November 25, 2007

Today's Football Needs a Bit of Rouge

LOYAL RANT READERS might be surprised to hear this from me, but there are some weeks in the midst of the NFL season when even I have trouble mustering up excitement for the greatest sport on earth. This is one of those weeks. Here in New England, we have two early games on tap: Buffalo v. Jacksonville, and Minnesota v. the New York Giants. Both of these games are less than special -- Jacksonville is beating Buffalo, as one might expect, while the Giants are getting their heads handed to them. Admittedly, this is kind of fun: the trouble is that the Vikings are doing the head-handing, and so it's kind of pathetic.

The late game isn't much better: Baltimore v. San Diego. I think we all know what's probably going to happen here, considering that this year, evil Baltimore stinks. So it will be enjoyable to watch for the first quarter or so, until Baltimore falls apart and San Diego runs to glory. The Sunday night game between the Pats and the Eagles will suck, and although I will watch the Monday night game between the quasi-glorious Pittsburgh Steelers and the lowly Miami Dolphins, I will be one of the few in America to do so.

In times like these, you've got to look elsewhere for excitement. Thus, at 5:30 EST, I'm going to watch my beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup in beautiful Toronto. It may not be American football but it's championship football and we're a few weeks away from that down here in the States. The game is being broadcast on NESN in New England; check your local listings to see if the game is available near you.

Oh, and the entertainment is sure to be, uh, different, in that Canadian way.

For those readers unfamiliar with the joys of Canadian football, here's a quick summary of the differences between it and American football:

FIELD SIZE: The Canadian game is played on a field 110 yards (100 m) long, known as a "metric football field." This is in keeping with the Canadians' weird use of the metric system.

DOWNS: In Canadian football, you get three downs to go 10 yards, not four. This means there's a lot more passing than in American football.

PLAYERS: Each team has twelve men out playing, as opposed to 11. This is a convenient way for the Canadians to make sure they have more actual Canadians on their teams. Also, it makes it different. Canadians are big on being different from Americans, even if those differences are only noticeable to them.

SCORING: If you kick the ball into the endzone but miss the uprights, it counts for a point, meaning you can score on a kickoff or a missed field goal. This is in keeping with the Canadian tradition of being nice and forthright even when a team fails miserably.

Anyway, in three hours' time I am going to be rooting on the Melonheads to victory. Hope you'll consider doing the same, as it might just be the only decent football game available in much of the country today.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at November 25, 2007 02:45 PM | TrackBack
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