After 60 years since its first meeting, the story of a how a stuffed panda became the centre of so much heat has pretty much become a legend. “Pandanapping,” “world tour,” “vandalism,” and “local jeweler” all play a role in the telling of its tale according to the Panda Game Wikipedia page.
Each year, fellow students, alumni, and football fans make their way to opposing stands to cheer on their school. Recently, the Panda Game has returned to its original field at Lansdowne Park on Bank Street. The proximity makes the match feel like a home game for the Ravens, with most students’ dressing rooms only a 15-minute walk away from TD Place. The student-housed Sunnyside Avenue features pre-game parties and face paint tutorials, while the Glebe fills up in the early afternoon before kickoff.
Having only a year of school left to go, Panda will surely be one of the best parts of my university experience. The tradition, fandom, and sheer excitement that all Ottawa residents feel for this event year in and year out is truly something to remember and something I hope will continue for my children to one day enjoy.
Hopefully they won’t be GeeGees.