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Football Fever

10/09/2015

Being from Saskatchewan, September marks the real beginning of football season.   The Labour Day game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is often sold out months in advance.  

In the spirit of fall football weather,   I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite books about the sport. 

The Canadian Football League team, the Ottawa REDBLACKS, have sparked football fever in Ottawa.   Prior to the REDBLACKS, there was the Ottawa Roughriders from 1876-1996 and the Ottawa Renegades from 2002-2006.  One proud member of the Ottawa Roughriders was Moe “the Toe” Racine.  He played as an offensive lineman and kicker for the team from 1958-1974.   He won four Grey Cups during that time and was recently inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.  Racine’s football career and life has been captured for posterity in the book, Moe the Toe, Never My Dream: A Memoir.  Fittingly, the book was written by Racine’s son, Thom.  Canadian football fans of all ages will enjoy the colorful tales of one of the sport’s greatest athletes.

Right now, the future of the Canadian Football League looks bright with solid ownership, good attendance and high television ratings.  The future of the league did not look so certain in the early 1990s.  At the time, it was thought the answer would be expansion of the league to the United States.  Author, Ed Willes chronicles the expansion efforts in the book, End Zones and Border Wars – The Era of American Expansion in the CFL.  One particularly funny story is when the national anthem singer for the Las Vegas Posse did not know the words or tune to O Canada so ended up doing a rendition that sounded eerily similar to O Christmas Tree.  Football and non-football fans will enjoy this book as it gives a behind-the-scenes look at the business of the sport.

Matt Dunigan is one of the greatest quarterbacks who played in the Canadian Football League.   He had a gunslinger’s mentality and was a fan favorite.   The only problem is that he suffered multiple injuries and concussions during his time as a player.  Dunigan writes about his football career and post-career in the book, Goin’ Deep. He is candid about the difficulty of living with post-concussion syndrome and the effect it has on his life.  

All of these books are available at the Ottawa Public Library, www.biblioottawalibrary.ca.

 

 

Image: Moe the Toe

Moe the Toe

Never My Dream : A Memoir
By Racine, Thom
Image: End Zones and Border Wars

End Zones and Border Wars

The Era of American Expansion in the CFL
By Willes, Ed
Image: Goin' Deep

Goin' Deep

The Life and Times of A CFL Quarterback
By Dunigan, Matt