Nothing will ever replace hockey as my favourite sport. As a Canadian, there's nothing that gets my heart pumping harder or causes butterflies of excitement as much as a highly anticipated match between two teams, usually involving my dear Senators. I love sound of skate blades slicing through ice, the roars of the crowds, the sheer thrill of seeing that red light flash on when my team scores. It's a rush like no other.
But for a while now, I've been taking a mild interest in football, both NFL and CFL. As a kid, I used to watch football now and then, usually the Grey Cup or Super Bowl, and try to make sense of it. However, nothing ever seemed to click. A bunch of guys would line up, shout at each other about colours and numbers ("Blue 52! Blue 52!"), then they'd all charge at each other, pile up in a big heap, and then do it all over again. Every now and then someone would throw the ball, another player would catch it, and score a touchdown. That part I understood. Everything else...I was clueless.
My dad used to laugh at my attempts to figure the sport out, but he never really ever offered any useful information. The only thing I can remember him telling me that was even close to football-related was, "You'd kick on first down if you were playing football." And I didn't even know what that meant.
Despite all of this, some of my favourite movies have been about football. "Remember the Titans", "Invincible", "We Are Marshall", "Radio" - I loved them all. Perhaps my favourite, though, was "Friday Night Lights", and the TV series it has spawned. I'll give FNL the credit for prodding me to learn more about the game. After watching the last episode of Season 1 on DVD last weekend, I decided, "That's it - this game looks like too much fun for me to continue ignoring. This weekend, I'm going to learn about football!"
Turns out, I picked a good time. The Super Bowl is approaching, so the NFL is in the midst of playoffs and things are very interesting right now. Before even watching a game, I knew that the New England Patriots hadn't lost a game all season, so I sort of just decided to cheer for them. How could I go wrong with them, right? No underdogs for me, I'm going with the best of the best, at least for now. Oh, and their quarterback, Tom Brady, is smokin' hot. Always a bonus.
So, I sat down Saturday afternoon to watch some football, and I asked Luke to please explain to me the basics. In about 5 minutes, Luke taught me more about football than I've learned in my whole life. When the afternoon game started, I finally understood (at least, a little) what was going on!
I didn't get to watch the New England game, but they did, in fact, win, so my team is still in it, and I'm looking forward to this weekend's games. I'm very excited about my new sport, and to learn more about it, and to watch Tom Brady - yummy! The best part of all, though, is now understanding what my dad means when he tells me I'd kick on first down if I were playing football, and I now know enough to say, "No, Dad, I wouldn't, only an idiot would do that!"