The night before….football finals?
What, you wanted a holiday nursery rhyme?
It’s finally here. All the practices, all the meetings, all the excitement, the summer nights, the fall evenings and the game days have all led to this.
There is a unique feel to football playoff games in Canada. The fun part of football seasons above the 49th parallel is that they usually cross over three standard weather seasons, starting in summer, moving through the autumn and into the early part of winter. I remember championship games, and playoff games that we played in nearly a foot of snow. In 1993, we got out of class at Lindsay Place High School to go out and shovel the lines after a blizzard fell the night before our city championship. In 1995, when I played for the North Shore Broncos, the playing surface at Molson Stadium was surrounded by snowbanks and players had to line up to use the gaps in the banks to get to the bench.
Today, coaching my son’s teams, it’s no different – except for one very important difference. The difference? I’m old now, and I no longer care to abide by the cold for any extended period of time. At 42, I no longer possess the inner fire, or the vitality of youth, to keep me warm.
So where I used to sport shirtsleeves for games in November when I played football, I no longer care to freeze any longer than I have to as I am now pushing middle age and no longer have the strength to freeze my a$$ off at any point, football or not.
Last year’s football finals were played in St. Jean sur Richelieu, which is, apparently located somewhere south of Antarctica, both in geography and position on the thermometer. This year, I was determined not to be cold, and the result was five layers of underclothes and sweaters and hoodies of varying thickness – but I also can say proudly that I was not cold.
So, the question remains.
Will our Lakeshore mosquito AAA team win their final game of an as-yet undefeated season against the Sud-Ouest Laurentian Wildcats? Can they finish 12-0 for a second season in a row? Will the peewee Cougars get over the hump and win their own final? Can the bantam AAA Cougars finish a Lakeshore sweep of all four Montreal Metro Football League?
What does matter is that I am warm. And I am staying that way.