I’m watching you, Andy Fantuz

May 21, 2013

When I heard the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would be playing their home games in Guelph this season, my first thought was: How cool will that be for the city?

My second thought was: Do they have to bring Andy Fantuz?

Fantuz, of course, is the wide receiver for the Ticats and the pride of Chatham, Ont. As a seven-year veteran of the Canadian Football League, he’s known by football fans as that tall, handsome guy who makes quarterbacks’ jobs easy.

Not so many people know that when he was in Grade 10 in Chatham, playing football for his high school team, he dated a girl in Grade 8. It was not a romance for the ages, and they broke up after three months because, I’m told, he was constantly grounded by his parents.

That would be an inconsequential fact except for this: That girl would go on to become my wife. And now you see my problem.

I’ve never met Fantuz and I’m sure he’s a standup guy. And my wife is a beautiful woman who looks good even in a snowsuit, so I expect she had a boyfriend or two before we met.

And this whole thing is fine when Fantuz is playing at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, far, far away down Highway 6 in front of beer-crushing steelworkers. But playing at Alumni Stadium, five minutes from my house? For the entire season? That’s some kind of cruel joke.

When I finally learned about my wife’s connection to Fantuz, all sorts of lights started going off in my head.

The news explained why, strangely, there is an unopened box of Fantuz Flakes cereal in the basement of my mother-in-law’s house, left in a prominent place with soft lighting. It also explains how her voice rises when she talks about him, as if he had just rushed into a burning house and saved her kitten.

It helps to explain, too, why when I told my wife I’d bought tickets to a Ticats game at Alumni Stadium this July, she seemed a little too excited. I should have known something was up when she was overly focused on where the TiCats’ bench would be placed on the field and where our seats would be in relation to that.

I mean, what’s the big deal? He’s just a well-paid professional athlete who’s won a Grey Cup, is adored by women and has his face on cereal boxes. But can he write newspaper columns for peanuts and name the capitals of all the provinces? I doubt it.

Also, I happen to know from a reliable source that he’s a bad kisser. Just saying.

I could have been a professional athlete, anyway. I once made it into the top 16 at the World Crokinole Championships, in Tavistock, in the recreational division. But my wife made me forfeit my spot in the playoffs so we could go to a wedding shower. The Mennonite farmer I was set to face off against just shook his head as she led me out of the arena.

So, really, she has no one to blame but herself.

And I’m not jealous of what they had back then. Really, I’m not. After all, I won, right? I get to live with her, and we don’t even have a curfew. I’m just saying: Andy Fantuz, welcome to Guelph. And I’m watching you.

Guelph Mercury, May 18, 2013

One Response to I’m watching you, Andy Fantuz

  1. Chika on July 3, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    We are getting into that ttirreory of what a councillor considers to be their job. Is it about looking after our interests? Sure, but what does that actually mean? It circles that business of fulfilling one’s responsibilities as a board member of the Corporation of the City of Guelph but how that is interpreted councillor by councillor, and council by council, is where it gets interesting. In this instance it seems it’s more important to maintain silence. I don’t think that helps to maintain public confidence. It suggests the buy-in is fragile, which suggests City Hall is taking a direction with waste management that people really don’t support, which may not be the case but if it is, what about that then?Frankly, I am concerned about how the Guelph-variant of the full-time councillor would play out for us.

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