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Ready for Some Football, Ay?

by Robb Reel

As NFL training camps open and NCAA media days arrive, you may find yourself hungry for some football and may lack the patience to wait any longer.

I have an answer for that.

The CFL.

Yes, the Canadian Football League.

[A 2010 CFL game between Edmonton and Saskatchewan -- Photo: REUTERS/Fred Greenslade]

Stop laughing and hear me out.

I have been a casual fan since I was a kid.  I had, and still have, a lot of friends through hockey, giving me a little more familiarity with most things Canadian.  I don't run around saying "a-boot" or anything, but I can name all eight teams off the top of my head.  I can also point out the very few differences you need to get started:

*The field is longer -- 110 yds. -- and there is a Center Line five yards from each team's 50.

*The field is wider -- 65 yds. -- making for a lot more room to move.

*The endzones are 20 yds. deep instead of 10, again spreading out traffic.

*Each team has 12 players and all the offensive backfield, except the QB, can be in motion.

*There are three downs instead of four, making it run-and-shoot almost all the time.

[Calgary and Winnipeg meet in a 2010 CFL game -- Photo: REUTERS/Fred Greenslade] 

Obviously, that's not everything, but it's enough for context.  Frankly, it's a little nuts the first time you watch, but you'll catch on quickly.  It's fast, seemingly nonstop action with lots of points.  If you love a 3-0 defensive struggle, this is not the game for you.  Otherwise, give it a look.  At the very least, it will get you through to Labor Day and American football.

Maybe you'll like it, ay.