Bruce Toews (masterofmusings) wrote,
Bruce Toews


Ever since I was eleven or twelve, so very many years ago, I've been a fan of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, our football team. Bob Irving, broadcaster extraordinaire, calls the games on CJOB, radio station extraordinaire, and you're right there with him enjoying the game. In fact, I've been at a few games with my radio and people have come up to me asking me, the blind guy, to explain the play they just saw and I didn't. "What's the penalty for?" "Which yard line are we on?" "Was it intercepted?" That sort of thing.
Now, here we are, in the midst of another CFL season. "You guys play football in the middle of the summer?" someone asked me recently. My answer: "You don't want to try playing football in Winnipeg in the middle of January, trust me on this one."

We used to have endless fun as a family with the game on TV, the sound down, and the radio blaring the play-by-play. Two things came into play here which made it interesting. First, due to satellites, the radio was always about a second ahead of the TV, so Bob would announce the touchdown just a little bit before my family saw it. Second was the commercials. "Come explore Manitobas rugged natural beauty," proclaimed the radio, while the TV showed a picture of the Bomber cheerleaders.

I wasn't always particularly football-savvy. During the first game I actually went to, I've little doubt that my dad wondered if he had been particularly wise to take me along. "Edmonton declined the penalty," Dad explained to me. "Oh, that was nice of them," I said, not realizing that Edmonton wouldn't have declined the penalty if it hadn't been in their best interest to do so.

The afforementioned Bob Irving had to put up with my naiveté, ignorance and football-nonsmarts too, when I phoned into a CJOB talk show and asked what I thought was a wonderful question, but which I now realize was one of the all-time stupid questions. What the question was will always remain untold, but if you ask Bob what the stupidest question he ever had to field from a caller was, I'm sure he'll tell you, "It was some kid who called in once and asked ..." and so on. Sorry Bob.

We fast-forward to ... to whatever the date is today, and the Bombers are set to once again play Edmonton. Will Edmonton decline any penalties? Only if it suits them. I know that now. Will the Bombers win? Hard to say. Last time we played Edmonton, we whipped the living daylights out of them. So Edmonton will be mad. On the other hand, last week Montreal whipped the living daylights out of us, so we'll be mad. Who's madder? I guess that's what it comes down to. But rest assured, come 9:00 Central, my radio dial will be glued to CJOB (which it pretty much is anyway) for the game. And if anyone wants to listen to some CFL football which, to answer the most commonly-asked question I get, is not dissimilar to American football - actually, the Canadian game came first - then just follow the link above to CJOB, click to listen, and enjoy the world's greatest game as play-by-played by the world's greatest football announcer.

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