This may come as a shock to some of you, but what I am about to say may offend someone. I am going to tell you how something from Canada is better than a product produced right here in the good old US of A, despite the billions of dollars spent by consumers and franchises and staggering amounts of profit that continually grow on a yearly basis.
Yes, the CFL is better than the NFL. I said it and I would say it again.
I happened to watch the 103rd Grey Cup this weekend between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Saskatchewan Redblacks — they used to be the Rough Riders which I thought was an awesome name — and Edmonton came away champions. Yes, I said 103rd, by the way, and not just because it is an important detail but as a way to show the rest of America we aren’t the only ones who have been playing football all of these years.
Now, I’m going to tell you why it’s better.
If you have never watched a Canadian Football League game, you have done yourself a huge disservice. There is more action, in a majority of games more points scored, rarely a play that doesn’t have excitement and action, and the players and fans are so much more socially responsible.
I know, that sounds kind of lame, but what I mean is, the fans don’t throw objects onto the field trying to assault the other team and rarely do you ever hear of their players being arrested for domestic violence, probation violations, or drug scandals. And don’t be fooled, these aren’t just a bunch of Canucks up in the frozen wasteland standing around with curling brooms and ending each sentence with “ay.”
The teams are comprised of both American and Canadian players, American players graduating from the same colleges and universities we watch every Saturday during the fall. A true college football fan won’t be lost when the string lineups are read because these are names and faces that we once saw on a regular basis.
The quality of play is worth a watch, though you’ll have to wait until next season now. Their version of the Superbowl is over — or should it be our version of the Grey Cup since theirs is 53 years older?
The field is bigger, the endzones are 10 yards deeper, there are two 50 yard lines, anyone behind the line on offense can run toward the line to start the play before the ball is snapped, and you only have three downs instead of four to convert to a first.
Sounds crazy right?
Yes, it does in comparison to what we’re used to, but the fact is I have been watching the CFL when I can find it since, well, I’m not going to tell you how long because I have a birthday coming up and that would definitely be dating myself. The fact is, these make the game exciting in comparison to our version here in the United States.
These days, in my opinion, the most exciting things to happen in the NFL actually irk me because it all happens on the police blotter for the most part. Yes, I know not all the players in the NFL are criminals but it does get harder and harder to remember that when the teams’ owners become apologists for their players after domestic violence or drug charges.
And frankly, the over-inflated salaries have thinned the game in the NFL. Players have become more worried about touchdown poses than the scoreboard or refuse to play with minor injuries because they have an over-inflated sense of self-worth — love the Panthers, but Cam, you need to remember you aren’t really Superman — the guys blocking for you are.
The NFL is less about the team than it is about the individual. The NFL is less about policing their own players than it is about ratings. The NFL is less worried about the conduct of their players, coaches, and owners than it is about revenue sharing.
The NFL is less about the game and more about the player. Doesn’t sound much like a team sport, does it?
Sure, when you first watch the CFL you will find the offense at times reminds you of pee-wee football and you are just convinced everyone on the field is going to run in one big pack to the play, but you’ll be surprised. Besides, I really have had enough of these guys who put up average performances on Sundays in the NFL being called warriors and heroes — that’s kind of sad, actually.
No, I may have just decided to watch my pro football broadcast from the Great White North rather than watch a league of overpaid players struggle to win 12-3 games, ay.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.