The 100th Grey Cup halftime show was as divisive on Twitter as the football game itself.
Fans argued in support of the Argonauts and Stampeders across social media on Sunday as Toronto downed Calgary 35-22 for its 16th Canadian Football League championship.
“All of a sudden there are 10 million Argo fans in Canada,” tweeted former NHLer Theo Fleury. “Lol love bandwagoners. I was a Stamps season ticket holder in the 90’s.”
Fleury began his NHL career with the Calgary Flames.
“And yes I’m watching the Argos game,” said Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Romero. “My boy (at)ChadOwens2 on the board already, I’m with (at)Robbiealomar on this one...Go Argos!!!!”
Alomar, a baseball Hall of Famer and former Blue Jay, was more direct in his fandom.
“Yesssss! Touchdown!!! (at)TorontoArgos Aaarrrrrgggoooooooss!!!” he tweeted.
“Hey just saw Doug Flutie on sidelines...maybe he could suit up??” asked women’s hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser. “Just sayin...LOVED watching him play!#greycup”
But there was just as much buzz surrounding the halftime show which featured legendary folk singer Gordon Lightfoot, rockers Marianas Trench, ingenue Carly-Rae Jepsen and teen hearthrob Justin Bieber.
“Grey Cup Day! Lightfoot at halftime...more Canadian than spaghetti and mooseballs!” tweeted actor Alan Thicke.
Emily Zurrer, an Olympic bronze medal winner with Canada’s women’s national soccer team, was amazed by the talent on stage.
“Gordon Lightfoot and Biebs on the same stage,” said Zurrer with the hashtag “#onlyinCanada.”
However, the choice of musical acts was criticized by some.
“Is this Hedley or something? When’s the football start again,” said former CFLer and current bobsledder Jesse Lumsden during the performance by Marianas Trench. “Who ever he is I think he needs to pee.”
Jepsen, who scored an international hit with the song “Call Me Maybe” last summer, also drew attention.
“Seriously: Call Me Maybe is a great song,” tweeted National Post columnist Bruce Arthur.
Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden replied to Arthur almost immediately: “it really is.”
Bieber was a lightning rod before the game even kicked off after he wore overalls and yellow sneakers during a photo op with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“In fairness to (at)justinbieber, I told him I would be wearing my overalls too,” tweeted the Prime Minister from his official account, adding the hashtags “#cdnpoli” and “#beliebers.”
Bieber closed out the halftime show with the popular songs “Boyfriend” and “Beauty and the Beat,” but still drew the ire of football fans.
“Justin Biebs........ UNCLE !!!” said NHLer Jordin Tootoo. “#greycup #halftimeshow #painful”
The Stratford, Ont., native had his defenders though.
“Let’s Go Biebs -- Stratford pride buddy,” said Peter Mansbridge, news anchor and a resident of Stratford.
“I love how everyone is giving bebs heat right now, leave the kid along he’s untouchable in the leather vest!” said Kaylyn Kyle, another player with Canada’s women’s soccer team. “#deadserious I want it!”
For his part, Bieber ignored the critics.
“(H)onored to perform for my country,” said Bieber. “#ProudCanadian . Good luck in the second half. thanks”
“Raise your hand if you stopped watching the Grey Cup after Biebs,” said Zurrer. “#every13yroldgirlinCanada #slowlyraisingmyhand..”
During the game’s third quarter all 10 trending topics in Toronto were related to the Grey Cup or its halftime show.