As NFL training camps open and NCAA media days arrive, you may find yourself hungry for some football and may lack the patience to wait any longer.
I have an answer for that.
Yes, the Canadian Football League.
[A 2010 CFL game between Edmonton and Saskatchewan -- Photo: REUTERS/Fred Greenslade]
Stop laughing and hear me out.
I have been a casual fan since I was a kid. I had, and still have, a lot of friends through hockey, giving me a little more familiarity with most things Canadian. I don't run around saying "a-boot" or anything, but I can name all eight teams off the top of my head. I can also point out the very few differences you need to get started:
*The field is longer -- 110 yds. -- and there is a Center Line five yards from each team's 50.
*The field is wider -- 65 yds. -- making for a lot more room to move.
*The endzones are 20 yds. deep instead of 10, again spreading out traffic.
*Each team has 12 players and all the offensive backfield, except the QB, can be in motion.
*There are three downs instead of four, making it run-and-shoot almost all the time.
[Calgary and Winnipeg meet in a 2010 CFL game -- Photo: REUTERS/Fred Greenslade]
Obviously, that's not everything, but it's enough for context. Frankly, it's a little nuts the first time you watch, but you'll catch on quickly. It's fast, seemingly nonstop action with lots of points. If you love a 3-0 defensive struggle, this is not the game for you. Otherwise, give it a look. At the very least, it will get you through to Labor Day and American football.
Maybe you'll like it, ay.