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He chose football, and 19 years later Couture acknowledges he wouldn’t have celebrated a Grey Cup victory last fall if it weren’t for his father.
“He signed me up for my first peewee team,” Couture recalled. “I almost didn’t go to my first practice. It was raining and we were late, and I didn’t want to get out of the car. He told me he paid for the registration and I was going, or at least trying.
“From there he got us season tickets to the Lions and I became obsessed with football and the CFL from then on.”
When Couture was 11, his dad took him to the Grey Cup in Vancouver, parking the kid beside the iconic trophy for a picture.
For every game, through high-school and at Simon Fraser University, dad was perched in the stands.
He hosted his son’s draft party, too, some 30 friends and relatives gathering to hear Michael’s name called by the Blue Bombers in 2016.
That was quite a moment, as Couture’s dad was originally from Winnipeg.
“He started crying right away,” Michael said.
There were tears, too, when Michael received a call after the final regular-season game, last year.
Couture had suffered a serious ankle injury in that game, and was done for the season. But his dad had more devastating news about his illness.
“The day I tore my ankle is when he told me that it wasn’t something he was going to recover from,” Couture said.
Being terminally ill wasn’t going to stop his dad from seeing a dream come true, though.
At the Grey Cup game, the injured Couture on the sidelines, he knew it could be the last time he’d be able to look up and see his father watching.
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