everything i know about football in a nutshell


I know that I don’t like the game. It strikes me as only slightly more boring than golf or baseball but in a different, more intolerable way.

I also know that I loved sitting in the bleachers in Edmonton sometime in the eighties, wrapped in a wool blanket, sipping from a thermos. I LOVED that this boring game brought people together in frigid temps, and not a soul complaining. I have no idea who was playing. The Edmonton team and somebody else I suppose. Who cares? The blanket, the thermos, the frosty-air-happy-vibe is what I remember.

I know that in high school I made the mistake of attending a pep rally and was hit in the head by a football.

And I know what an excellent plan was hatched when I used to hang out with semi-athletic friends who liked to play frisbee and soccer and who one afternoon decided on an impromtu game of football and used me as a decoy to score a touchdown (all I had to do was stand beside the goal post, receive the ball and take one step to my left—the theory being that the other team wouldn’t be watching me because by then they’d figured out I was useless). Brilliant strategy except for the part where I didn’t understand my role and stood there with the ball wondering what do I do with it again??

I know (or at least have heard) that a typical football game lasts about three hours, during which time there are only about 11 minutes of actual play.

I know that in England football is called American football because in England football is soccer.

And I know that if I was forced to watch football it would be CFL games only. (I know about the difference in downs but I don’t understand or care.) I’m a sucker for the cold, and hearty souls. (It occurs to me that part of what I don’t like about certain sports is that they’re played in warm weather and who wants to run around in the heat? That and the fact that I just don’t like sports.)

But who didn’t love seeing that snow last night?? And the no-whinging attitude of players and fans. Took me straight back to those Edmonton bleachers. Oh, sure, it might have been freezing and unpleasant at the time but that’s the stuff sweet Canadian memories are made of.

Also… that the Argos won doesn’t hurt.

(sorry, Calgary, you know I’ve always loved you… and I promise to stop saying the word Edmonton in your presence… and of course Toronto)



6 thoughts on “everything i know about football in a nutshell

  1. My son plays football, so I know quite a lot more about it than I ever thought I would. I go to all the games, if I can. And I have loved it. I don’t like worrying about whether or not he’s going to get hurt, but I have loved the festive atmosphere of the games (and I’m not even a festive kind of person) and I have loved getting to stand outside in all kinds of fall weather (from the very warm to the very wet to the very cold), but it rarely snows on us. My son was just saying how awesome it would be to play in the snow. So who knows… maybe someday I’ll be at a football game in the snow.
    Oh yeah, I also love the tackling. When else do you get to tackle people? :)

    1. Ah, yes. Well. If I had a son or daughter who played I would probably at least be able to follow a game. Which would be a big improvement! (:

      I love that you use the word festive. I get that. It’s almost enviable, the joy that people get from sports. I’m really trying to understand it. (By the way, I think it’s great that your son likes the idea of playing in the snow! Does it get more Canadian?)

      1. I love that, too!
        And, just to be clear, I would normally be on your side about not getting the excitement over sports, but having a child in the game helps a lot. :)

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