It's Football Season!
Okay, so you're probably not too familiar with the Canadian Football League. Hell, plenty of Canadians aren't familiar with it. But it's been around a long time. In fact, for two years in the mid 90s, there were American teams in the CFL. There are now eight teams, from Quebec to British Columbia. Their season runs from June to November. They play for a championship known as the Grey Cup. And Super Bowl 40? Excuse me, but the Grey Cup has been around since 1909.
You're not impressed.
Molson Stadium, where you can buy shots of hard liquor at concession stands. And Giants Stadium went dry for some games? Fuck you, NFL.
It's a fast-paced game. Unlike American football, there are three downs, not four, and a 20-second play clock, so the game moves much faster. The field is wider and longer, so you can hear the call "and he's tackled at the 53 yard line!" There's one extra player in the backfield, and there's no restriction on the number of backfield players you can have in motion before a play, so there's no telling what a QB might do next! Plus, touchbacks are for pussies. If you can't get the ball out of your own end zone, the kicking team gets a point. It's called a rouge, bitches! This is an exciting game.
Oh, and meet #27 for the Toronto Argonauts. You may have heard of him. His name is Ricky Williams.
So, what does a Montreal Alouettes fan do in New York City? Well, it seems as though Sportsnet New York, who has the rights to the CFL telecasts here, has put it as low on its priority list as possible.
Last Saturday night, there was an exciting game between my Als and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Ti-Cats came back from a 17-0 deficit to shrink the Als' lead to 3 at the half. But it wasn't on SNY - a recorded boxing match was. This Saturday night, there's another matchup between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. But on SNY, you'll be watching a Mets game from 1999.
Every CFL game on SNY will be tape delayed, airing on Sunday afternoons (a particularly troubling situation come September, when there's other football on). I doubt I'll have a problem avoiding the result of a CFL game between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. And I can obviously understand a live Mets game bumping the CFL. But come on, SNY! Have the balls to show some no-holds-barred, fast-paced, real football live.
I have to settle for the fact that I'm not going to get to watch my beloved Als too much this season. And tickets are hard to come by, as they sell out every home game. The CFL is the ugly duckling sibling of the NFL, but it's all I've got from June through September.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, "Alouette" is French for "Lark." Don't give me shit about that, the NFL has a team called the Cardinals. And Dolphins aren't exactly intimidating, either.