Covering CFL ought to be a gas

DAVE 'CRASH' CAMERON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

Wasn't it supposed to be Friday Night Football?

TSN's lead duo of Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor opened the 2008 CFL season with a three-game, three-night, three-city splash.

Bing, bang, boom. Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina. Thursday, Friday, Saturday Night Football.

Hello, 2008 season.

They must be sick of each other already.

"I won't get sick of Glen, but knowing my act, he might get sick of me," Cuthbert said, going along with the joke.

"No, we were pretty happy to get back at it.

"The first week of the year means a little more preparing than normal because you're seeing six teams for the first time, right out of the gate," Cuthbert said Wednesday night from his desk at home, doing his, uh, homework for Week 2 (Blue Bombers in Montreal tonight.)

"It's diving into the deep end. But, you know, it's kind of a good way to start the year in some ways.

You're right into it.

"I came from a place (CBC) where it often didn't start until Labour Day, so I'm never, ever going to complain about doing too many games. It's what I love to do. You've just got to stay ahead of it to make sure you're not letting people down by not being properly prepared."

Sounds like the kind of advice TSN's other duo of Rod Black and "rookie" Duane Forde may seek.

Travel tips? Maybe not.

For the last leg of Cuthbert and Suitor's tripleheader hopscotch, there wasn't a direct flight from the 'Peg to Roughrider Central.

Cuthbert boarded the milk-run flight. Suitor thought he had a shortcut. In a sure-to-be infamous story, the ex-Roughrider and three TSN techies hired a limousine ... then boarded the luggage van when the limo ran out of gas ... then thought they may have to get out and push the van when the driver realized it, too, might run dry ... then cruised at a wind-aided 20 km/h before finding fuel.

"That was maybe my best move of the whole weekend," Cuthbert said with a laugh. "To be quite honest, the reason I didn't take the limo is I knew I had some work to do to get ready and I'd rather do that on a plane. I know I can't work in a vehicle.

"Plus the fact that I will always take air miles over walking to the next gas station."

It was worth the effort, Cuthbert said, to witness the Saskamites go wild as the Riders got set to defend the Grey Cup.

"I can't remember if I've seen a CFL team get a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd before the game, when they took the field."

Some say Rider Nation is making such a fuss because they haven't had much practise at this Grey Cup thing.

"I don't want to hit that one off the tee!" Cuthbert said, not going along with this joke. "But they are relishing it, for sure."

---

Keep in mind he's the kind of guy that worships at the altar of the NFL gods, but a dude I know loves to say, "Who cares about soccer?"

Obviously he has never been to Spain. Or Germany.

Almost nine out of 10 Spaniards watched the Euro 2008 final last Sunday.

Eight out of 10 Germans. That is just the over-the-air TV ratings. Those stats don't include the literally hundreds of thousands watching in pubs, restaurants and the many outdoor "public viewing" areas.

Get this: German automakers shut or slowed assembly lines so workers could watch the game.

Truth is, they don't care about soccer. They care about their "futball."


Videos

Photos