Until I moved to the United States, I really didn't appreciate how big college football actually is down here. I mean I knew it was big, I just didn't realize it was THIS BIG! My wife went to the University of Notre Dame and is absolutely rabid about her Fighting Irish. She's taken me to two games at Notre Dame (one of which was the 2005 game against USC featuring the famous last minute heroics of Matt Leinert and Reggie Bush) and both times I've been astounded by how totally into it everyone is. Virtually the entire study body shows up and sits together with the remaining 80,000 seats filled by alumni who will scratch, kick, punch and bite to get tickets.
This is in complete and utter contradistinction to my experiences at both the University of Toronto and McGill University. I walked by Varsity Stadium every day to and from law school but never made it to a single Varsity Blues game. I went to a grand total of one game at McGill. And then I went only to placate the button cute, strawberry-blonde freshman from New Brunswick that I was dating. My girlfriend and I were part of a crowd of two hundred or so fellow McGill students. I think the opposing team was the Queen's Golden Gaels although I could be wrong about that. My girlfriend got cold and we left at half time.
I'll leave it to somebody with a Ph.D. in Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology or one of those other "ology" type disciplines to explain why U.S. college football is hot and Canadian university football is not. My own personal theory is that it might have something to do with the cheerleaders. Here's a photo of a recent USC cheerleading squad:
Wow! Aren't these girls something special? Now let's just compare the hotties from USC with a recent cheerleading team from the University of Toronto:
It's hard to make anybody out because the photo is so bad. I think there might be a cute girl or two off to the right. Unfortunately, the view of the girls is obstructed by ALL OF THE DUDES! What in God's name is going on here? Call me old school, but real men have no place on a cheerleading squad. Hot female cheerleaders will draw hoards of guys who will, in turn, attract women looking to meet or hang out with said guys. Next thing you know, your stadium is packed and your football team is relevant!
Just an observation from the Star-Spangled Canuck.