February 7th, 2016
Today is the NFL’s Superbowl Sunday. For most people, the event unfolds on big screens across North America. Up here in the Canadian north, our family will be enjoying our own take on this football celebration. It is appropriately called Labrador Snowbowl. Active participation is a requirement. Our field is a snow-covered lawn. One end zone is a 7 foot high snow bank. Bailey has her own dance that involves flying over the top of this end zone with the ball in her mouth. The look on her face when she discovers herself air born is priceless. The landing is neither graceful nor pretty.
Uniforms are unique. Some players layer themselves to a point that moving fast becomes a challenge. Others are immune to the cold and keep the layering light. They claim doing so gives them the advantage of speed. Our brown pig-skinned football looks like a flattened pancake. Bailey is given credit for deflating it in less than 5 minutes. Still, the game will go on. Much of the time, no one knows who is on their team. Bailey switches sides like a male switching television shows – frequently. Tackling is engaged by all. Bailey will quickly grab the football away from whoever has it. By grabbing our legs with her big paws or side checking, you find yourself lying in the snow often. The ball is no longer in your possession. It has been commandeered by a four legged, tail wagging newf puppy. However, seeing someone lying on the snow, Bailey drops the ball and heads over to administer first aid – a big wet lick on the face. It works wonders at reviving a fallen player.
Timeouts are common as we try to catch our breaths. Snowboots are more cumbersome than light weight runners worn by the NFL players. Bailey usually grabs a quick beverage in the form of snow. Our game won’t last as long as the Superbowl – 30 minutes at tops. By then, the players head in for sustenance – cookies and hot chocolate. Bailey really loves this part. Once fed, we crash as Snowbowl causalities. A few of us us will relax with books or electronic entertainment. Our Bailey will blissfully snooze as she replays the high points of the game. In a couple of hours, she will be ready for another. Will we be?