Friday, June 18, 2021

Who is smilingriderfan?

Pandemic.

When Covid shut down the CFL in 2020 I found myself without anything to compose blog posts about as well as a lost desire to try to keep up with everything that was going on.  Following the pandemic news and keeping safe in our bubble became the top priority and everything else took a back seat.  Well now that things are starting to feel more like what we used to call "normal" I realized I owed everyone an update on my site.

You might be a long time reader of this blog or you might have just happened upon this site from a link from social media and I thank you regardless of how you found your way to ABC Football.  In late 2019, someone reported my blog page as spam and that has created a lot of issues.  You may have noticed the address has changed.  I had to do this to be able to share my blogs on various social media platforms without getting red flagged. This really really sucked.  Over the next while, I will be updating links and hopefully restoring all the fun things I tried to offer on my blog page.  

In early 2020, I had started a Youtube channel and that as well has been dormant.  I'm going to leave everything in place but at this time I'm not 100% certain I will make videos like I had originally planned.  It's a lot of work to film and edit and if the last year has taught me anything its that a lot of things I spent time on were simply not worth it.

So that's the background on the last year but who was I before the world shut down?  Feel free to click on the About Me tab. You'll find all the necessary information there.  If you prefer the long winded version, then by all means stick with me. * smile *

This is not a blog post about how I became a Rider fan because I think I've already been there, done that, and bought all the Rider tee shirts. If you are interested, this is my Origin Story.

I grew up in Prince Albert and in 2001 moved to Saskatoon.  I took music lessons all of my teenage years and when I was 17 I began teaching piano lessons.  Music has always been a huge part of my life and livelihood.  Except for a 5 year hiatus when we moved, I've always been a teacher.  My interest in practice ebbs and flows but I strive to keep learning and being the best instructor and mentor I can be to all the students who cross my path.  I probably should have become a school teacher but...well, I didn't.

I thought I was going to be a writer.  I did a few years of Arts & Sciences...basically enough to know that I was neither good at learning in that forum and that the learning how had nothing to do with the act of actually doing it.  Now I know that I could have made different choices but things always have a way of working out and because of them I met my Husband who you may have seen me refer to as "Hubby". We celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary in December and the one thing we enjoy doing together is going to football games.

I've always been able to succeed at pretty much anything I've ever tried.  That's not me being egotistical.  It's the truth.  No one ever told me I couldn't do something.  I always felt that I was free to pursue my passions.  I play music, I bake, I travel, I draw, I snap photos.....

On a social media forum which has long become extinct I began blogging about every day life, my love of donuts and my teaching stories.  My readers ( a handful of friends ) became wildly aware around 2008-ish that a lot of my blogs were about football.  Some of those very early blogs can be found in the archives on this very page.  It became apparent that I could just write about sports and eventually my page got moved here to Blogger and eventually through a few name changes we arrive at what ABC Football is today.

This page will always be from the fans perspective and over time I think I've become more level headed and logical and less radical.  Yes, I know, crazy words from a Rider fan!   I try to not take football or myself too seriously and I think that's evident through my CFL Power Rankings.  I think we can look everywhere, especially in Saskatchewan, and be bombarded with Roughriders news from sports media people.  I try to not let what's going on around me influence my perspective.  Why try to fit in?  

Sometimes you have to excuse me.  I am the music teacher after all and that often takes precedent.  It also means you might be swamped with vague musical quotations from my current obsessions.  It might mean I don't get to write regularly because of my schedule.  I'm okay with it and I hope you are too.  I will always share my newest posts on my Twitter account, Instagram and the ABC Football Facebook page.  I firmly believe that while I am a Roughriders fan first and foremost, that is not all that I am.  I am diverse and sometimes complicated.  I can enjoy several things at the same time and remain smilingsandra or smilingriderfan or whoever I am :)

I am the administrator of ABC Rider Fans on Facebook.  The group doesn't have the big numbers that some Facebook groups do but the people who are on the page have fun.  It's not uncommon to go off topic or to joke around with each other.  We are friends.  If you've joined, you can expect Game Threads hosted by moderator John Strutt and we love it when everybody posts and shares.  You can expect CFL news while being Rider fans.  The rules are simple and easy to follow.  Search the group up and join in.

A question I get asked often is "why ABC?".  At the time, I wanted something that would come up on a Google or Facebook in an alphabetical type of search.  I also thought ABC could refer to the abc's of football and almost in a football 101 type of way.  Yes, it is also an acronym for Anyone But Calgary and that's a cool thing too but it does not mean the group/page is completely anti-Stampeders.  Not really anyway.

I am a Roughriders season ticket holder.  I look forward to gathering once again with Rider Nation in 2021.  If you see me, stop me and say hi!

I'd love to interact with you.  If there are blog topics you'd love to see me discuss then by all means let me know.  Thanks for reading and as always...

...Go Riders!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A Thrill of Hope


On Christmas Eve my husband any myself gathered around the TV to watch our church's Christmas Eve service streamed live on Youtube.  The service was largely about the true meaning of Christmas but pulled several lines from the carol O Holy Night.

A Thrill of Hope, A Weary World Rejoices.

Well I don't have to tell you how unprecedented or whatever the new catch phrase is to describe our feelings towards 2020.  Here we were back in February just looking forward to a CFL season and my Roughriders having a memorable season and hosting the 2020 Grey Cup.  

How quickly all of that faded.

Without a CFL season I turned my interest elsewhere.  We took more drives.  I took up painting.  I lost 40 pounds.  I discovered I liked free time on the weekends instead of rushing off to Regina for a game every weekend.  I discovered I really liked sitting down with a great cup of tea to relax at the end of the day.  I discovered I could bake bread.

If you'd asked me a year ago what I'd make of all this I know I most certainly wouldn't have had an answer.  Sitting here drinking my Panetone tea out of my snowman mug and still trying to be festive, I still can't put clearly into words what's gone on over the last 8 months.  We've all experienced it differently.  Both myself and my husband have been blessed to both keep our jobs and with the exception of working from home nothing much has changed.  There was a steep learning curve but I taught piano lessons online for 6 months and returned to mostly in person lessons when school resumed in September.  

Everything we've looked forward to has been cancelled and I go back and forth every day about renewing my Roughrider season tickets.  I never even got to sit in my newly upgraded seats.  Just as the song says and as the Roughriders and other CFL teams re-sign and re-negotiate with players we do see a thrill of hope.  Vaccines are rolling out and the Health Authority says that we may see a return to "old normal" by fall 2021.

When the clock strikes midnight our problems won't magically disappear but I also know that when we are finally able to gather again to cheer on our favourite teams we will rejoice.  Imagine how glorious it will all be when another touchdown is scored at Mosaic Stadium and Gainer tours the field buckled into his car while we high five all the fans around us. A weary fanbase will rejoice.

Until that time arrives, stay safe, cherish your loved ones, Happy 2021 and Go Riders Go.