'Tis The Season

Saturday, August 25, 2007
I know it's only August but if the current weather trend is anything to go by, Autumn has pretty much arrived, at least in central Alberta. The leaves on many trees in Edmonton are starting to change colour. Their lush greenery being gradually replaced with various shades of yellow, orange, and red. Temperatures have left the 30's behind and it seems to struggle to reach 20 many days. On the rare occasion that we now hit 25, people are sporting bikinis and swimming in the local pools trying to find an escape from the "heat". Not me....

The cool breezes, the showers, the falling leaves. My kind of perfect weather. I do love winter but autumn is pretty much my favourite time of year. You have to start wearing a jacket all the time, not just on chilly mornings, the open toed shoes can only be worn inside, and there's a crispness in the air that speaks of flurries soon to come. These are the times of year when you wrap yourself in a warm blanket or big bulky sweater, snuggle up on the couch with a good book and a furry cat (or dog), and a hot cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate (with or without mini multicoloured marshmellows). It's thoughts of Thanksgiving get-togethers and pumpkin raisin cookies. It also gets me thinking of football.

Sadly, it pains me to say this but the NFL has it right and the CFL has got it all wrong. You see, the Canadian football season begins in June making the teams play in the hottest months of the year. The season finishes up with the Grey Cup in late November. Summer shouldn't be football season. It's for baseball, track and field, swimming/diving, and Nascar (which I still can't be believe is soooo popular). Fall is for football. And, of course, the start of hockey season. I'm guessing that's why they schedule our season like they do - so it doesn't interfere with our national past time.

Taking hockey out of the equation though, the NFL's schedule is better. While the Canadian teams play two weeks more than their American counterparts (and we have larger fields and fewer downs making the game more difficult), their season begins in September with the regular season finishing right before New Year's. January is filled with exciting playoff games, ending with the Superbowl at the end of the month. That's how it's supposed to be. Heck, sometimes they even play on Christmas day.

I'm not a die-hard football fan. You'd never see me wearing a block of cheese on my head or ripping my shirt off in -20C weather displaying one letter of my team's name on my naked chest and stomach. However, there's something about the game that I enjoy. And no it's not the men in tight pants. Much... It's just - exciting. I'd love to see an NFL game live to see how it's really done. Oh sure, up here we have cheerleaders and the crazy fans. One only has to look at the very loyal (yet always disappointed ... hee hee) Saskatchewan fans to understand. Watermelon anyone? But them Americans. They know how to put on a spectacle.

Every year for the past 5 years or so, I sign up for the Yahoo Pro Football Pick'em pool. It's a free pool and there are no prizes. You don't pick a fantasy team but rather who you think will win each week - I have more luck this way. I have a few favourite teams - the Baltimore Ravens, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Kansas City Chiefs. Baltimore has always been my number one choice but this year, I'm leaning heavily towards the Vikings. Not sure why, just a feeling.

Unfortunately none of my friends or family enjoy football. Well, mom enjoys the CFL. As with everything Canadian sports related, she's a fan of Toronto. Therefore, there are no Grey Cup or Superbowl parties for me. Nuts. However, I still have a week or two to wait until their season starts (I don't watch the pre-season, it's a jinx-thing). In the meantime, I'll be content to watch the annual Battle of Alberta (Calgary vs. Edmonton) on Labour Day (the last day of the summer reading challenge) and the rematch the following Friday. GO CALGARY! Did I just write that ... ?


Gardenia said...

You are doing the impossible with your descriptions of fall - making me homesick for Wyoming and cooler weather and dazzling fall colors - arrrrrrrgh. Hubby

Beth said...

Sweaters in August? Sounds like heaven.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love autumn as well. I love the colours and the return to comfort food. And I miss going back to school, nerd that I am.

Krista said...

"GO CALGARY???!!!???"

I quite think that the CFL rules with the NFL schedule (and hype) might be the most entertaining combo.There is something about the NFL that is other-wordly to me. Us Canadians have but an inkling of what NFL-fandom is like, for sure.

nwtrunner said...

I like following Krista - the CFL and NFL are different worlds - but they both do it right. Both are well-run leagues. Big difference is that in CFL most of the players make the same kind of money we do, but they also put themselves up for injury every time they go on the field. I find it incredible.

Hope you're doing well after the Edmonton Marathon - I'm training now for the Loch Ness Marathon in Scotland in early October. Will be #25 and with my kid sister with me so very happy!

Still enjoying reading your blog and hoping that Krista goes to Med School! :-)

I'll do a pledge for your Run For the Cure, but always do so reluctantly because I'm still ticked off that CIBC do their run so close to the Terry Fox Run and they offer prizes and loot - the Terry Fox Run is done only to honour Terry and raise funds. There is no personal gain. But, that's another rant for another day! I still wish you well in it Karen and to everyone else that does it with you.

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