I am working on the next post about the most important college football games of the season so I figured I would take a break from that and post a little about other goings-on, inside and outside of football.
Football officially returns with the CFL starting their pre-season games June 6th. Holy shit, that’s next week! If you have read my blog before you know that my CFL fandom has decreased dramatically since I was younger. I have had Hamilton Tiger-Cat season tickets before and went to a ton of CFL games in Hamilton and Toronto. I’ve even been to the new Tim Horton’s Field and it’s gorgeous (despite the fact it’s in the same shitty location). Saying all that, it’s a return to football so I will watch it until college football starts up in a little less than 90 days. Then I will watch almost none of it except maybe bits and pieces here and there.
Sorry, I won’t put up CFL schedule information for you. All the games are on TSN. Which TSN station I don’t know. I was under the assumption that CFL games were contractually obligated to be on TSN1, 3, 4, and 5 but that’s not quite true. So instead of playing a fool’s game and trying to figure it all out (especially since TSN doesn’t give too much in terms of future broadcasting information), I will just say that if you are looking for a specific time for a specific game, either go to the CFL website or the TSN one. Probably a lot easier.
Some of you (very few) will say “Hey, but there’s football on right now. CBS Sports Network airs the Arena Football League.” First off, arena football is a severely bastardized version of football. Can it be exciting? Sure. But for the most part I don’t find it that exciting. Plus, there is no relatively local team so I can’t determine if it is the type of sport that’s much better live than on television. I believe hockey falls under this premise since hockey in person is AWESOME and hockey on TV is just OK at times (although this year’s playoffs have made for some fantastic viewing). Where was I? Oh yeah…
Arena football just isn’t that entertaining to be honest. And I didn’t realize this until I recently looked it up but why are there a whole bunch of arena/indoor football leagues? How could any of them make that much money (or any at all)? I have learned from the absolute gongshow that was the original AFL that the stars have to align to make major profit. Even good teams fold in arena football. Hell, recently the team out of San Jose (the Sabercats which is an awesome name I will admit) won the AFL Championship and then folded. Ridiculous.
Don’t get me wrong, I probably already watch way too much sports on TV just with what I watch in the fall (I don’t care but I can understand someone making that point). So at some point there are sports or leagues I can’t watch. Some fall under “sports I would probably watch if I had way more time” (i.e. hockey and perhaps baseball), some fall under “sports/events I will watch a bit of because they are huge at the moment (i.e. the Olympics or World Cup of soccer), and the rest fall under “sports I won’t watch because we know have guides with cable that tells you what is on each station. This is where arena football falls. If I still had to flip through the channels to see what’s on I may have stopped on it. That’s not a problem anymore.
So yeah, fuck arena football. If you want gimmicky football, maybe the Legends Football League is more for you. Or watch re-runs of the XFL.
OK we are still in football mode here. We still do not get FOX Sports One up here. Not saying everyone should get it but if someone wants to pay for it, they should have the option to do so. To be honest, if it was possible, some company should come up with a bunch of truly specialized packages. Like a college football package that would contain the ESPNs, SEC Network, BTN, FS1, etc. I think many people would even overpay to get that. It will never happen a) because ESPN will never come here until the CRTC completely implodes and b) companies like Bell and Rogers struggle with structuring just the channels they have. So yeah we are going another season without this channel. Now that they will get (probably) about one Big Ten game, on average, a week, this isn’t good for Canadian college football fans in general.
That One Post I Did
You know, the one about depression. If you haven’t read it, that’s fine. I know what the bread and butter of this blog is. But I am fairly pleased as to the response I have received from it. Know this: it was not easy to post that. The first year I started this blog (holy shit 4 years ago!) I would never have considered something like this. The thing is this blog has helped me in more ways than just organizing my own college football viewing (which, yes, is extreme). I am more open and not just online. The way I am online now is a lot closer to how I am in real life. Now, no one is the same online as they are in real life but it’s nice to know that some people aren’t putting on a complete façade when they say what they say on the internet. Also, if you or anyone you know is having trouble with mental illness, talk to someone about it. Seriously. Bottling it up does no one any good (I know this thanks to the revolutionary idea of hindsight).
The NBA and NHL Playoffs
I talked briefly about the NHL playoffs earlier in this post. The playoffs this year have been pretty enjoyable. And I say that even though I do not want Pittsburgh to win the Cup. Reason? The NHL is HORRIBLE at marketing the league and especially their players. Pittsburgh winning means definitely more Sidney Crosby as the marketing tool. Crosby: great player, bland as plain oatmeal. No personality whatsoever. Do I think PK Subban can be a bit of an annoyance to his own team? Sure. But he’s supremely marketable and that is worth a SHITLOAD of money, especially in the States where that means a lot. The league cannot hang on to the fact that this year’s playoffs were great since last year’s was some of the worst hockey I have seen ever and the ratings verified it (Don’t give me the whole no Canadian teams in the playoffs bit. The ratings shouldn’t have dropped as much as they did just from that).
As for the NBA playoffs, it has been the complete opposite: horrible so far. Yet, we all know that the finals might be the most watched ever. Cavs-Warriors III. LeBron-Curry III. It’s the rubber match. First time the same two teams have faced each other in the NBA Finals three years in a row. I was shocked at that as well. The NBA, unlike the NHL, knows how to market its players. The NBA’s issue is more about parity below the top few teams. I don’t know it can be fixed but you have to feel there is no chance your team will win unless you cheer for Cleveland or Golden State (or perhaps San Antonio if they catch the Warriors on an off week).
It astounds me how many “fans” there are now of the Golden State Warriors/New England Patriots/Pittsburgh Penguins/whoever the hot team in MLB is at the time. Here’s the thing with this: if you are new to a sport or haven’t picked your favourite team and are just doing it now then fine. At some point, everyone should pick their favourite team in every sport (if they want to). For me, I have my favourites. I am a fan of the following teams:
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Toronto Maple Leafs (seeing a trend yet?)
- Toronto Raptors (kind of…not a massive basketball fan but I figured go with the local flavour)
- Buffalo Bills (and no I am not a member of the Bills Mafia…a woman would have to be STUNNING for me to drink beer out of the crack of her ass)
That’s it. You can tell I skewed local since in the 90s that was the way to go. You had WAY more coverage of your local teams than any of the others. I don’t have a favourite college football team. I think it enhances my viewing of the sport. It means in any game I could be rooting for any team (maybe even Bama one day). Mostly I root for close, exciting games. I don’t know watch enough college basketball to have a favourite team. Plus being a Canadian university grad our ties to your alma maters is mostly based on things other than sports.
So everyone should have a favourite if they want one. And nowadays, with information at your fingertips, the better teams will get more new fans. Just makes sense. And that’s perfectly fine by me despite the fact that some of these fanbases get VERY annoying (see: Patriots, New England). What I hate is when people decide to stop cheering for their current favourite team and “become” a fan of another team. That is ridiculous. To me, that’s being not a true fan. Unless that team did something to you personally then I don’t get the point other than to feel some sense of success because your former favourite team sucks ass.
OK that’s about it. Don’t want to bore you to death. I could talk about other personal stuff or other sports I dislike but why bother? You’re here for college football (and perhaps the NFL).
I will continue my most important games posts. We are under three months away. Feels like forever since I have seen some actual live college football action (OK it’s been about four months but still) so being able to do posts like this makes me happy.