What’s better than Christmas in July? How about June in August? The start of the CFL season this week was the first step in restoring one of life’s key balances for sports fanatics in northern climates.
Every May the spring weather starts to breakthrough for those of us in the northern U.S. and Canada, the Stanley Cup is awarded, the golf clubs and fishing boats are unwrapped and the new CFL season kicks off.
I remember taking a flight to a Mackenzie tour golf event a few years back. I was living in the southern United States at the time. We drove to Buffalo, where we stayed for the night, before heading the next morning to Pearson for our flight to Saskatoon.
It was a June weekend so I had to catch CFTO news to see how the Ti-Cats vs. Roughriders game turned out. As we trekked through the airport, the lounge TV carried the Edmonton game against the Argonauts. Stopping to watch did not mean we missed our flight, but almost. It was June, this was all to be expected, the natural rhythm of life in northern North America.
With no 2020 CFL season life’s rhythm was off. It was like some sort of Twisted Sister version of Bobcaygeon. That’s why Thursday’s kickoff was so important to so many. Although our late spring ritual had made its way into mid-late summer, it felt a lot like somebody picked up that old guitar or banjo, and finally gave it a little tuning.
There’s still some fine-tuning to be done. The early-season jitters, some uncharacteristic penalties and unexpected turnovers, all to be expected after a 600-plus day layoff. Honestly, for me — and I suspect for the vast majority of us — the outcome was far less important than the fact that June had finally come, just in time, in early August.