Another import (pun intended) from "Sacred Cattle." In honor of the Roughriders going 5-0, which evidently matters.
Spent the weekend up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with the in-laws and among other things took in some Grey Cup pre-game festivities and fulfilled a childhood dream of attending the 94th Annual Grey Cup, pitting the British Columbia Lions and the Montreal Alouettes (that's Mawhn-dray-awl Ah-loo-ett, styoopid ah-mare-ee-can!), which the BC Lions won, 25-14.
So here are some things I learned about Canadian Football, in no particular order or significance (in honor of the Canadian brand of football, which to my sensibility plays out in no particular order nor is it of much significance to most Americans):
1) For pre-game prep, we drank 'Kokanee.' Not 'Kokane,' as Cornrow Wallace put it, which consists of crack, baking powder, egg, and cinnamon, but "Kokanee." "Kokanee" in a can http://www.kokaneebeer.com/ does not taste like RedBalls, nor will you be able to lift a transit bus after consuming one, but it is quite passable. It's basically Bud Light. Wouldn't go so far as to call it "Glacier Fresh," but the folks in Creston, B.C. have something to be proud of as they have earned a discerning fan. Sure beats "Pilsner," which tastes like the foot.
As far as the matchup is concerned, an "Alouette" is a lark. Here is the fearless mascot in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOo5W3aShFU. Its Aw-inspiring. As in "Aww, their mascot is a doofus bird. Let's have a Pilsner, eh?"
2) Oh, and the people behind us "Would rather be Bombers than effin Riders fans." Which is sung in the tune of "Dixie," which leads me to my next offering …
3) A band at the pre-game festivities, actually played "Sweet Home Man-i-toba." Evidently there are rednecks north of the Mason-Dixon. You'll pardon me if I was uncomfortable hanging out with these people … or even mentioning 'hanging' anywhere around them.
4) On to the rest of the league. Winnipeg's mascot, by the way, is the "Blue Bomber." Read my description first, then click the link … basically a human-sized crow wearing Kool Moe Dee's shades http://www.bluebombers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=50&Itemid=70
5) There is, evidently, a vast difference between a RoughRider and a Rough Rider. From what I hear, the vast difference is that Ottawa lacks an intact vas deferens. This of course, coming from people whose mascot is "Gainer the Gopher." A roughriding gopher. I gotta say it … Canadian Football, in one word … Cute. In two words? Terminally cute. You just wanna hug Canadian Football, pat it on its head or on the ass and say "Good try, Chum. Now, let's have an Elsinore. Coo-Coo-Coo Coo Coo-Coo-Coo" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3DYbE44OIE
6) A "Ti-Cat" is not that sadistic game you played when you were a kid, when you tied up two cats by their tails, affixed a Roman candle, and threw both of them off of the Mermentau Bridge in Mermentau, Louisiana, 20 miles west of Will's home town of Crowley, Louisiana. Sick bastard. (They are the 4-14 Hamilton TigerCats, whose fullback Julian Radlein looks like Ziggy Marley http://www.ticat.ca/).
7) Not in the CFL, but worth mentioning, are the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. Yeah. Gee-Gees. You can tell by the way they use their walk … Lloyd Banks and 50-Cent are their mascots. It used to be Ricky Ross and Iceberg Slim, but they are now O Gee-Gees.
8) The CFL field is substantially different from an NFL or NCAA one. For one, they are 130 yards long with 20 yard end zones. And over 75 yards wide, compared to 57 for the NFL/NCAA. Also, goal posts are at the front of the end zone, not the back. And finally, tie games are settled by a slapping contest between the head cheerleaders. Here is the classic 1998 Grey Cup, decided in an unprecedented 20 overtimes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75YJecAzrRA.
9) And finally, I need a witch's tit to compare temps, but I'm pretty sure Winnipeg was colder.
10) And finally, as are all American football games of import, this was an opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to show off their prowess in a statement of national pride, heritage, tradition, and sovereignty. Yeah. The fly-over, made by a McDonnell Douglas F-15 A (american-made, and out of service in the American armed forces since like, I dont know, Korea?) was about a minute late. This after the "Snowbirds" were about two minutes late. Don't know about you, but I hope these guys don't get to use grenades ... The Canadian Armed Forces in two words? Also cute.
Well that's all for now. In honor of Canadian multiculturalism, I will sign off bilingually:
C'est tout, mes amis. Et toujours, je te veux maintenant, babee, sur la planchee, s'il te plait!