So you think you've got problems with airport security?
When Scott Ackles, president of the Calgary Stampeders football club, toted the famed Grey Cup to Canada's Washington embassy for the celebration of Barack Obama's inauguration, he knew there could be trouble.
The cup, a huge gleaming silver trophy, was encased in the kind of metal box that would handily house a suitcase bomb. And taking it to Washington in the tightest security conditions since 9/11 might look a tad suspicious.
"Customs asked what I had here, and I had to go into a special search area," said Ackles, attending the embassy's tailgate party. "I got worried when two or three customs people came in."
But they weren't hunting for terrorists, Ackles found to his relief.
"They said, 'we don't want to inspect the merchandise. We just want to have our pictures taken with the cup.'"
The exercise attracted another traveller, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams: "he was like a kid in a candy shop," said Ackles. "He told me about his early rugby career." No surprise, then, if Adams appears onstage when 2008 winner Calgary hosts the Grey Cup this year.
- Olivia Ward