Getting Behind Your Country

To say you are in love with your country is a statement not many would freely utter unless prompted.

But I love Canada. I love Manitoba. I love Winnipeg and all it’s quirky little personalities. Because yes, Winnipeg most definitely has a personality. It throws incredible weathery temper tantrums but when it is having a good day, we ALL get to bask in it. It has bumpy roads to nowhere but when you find one tucked away that not many others have been down you are treated to the spectacular beauty that it hides deep inside. It may not have mountains but if you get in a canoe and just paddle, you will soon find yourself in either the sweltering heat of the Amazon or the freezing cold of the Arctic ocean.

But I digress. Canada, as a whole, is often overlooked and underrated. I think that is why those who choose to live here get rather passionate when it comes to their undying support of the teams that reside within these beautiful (and un-walled) borders.

For me, there are 3 sports or events that have taken us to the international stage that have required my never ending and vocal support because when faced off against the rest of the world, the Big 4 or the mighty Americans, we have always been viewed as the underdogs, the automatic seconds, the chokers.

I’m talking the Olympics, tennis and NBA basketball.

I will be an instant fan of any Olympic sport that has a Canadian athlete participating in it and I will cheer like I have been following their story since they were 6 and their mom got them up in the morning to drive them to practice. I will tear up when they win and feel the heartbreak when they don’t and I will watch the medal counts like a hawk and mutter “ughhhh those Americans” when they sneak past us, which they inevitably do.

If you are a Canadian tennis player who has made it on to the scene, you will have our immediate and relentless support from the other side of our TV screen. Milos, Vasek, Genie, Aleks, Frank, heck even the veteran Daniel who, more often than not lately, is the last one remaining in a tournament left for us to cheer for. We desperately want to see you do good. And when Milos comes up against Djokovich or Murray, we cringe a little inside but do we whoop and hollar at every point he gets? Yes, yes we do.

We have just one NBA team here in Canada. They historically haven’t done too much to be memorable but in the last few years they have started to rise up and join the ranks of the big dogs. This year they made it through two rounds of playoff ball and in the last round, the deciding round, they fell to a giant. But what was so fantastic about that was that NO ONE outside of Canada had any faith that they would get to where they did. No one thought they could beat who they beat, game after game, night after night. They faltered, yes, and some will joke that hey, they’re Canadian, of course they choked. But while they were falling this entire country had their hands out to catch them and raise them back up to where they belonged.

So yes, I’ll be the one on the couch with damp eyes when our Olympic athletes take the podium in their red and white AND when they have to walk away with nothing. I’ll be the one on the couch with the damp eyes when our tennis players hoist the giant trophy in victory AND when they walk off the court first, proud but in defeat. I’ll be the one on the couch with damp eyes when our NBA team makes it to the semis when no one even gave them a second thought AND when they have to sit in their press conference and each fight over who’s fault it was that they lost because even if these kids weren’t born in Canada, they are Canadian now.

Oh Canada. The big little country that could.

our simple but beautiful flag

Oh Canada!

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Down Set

Football. Not something typically addressed on many blogs managed by women that don’t appear to have a sports related theme to them. But if you are to know me at all, then you must know of my undying love for football.

I support two teams emphatically, win or lose, good game or bad game, embarrassment or victorious. My love for these two teams stems back a few years, not as many as some of the other fine women I know, but long enough to know both joy and heartbreak at the highest and lowest range of the spectrum.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have, of late, been nothing to write home about. High hopes abound at the start of every season only to be dashed by injuries of key performers or poor execution by the team as a whole. This year feels different. It feels like there is a chance. We have invested in some pretty great players who look to bring us back to a level of greatness long since forgotten.

The New Orleans Saints went from being the team that brought New Orleans hope in the rebuild after Katrina and a Superbowl title a couple of years later, to the team with the worst of pretty much everything last year, save for their quarterback who still managed to rake in records in more categories than the teams season record would have you believe. And yet, as with every year, the assumption of being playoff bound still remains.

So how does being a diehard football fan translate into making a life less complicated?

Well, its simple.

Joy.

I get great joy out of watching a solid game of competitive and close-scoring football. My mum once asked me what I love about it so much and my answer was simple. While it appears to be a somewhat Neanderthal-ish endeavor (throw ball, catch ball, don’t get hit), there is so much more to it than that.

Take just the quarterback for example…you must know the routes and locations of every person on the field for each and every play of which there are copious amounts, you must anticipate what every player lined up across from you will do upon the snap of the pigskin, you must have eyes ahead of you, eyes downfield, eyes in the back of your head, and you must be able to change on the fly and do something completely different than what you just told your entire team you were going to do if that door closes and leaves you scrambling for a new door.

It’s a science. And it’s awesome.

So for those of you who also experience the heart attacks in the pressure moments, the “don’t talk to me for awhile” mood in the losing moments, and the IN YOUR FACE joys of the winning moments, I have posted the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2016 schedule below for you to enjoy. I’ll post the Saints schedule when it comes out.

It won’t help you organize your life or reduce your clutter or simplify your closet, but you’ll find yourself rooting for the underdog, feeling pride in your city and giving the nod to the guy in line at the grocery store who is wearing the same team gear on any given Sunday.

Joy. Get after it.

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My focused face…with a dash of concern. Watching my Bombers play.

 

Who do you root for? What makes your heart pound in your chest? Got a favourite team that you will defend to the end? Share in the comments at the top of the post and let the trash talk commence! (Kidding, be nice)

To download and print your own copy of the 2016 Blue Bomber Schedule so you too can cheer your heart out, click here -> 2016 Schedule!