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It’s the dead of summer, the wasteland of the sports calendar. Even if you’re a baseball fan (WOOO STROS!), that creeping feeling of utter boredom is beginning to surround you. Sure, you could go "outside" and "interact" with "people", but who really wants to do that. It’s too damn hot outside anyway. There’s nothing you can do but while away the hours until the glorious return of football, still nearly 2 months away.

But why subject yourself to the constant boring replays of last season games on SEC Network when you could be watching LIVE, FOOTBALL-LIKE SUBSTANCES! America may be weeks away from returning to football, but the rest of the world steps up every summer to provide us with strange and fascinating interpretations of our beloved sport. It’s as if they feel our need and, through the magic of cable television, they have sent us their best attempts at recreating the beautiful game.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll focus on a particular sport and tell you why it’s an awesome version of kinda-football that you should be watching, but for this first week we’ll ease into things by talking about ACTUAL AMERICAN GRIDIRON FOOTBALL, BEING PLAYED BY AMERICANS. The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) is the closest thing football has to an international governing body. Their goal is to bring our game to the world and they’re doing an...ok job of it. The organization has been plagued with leadership issues in year’s past and kinda almost folded, but for now it hangs on and hosts international tournaments at varying levels every summer. This year it’s time for the World Under-19 Championship, hosted by Harbin University of Commerce in Harbin, China.

The tournament has been running since last week and this weekend will see the finals. The host team China finished in 7th place after failing to score any points. Austria and Australia will play for 5th place on Saturday morning. On Sunday, Japan will face Mexico for Bronze and Team USA will battle our old foe Canada for the championship. Live feeds and replays of the games can bee seen via the Mexcan sports website Maximo Avance.

It really is a weekend chock-full of Football-Like Substances. Next week we’ll focus on our neighbors to the north and learn why the CFL’s Hamilton Ti-Cats is the team every LSU fan should be rooting for.

League Start Matchup Channel Streaming
All Times Central THURSDAY
CFL 6:00 PM Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats ESPN2 WatchESPN
CFL 9:00 PM Toronto Argonauts vs. BC Lions ESPN2 WatchESPN
Super Rugby 2:35 AM Brumbies vs. Blues ESPN3
AFL Premiership 4:30 AM Geelong Cats vs. Sydney Swans FS1 FSGo
Super Rugby 4:45 AM Chiefs vs. Reds ESPN3
Super Rugby 12:00 PM Kings vs. Lions ESPN3
CFL 6:00 PM Calgary Stampeders vs. Ottawa Redblacks ESPN3
CFL 9:00 PM Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Edmonton Eskimos ESPN2 WatchESPN
AFL Premiership 10:30 PM Greater Western Sydney Giants vs. Collingwood Magpies FS2 FSGo
Super Rugby 2:35 AM Rebels vs. Crusaders ESPN3
IFAF U19 4:00 AM Fifth place game: Austria vs. Australia
NRL Rugby 4:30 AM Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Wests Tigers FS2 FSGO
Super Rugby 4:45 AM Hurricanes vs. Waratahs ESPN3
Super Rugby 6:55 AM Stormers vs. Force ESPN3
Super Rugby 11:05 AM Sunwolves vs. Bulls ESPN3
Super Rugby 12:15 PM Cheetahs vs. Sharks ESPN3
Super Rugby 4:45 PM Highlanders vs. Jaguares ESPN3
Arena 5:00 PM Cleveland Gladiators vs. Philadelphia Soul ESPN3
Arena 9:00 PM Orlando Predators vs. Portland Steel ESPN3
IFAF U19 1:00 AM Bronze Medal Game: Japan vs. Mexico
IFAF U19 4:00 AM Gold Medal Game: United States vs. Canada
NRL Rugby 4:00 AM Canberra Raiders vs. North Queensland Cowboys FS2 FSGo
Arena 9:00 PM Tampa Bay Storm vs. LA Kiss ESPN3