One of my favourite things about the CFL is the way many of its players are willing to donate their time, effort and energy to a wide variety of charitable causes. From Adriano Belli donating his salary while injured to Toronto's Sick Kids hospital (he's also organizing a Valentine's Day dinner to benefit the hospital) to Tony Proudfoot's unbelievable efforts to raise awareness of ALS and funds to fight the disease to Jay Roberts leaving his brain to concussion researchers to the guys who recently travelled to Haiti to help with reconstruction work, players across the league have long been willing to support great causes. Some of them don't even mind getting laughed at while doing so, as the Canadian Cancer Society's video below with Calgary Stampeders players (including Henry Burris, Wes Lysack and others) and fans to promote awareness of testicular cancer and the importance of regular checkups illustrates:
— Henry Burris, Stampeders' quarterback:
Host: "You need to know your equipment. What should the ball feel like to you?"
Burris: "To me, the ball should feel like silk."
Host: "How about your own balls?"
Burris: "My...my...my what?"
— Wes Lysack, Stampeders' safety:
Lysack: "In football, there's a term called sacking the quarterback."
Host: "You attack his sack?"
Lysack: "No, no no no, you just sack him, which means tackle him. There's no sack involved."
— Rob Lazeo, Stampeders' offensive lineman:
Host: "When's the last time you checked your balls? Did you know the best time is when you're coming out of the shower?"
Lazeo: "Do you towel off before you do that?"
Host: "No, just right there."
Lazeo: "So, when we come out of the shower in the locker room, we should stand there and do it."
— Randy Chevrier, Stampeders' long-snapper/defensive tackle:
Host: "Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Host: So, in fact, did you know your left ball hangs lower than your right?"
— Ryan Thelwell, Stampeders' receiver:
Host: "It's the opposite if you're left handed, so did you know that your right ball hangs lower than your left?"
Thelwell: "You know, when I go home today, I'm going to check."
The humour's all well and good, particularly coming in a league that once came up with perhaps the greatest marketing slogan ever devised, but it's worth keeping in mind that testicular cancer is an important issue. This is a great way for the Canadian Cancer Society to get their message out to some football fans, and the Stampeders involved deserve plenty of praise for being willing to look a little silly for the sake of a good cause. You can find out more about the society's efforts on the testicular cancer front at cancer.ca/fightclub. To close it out, here are some final thoughts from a couple of the players involved:
Burris: "Probably for a man, one of the biggest things to overcome is our pride. Once we get over our pride it lets us know we're in the best shape possible. So to all the men out there, take care of your stuff."
Lysack: "Early detection is the key. I guess the key thing today we found out is boys, get to know your boys."