I am working my back across Canada from one McDonalds to another so I can access free YFI. Free if you don’t count the 328 ice coffees I have now consumed on this trip. I just finished delivering Carson to Kingston and setting him up in a house so he can attend Queens University where he intends to major in playing football as well as getting some kind of degree as his minor. The city is incredible with the campus in the old down town section on the water. The buildings, even the new ones are all built of matching stone and architecture from the turn of the 19-century. If you were going to cast a movie in a university these vine-covered buildings emanate the perfect location. Just walking around the campus gives one a peaceful feeling of stability and grace.
There are over 100 young players in camp, all competing for 45 seats on the bus. I am rather a quiet guy so I spent a couple of practices on the sidelines listening to chubby little peacocks strutting up and down the line squawking the unique and special talents of their sons, questioning the coaches and trash talking some of the other players. I sometimes wonder if I did my son’s a dis-service by not being pushier when it came to sports, rather let them stand completely on their own?
There is no doubt these self-proclaimed experts know a lot about football. Hitler said: “If you tell a big lie, make it simple and repeat it often enough people will believe it.” I found I soon began to believe everything they kept repeating, a summary of which is any new players, ie Carson, did not stand a chance of getting on the team. According to these authorities the coaches could not play new players the first year unless they were really outstanding and there were some outstanding players, two from team Canada, who recently beat the Americans at their own game, a number of local high school stars and of course most starting spots should go to last years team members.
I was feeling badly thinking how disappointed Carson will be if he does not make the team then a couple thoughts occurred to me so I am sending them to him but thought I would share them with you today as well incase you have sons or daughters trying out for a premier teams or in fact if you are doing so.
A couple of years ago Carson and Blake made a team Canada football team but there were fewer players competing for the spots than there is at university, most the players on that Team Canada were from Ontario and none of the “All Canadian Players” from their league were included. Unlike hockey’s Team Canada it seems in hindsight the organization was most interested in the money players had to raise rather than field a team of the best players in Canada. That is not saying the players did not qualify or deserve to be there as they earned their spot from those that tired out, it is just that the SUN probably could have beat the team. Beating the Americans at their own game is fantastic but probably just as unlikely had they fielded a team of their best so while these young men should be proud, don’t let the hype intimidate you, Carson, remember you were there once too.
The other thing that kept coming up is the quality of high school kids that have been recruited. I tended to forget that Carson is three to four years older, heavier, stronger and more experience than most of these young players. If he could now return to high school there is no doubt he would be a star but this is not high school this is university. Carson played for the SUN, one of the better junior teams in the country and earned a starting spot and I am not sure how university compares but it can’t be that much better when members of the SUN and their league have been recruited directly into the CFL. Remember, Carson, you have already played with and against some of the best players in Canada and you can continue to do so at this level as well as long as you believe and work hard while I keep working my way home. Time for another Ice Coffee so I can post this!