, the Grey Cup host city,
And march through the Royal York lobby, to gait
Just like this horse back in 1948.
A rider atop him, red carpet unfurled,
He'd stand in the lobby, on top of the world.

One day, Calgary met BC in postseason,
"We'll win in a walk," said the Lions. "We'll breeze in
And trounce the Stampeders, then win the Grey Cup!"
But game day came and they forgot to wake up.
The Stamps won the Final and, led by the offence,
A trip to the Grey Cup in Marty's home province.
"Priority one," said the team, "Is a ploy, eh,
To ride Marty into the Royal York foyer."

But out in Toronto, the Royal York scoffed,
"This horse is a menace! This horse should be offed!
The Royal York isn't a hotel for horses!
Let Marty walk through Super 8, which, of course, is.
So long as we're open, so long as we're able,
The Royal York stays a hotel, not a stable!"
They said it was just health and safety concern.
Horse hatred was why they were acting so stern.

So Marty and Fletcher Armstrong, the co-chair
Of the Calgary Grey Cup Committee, went there.
They hit the red carpet, 10:15 A.M.,
But the luxury hotel would not admit them.
"Neigh," pleaded Marty. But "Nay", said the staff,
One twisted a moustache. One let loose a laugh.
"Go walk through the B-Mo," they said, "over there,"
"Open a chequing account, we don't care."

The crowd chanted "Let us in!" Marty edged close.
He marched to the front door and pushed with nose.
The cheerleaders cheered as his breath fogged the glass,
But then the hotel staff said, "You shall not pass!"
"No horses!" they boasted, "Take Marty and shove it!
We're equinophobic and mighty proud of it!"
No hoof would set foot on the Royal York floors.
The miserly hotel staff locked all the doors.

But Armstrong resolved to gain Marty admission.
"We've got to get in there," he said, "It's tradition."
"Calgarians bring horses into hotels,
It's just what we do. It's why everything smells."
They took to the public! They pleaded their case!
And Canada called the whole thing a disgrace!
"The hundredth Grey Cup," they said, "should be a party!
And heck, that's just not what it is without Marty!"

"Let Marty in!" the Canadians clamoured,
"And right this injustice!" The hotel got hammered.
Finally, feeling quite rightly resented,
The Royal York saw they were wrong and relented.
The hotel's small heart grew three sizes that day.
"Bring Marty," they sighed, "bring a cabriolet."
Thus, Marty marched into that lobby and twirled.
Hail Marty, at Royal York, top of the world!

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