Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday Morning Sentimonies: All Systems Go

Everything has fallen into place perfectly since last Monday for football starved fans on the prairies. The league voted to proceed with the season, a 14 game schedule was released and Saskatchewan announced that as of July 11 there are no more restrictions. It’s the real world equivalent of the “Do What You Feel Festival” replacing the less popular “Do As We Say Festival”

So August 6th is circled on the calendar. That’s when Rider football returns. Gonna have to dust off my robe, freshen up my beard and prime up my liver. Mosaic will be rocking. I expect this to be the loudest that new Mosaic will ever be in its short history. The 2 loudest games I can remember at Taylor field were the home playoff game in 2007 and the Grey Cup in 2013. Both involved a bit of pent up emotion. You could say that after a year plus of being locked down, there is just a pit of pent up emotion ready to be blown off. In fact I dare not repeat some of the things that people would say they would blow over these past 16 months just to get football back.

It’ll be weird, I won’t lie. I’m looking as forward to this as anyone but after systematically avoiding people for over a year it won’t be easy to just turn around and literally embrace the unwashed masses at Mosaic stadium (present company included).

Here are a list of things I expect come that first game day:

·        People openly weeping (and it not having to do with a play on the field for once)

·        Awkward moments where you instinctively go to high 5 a neighbour but you both pause part way into it not quite sure whether that’s ok anymore.

·        Prophet being drunk

·        A, not even subtle, “we desperately need to make money again” surcharge on beer and food

·        Prophet yelling “Get Off the field Wally” despite Buono being long retired.

·        So many waves

·        Prophet loudly cursing at all the waves since they will inevitably occur on offense

·        The timeless tradition of the fans cursing the refs after they call a super correct and obvious penalty on the Riders

·        The stands to literally be shaking when Bring Em Out hits

 Buckle up Saskatchewan, you have a little over a month to warm up your vocal chords, get your liver ready and hone your melon carving skills. It’s game time!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Decision Day

By the time you read this, most of this post could have been rendered irrelevant (putting it on par with most of what I write). Today the CFL Board of Governors is voting on officially ending a drought of CFL football that has stretched 19 months and counting. If they vote yes then a 14 game season will kick off in August. If they vote no, well it could be anything from a momentary setback to the end of the CFL as we know it.

In a rare display of sound strategy the CFLPA got out in front of this. Normally the owners… well “own” the CFLPA. They are adept at exploiting their many inherent weakness. But this time the CFLPA signed off on the return to play plan in advance of the vote. So if the season doesn’t go ahead the entire country will know that it was purely because of the owners…no scapegoating the players.

Now let me point out the obvious here. They are going to vote yes. It makes no sense to call for a vote and allow it to be public knowledge if you are just going to vote no. The CFL may not always make the best business decisions but even they aren’t that stupid. The whole process has been a PR strategy to build interest in the league’s return. Are their some owners who might not want to play? Perhaps, but even they will be voting yes. You don’t call for a vote unless you are confident you will win.

(Dear god I hope they don’t stupidly vote no and make me look like an idiot for typing this all!)

So buckle up CFL fans. This could/should finally be the moment we’ve all been waiting for. My liver and voice are about the only things that won’t be happy in all of this. I am used to a ton of CFL football, so this past year plus where the only real CFL talk was about the XFL has been excruciating.