Monday, May 31, 2021

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Dreaming of the Stands

Since the whole pandemic thing started last year, I have been actively refusing to let myself get excited about the prospects of CFL football. In 2020 those instincts served me well as anyone who was waiting on CFL football to return was like a kid waiting on their dead beat dad to return from the convenience store with cigarettes. And throughout most of this year I have kept a pretty even keel and refused to let myself get excited. Don’t get me wrong I fully expect CFL football in 2021 but for now I have ben refusing to let myself get excited until it was officially official. I realize that years of devotion to the Riders have adequately prepared me for all kinds of heartbreak but I just prefer to not go actively looking for it.

But on Saturday I allowed myself a moment of hope…

You see I’m a Canadiens fan. So in addition to faithfully watching to see if my team could add another chapter in the Maple Leafs history of failure (spoiler alert, they did), I was riveted by a sight we hadn’t witnessed in 15 months… fan at a sports game in Canada. And whether you are a Canadiens fan or have terrible choices in hockey teams (I’m kidding, at this point if you cheer for any hockey team in Canada you make terrible choices, they all have their own unique ways of disappointing you), I think we can all agree that was a sight to behold. It was only 2500 and it was loud! Cheers, jeers, excitement, disappointed Leafs fans, it had everything.

Since then I’m sure you have been connecting the dots like me. If they can have 2500 fans at an indoor game in May… then surely the odds of fans being allowed at outdoor CFL games in August have to be high. Like so high that those odds will soon be developing the munchies and trying to bum a ride to 7-11 for Doritos.

So Mosaic Stadium (which has sat deathly silent since a Fajardo pass doinked off the uprights in November of 2019) could soon be rocking once again. And I don’t think it will matter how many fans are allowed in: 10000, 5000, 2500. It will be loud. It didn’t take a sold out crowd for old Mosaic to shake with noise during the Thunder Bowl… and we have way more pent up energy than we did then.

It’s been too long since my rye fueled vocal chords screamed until I lost my voice. Too long since I blamed a section of Mosaic for a bad play on the field because they didn’t know how to shut up on offense. Too long since uttered curses towards Al Bradbury (or curse words to those cursing Andre Proulx… the man is a national treasure!). It’s suddenly not just a pipe dream… but entirely plausible. That fills me with the kind of excitement usually reserved for my wife and some questionable sections of internet (too much info, I know).

With each passing day the CFL becomes more and more likely… and I’ve missed it so much that would happily watch two bottom feeding East division teams play each other in a contest of who is more futile just to get my fix again.


Ethan said...

Amen to that. Can't wait for an actual season to start, 14 games at least I hope.

Anonymous said...

Have no skin in the game but have to say the new EFC name isn't bad, considering the finalists. Kinda cool logo. Want to lay bets the Elks are the biggest sellers of merchandise this year? FOMO.

Pantsonfire said...

Has it occurred to anyone that the name ESK in contained in the name ELKS? Pretty clever.

Anonymous said...

With the announcement of the (new) USFL planning to start in 2022 does this put an end to the XFL/CFL merger talk? Why get involved in a cat fight between 2 competing sping football leagues in a time frame proven to be a financial graveyard for football in the US? If this brings an end to the experiment, I say hooray.

Rider Prophet said...

Anon - I like Elks, it was like the only non-terrible option they had so it would have been a pretty big blunder to go a different direction. I was really pulling for the Evergolds.

Pants - Didn't notice that

Anon - There is a theory out there that the presence of the USFL (which mark my word will inevitably ofld like every other spring league) actually helps the CFL in negotiations with the XFL. XFL has no league, has failed twice and their only advanteg (i.e. being the only football on at the time) is suddenly gone. Not a strong position to be making demands from of the CFL. Though with USFL slated to start in 2022 and XFL not expected back until 2023 odds are both leagues will not exist simultaneously anyway,