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The Thirteenth Man

by Dear Jon
December 8, 2009

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Dear Jon:

I live in Canada.  Last weekend we had our version of the Superbowl game called the Grey Cup.  My team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders lost by one point in the final second of the game because of a 13th man on the field.  This  allowed Montreal another chance at a field goal that the kicker had missed the first time.

I have, through therapy, been able to get on with my life after this unfortunate event. I am wondering what your thoughts are of the whole concept of the " 13th man on the field."  It seems to me that sports fans will put up with a lot of behavior that borders on the sociopathic but will not tolerate the 13th man.  Your thoughts?

Roughrider fan.

Dear Rider,

There are a lot of things wrong with your letter. What are the French doing playing football, for one thing, and for another, how on earth do they win the championship? All this business about having 12 men on a side and a field that's 110 yards long with goal-posts on the goal line and end-zones 25 yards deep, proves to me that the Grey Cup is not much at all like the Super Bowl. I hope it stays that way, despite the best efforts of the current President of the United States to make America the 11th Province.

We know things really are messed up when the Canadian dollar pulled even to the American dollar in value, and even beat it for about 6 minutes one day in March or something, for the first time in 30 years.

Just how Canadian do we want to get? First it's health-care, next thing you know it's a plummeting crime rate and topless ladies on prime-time network television. The things that make America AMERICA are under threat. If Canadians decided to convert their football fields to meters, will we too?

Things that make America AMERICA:

1. School violence. Not knowing if you'll be caught in a riot or a cross-fire teaches youngsters that life is arbitrary; an important lesson to prepare them for adulthood.

2. Four-down football, played by millionaires.

3. A hodge-podge of public and private health-care in a system that is only slightly less complicated than

4. the rules for immigration and naturalization which is second only to

5. the most intricate tax code in the world.

6. Freedom! Liberty! No taxation without---never mind.

7. Seniors on medicare protesting that Obama wants to "socialize medicine."

8. Guns on the right, abortion on the left, troop surges in the middle, and "shining happy people holding hands" and talking about a culture of life in an effort to ramp down that whole "school violence" thing.

9. No Child Left Behind (a program to make sure the guidance counselors find all the third-graders hiding in terror under their desks after the lock-down ends).

10. Tubes, pods, berries, blogs, tweets, toy guitars plugged into game consoles, game console fantasies turned into major release motion pictures, anything that keeps us from stopping for three minutes to think things over.

Without these things, why, we might as WELL be Canada!

Besides, if you're going to play football with 12 guys, why not play with 13? Like a family reunion pick-up game where everyone goes out for a pass and the defense has to wait to count to three -on-thousand before rushing the quarterback. I've pretty much explained Canadian football, haven't I?


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