At times like these a little bit of Canadian Football League action would go a long way.
Flicking through the various ESPN channels available on the basic package at our house, I found drone racing and beach volleyball and World Team Tennis the last several nights but no pro football.
Sure, NFL training camps are about to open and there are exhibition games in August but really, what would be the harm in ESPN or FS1 picking up a little CFL just to fill in the gaps? By the time the Grey Cup championship game rolls around in late November, nobody down here will be that interested but what about now, right here, in a dead zone of sports broadcasting that features lots of MLB and the accompanying ZZZZZ’s?
Look what we’ve been missing.
Just last week a 5-foot-6 kid who played just a little at Florida Atlantic went crazy returning kicks for the Toronto Argonauts.
Martese Jackson, 25, returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown against Winnipeg. Not bad for a guy playing in his second CFL game.
Then came an 84-yard kickoff return on which Jackson was stopped short of scoring but set up a Toronto field goal all the same.
Oh, and how about the 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that was negated by an illegal blocking penalty? If that one had counted, Jackson would have totaled a lot more than the 339 total return yards for which he was credited in the game, a number that ranks fourth-highest in CFL history.
What’s more, Jackson could have won a Winnipeg woman $1 million in a grocery-chain promotion offering the big payoff for a lucky contestant when two kickoffs are returned for touchdowns in the same game. Earlier that day, a Winnipeg return man had gone the distance.
See what I mean? Crazy CFL. Crazy fun.
Is there no chance that Tim Tebow won’t give this league one final try once his baseball dream dries up?
After all, the league’s leading passer is 37-year-old Ricky Ray from Sacramento State, and he’s playing in his 15th CFL season.
Get Tebow in the CFL and ESPN will be there all summer long. Or, failing that, Johnny Manziel.
In a week or two, of course, these delusions and cravings will pass. The NFL will be back, followed by college football.
In the meantime, does anybody out there get ESPN3? If I’m reading their schedule right, there’s a snippet of the Toronto-Saskatchewan game coming up there late Monday night and it sure would be cool to catch a glimpse of Jackson.
At FAU the Asheville, N.C., native never really rang the bell for former coaches Carl Pelini and Charlie Partridge, scoring one career touchdown on a total of 70 rush attempts, five receptions and 22 kick returns.
In Canada, though, they’re not selling him as an Owl, but as an exciting new star with the nickname of the Martese Falcon.