Thursday, September 10, 2009
Camp Stop Football
The origins of the word 'honeymoon' can be traced, at least according to those ever vigilant authors of Wikipedia, to an ancient Babylonian custom involving the bride's father getting the groom as drunk as possible on mead.
My excursion to the eroded mountains of Eastern Nova Scotia seems to have borne this custom out, with white wine replacing that flat, godawful honey beer. I was also linked to the ancient Babylonians by way of the absence of any internet or television for most of the time I traipsed around what Maritimers call 'Down Home.' This meant I was forced, for the most part, to rely solely on the Halifax's Chronicle-Herald for news about the world of football.
It was surprisingly helpful, with a few recycled AP stories and European league round-ups. But I bought maybe two newspapers during my entire two and a half week stay (the nearest major town involved driving for a half hour there and back), so I was still pretty much in the dark. MLS might well have not existed at all. Plus, it was nice to get a little vacation from the grinding gears of the football juggernaut.
Even so, I caved in and managed to watch a couple of games: Tottenham v. Birmingham and Toronto FC v. Seattle, both via Rogers Sportsnet on a satellite connection that seemed, oddly, to carry only five stations. But these were like islands off Meat Cove at the top of Cape Breton; remote, isolating, patches of green poking out in a deep fog.
So to come back home and find Danny Dichio has retired and Julian De Guzman is coming to Toronto FC after all was a genuine shock. I haven't listened to Football Weekly in three weeks. I haven't read my usual RSS roundup. In short, I have been, for a time, a true apostle of the STOP FOOTBALL movement. The Game wasn't even allowed so much as to creep up on me from my subconscious; the insane vertical vistas of Cape Breton didn't exactly bring to mind a vast green field bordered by those lovely white lines.
I'm not exactly sure how I will plunge back in, but it's nice to know the world doesn't end when the Football Machine does. There is escape friends, in the mountains to the east. I might start a retreat there, all the way up past Cabot's Landing, past Bay St. Lawrence and Capstick, all at the edge of the world among the eagles and the whales.
Camp Stop Football. We'll take Mastercard, Visa and American Express.