Hi, I'm Lauren, and I'm really not into the whole sports ~thing.~
So...record scratch, freeze-frame, you may be wondering how I found myself at a CFL game. Like with footballs and fans and the whole thing.
The folks at the Canadian Football League got wind that I, a lifelong Canadian, have never even watched a game. So they took me to one in Hamilton, Ontario. And hoo boy was I not ready.
Here's how the night went.
1. What have I gotten myself into, honestly.
2. All I know about football is that I tried to watch Friday Night Lights and only got through two episodes.
2. Clear eyes, full...something...something.
3. Okay, I know there's downs. Tonight's goal: figure out what a down is.
4. I also know that tonight will be the B.C. Lions vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats. But I'm going to remain ~neutral~ like a good journalist.
5. My host keeps talking about parking on a lawn, but surely she means like, a large grassy parking lot.
6. NOPE. YOU LITERALLY PARK ON PEOPLE'S LAWNS.
7. Mark, who let us park in his driveway, seems like good people. He also explained to me that "downs" are like chances to gain yards and points. First mission: accomplished.
8. Mark has given us beers. Mark is the best kind of people.
9. Literally every house has one or more Ticats flags. How the hell am I going to blend in around here.
10. People are talking about tailgating now. But surely that isn't a thing. Like, people do that in movies and in America.
11. NOPE, REAL THING. There are literally lots full of people BBQing and drinking surrounded by flags and tiger paraphernalia. Like in the movies!
12. It's possible that up until this point I thought sports were a myth. Must reassess.
13. John and Nicholas, two good ol' Hamilton boys, tell me the key to football is getting bombed. Maybe I will fit in.
14. There's a song! There's a Ticats song! By The Arkells!
15. And it's real catchy.
16. I am like an alien discovering human life. Collecting observations to share with my fellow non-sports-doing downtown hipster friends.
17. Major observation is that it may be illegal to be within a block of the stadium not wearing a Ticats shirt.
18. This is serious shit I've gotten myself into.
19. So football players are very large, eh.
20. Yet their hand taps are so gentle.
21. Gentle giants. Like whales.
22. Game time. I kind of forgot there was still actual sports happening.
23. I don't know what's happening, yet I feel very excited.
24. The tailgate boys found me! Hey buds!
25. B.C. scored a touchdown and I didn't cheer.
26. Mostly for my own safety.
27. Kind of proud of myself, though.
28. There's a lot of butt patting? Like, the players do it, and I just witnessed a fan greet his friend with a butt smack that would qualify him as a professional dominatrix. Curious.
29. Everyone here is so nice and so encouraging of drinking.
30. These may be my kinds of people.
31. A new friend is telling me a story about his buddy getting drunk and peeing in a closet and I feel like we've really bonded tbh.
32. I keep making ooohing sounds with the crowd but I'm not sure why. Totally fitting in.
33. Was that a Ticats touchdown?!
34. IT WAS.
35. I AM EXCITED.
36. WHO AM I EVEN.
37. Oh man, love a baby in oversized headphones.
38. I've never loved anything in my life the way these people love the Ticats.
39. Except maybe the way I loved AFI when I was 15.
40. Same thing, basically.
41. Refs actually throw the flag on the field. It's so fucking dramatic. Like a southern lady throwing her handkerchief. I'm into it.
42. Oh man, we're losing.
43. Why did I say "we."
44. Oh shit, I'm getting sucked in.
45. 34 to 24. WE CAN MAKE THAT BACK, BOYS.
46. DO THE DOWNS AND THROW THE BALL AND TACKLE AND BUTT PAT AND STUFF.
47. We gon' lose.
48. Run run run run run oh gooooood.
49. We lost.
50. And I'm...sad?
51. Am I a Hamiltonian now?
52. Am I sports fan now?
53. I think I'll give Friday Night Lights another go.