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Are You Ready For Some (Canadian) Football?

Allez Alouettes!

Marc Tracy
November 24, 2010
Some guy who plays for the Alouettes.(Montreal Alouettes)
Some guy who plays for the Alouettes.(Montreal Alouettes)

It’s a big weekend for football. Canadian football! (Perky ‘Canada’ has its own football.) While the NFL will have its three Thanksgiving games (Tablet Magazine’s New England Patriots play at 12:30 in Detroit) as well as its usual Sunday slate, Sunday will also see the 98th Grey Cup, a.k.a. the Canadian Football League championship. In a rematch of last year’s big game, the Montreal Alouettes will take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Edmonton, Alberta (and they complain about a Super Bowl in Jersey!). On their way, the Alouettes defeated the Toronto Argonauts, while the Roughriders beat the Calgary Stampeders and the Vancouver Walloping Wallopers (I made that last one up).

So: Who is Tablet Magazine’s official team? We initially would have to lean toward the Alouettes, who hail from the city that gave us Saul Bellow, Leonard Cohen, and smoked meat. But it is actually much easier, because the Allouettes’ head coach is the tastefully named Marc Trestman, a certified Member of the Tribe who hails from the A Serious Man Twin Cities neighborhood. (And Trestman is no friggin’ joke! He was the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator under Marty Schottenheimer when they made the AFC Championship Game, and the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders for the team’s Super Bowl run last decade.)

Assuming you get TSN on your television (and assuming you aren’t watching real football at six on Sunday), just remember: There are only three downs; the wide receivers can get running starts; you can kick the ball to advance it, as though it were a throw; and at any point you can kick the ball past your opponent’s end zone for one point (it’s called a rouge). Sometimes crazy things happen! As in this exciting Montreal win over Toronto from earlier this month (explanation here).

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.