Friday, June 16, 2006

What's The Big Deal About The CFL?

The regular season schedule for the Canadian Football League kicks off today, which I'm sure excites many people across this country. Not me, however. I don't get the appeal of the CFL. On my scale of excitement, today's kickoff ranks slightly above this development, but far below the rerun of Beverly Hills 90210 that I watched earlier this afternoon. Between my lack of interest in the CFL and curling, my allergy to wheat, and the difficulty I have holding up in dry weather, I am clearly missing the prairie gene.

I stopped following the CFL in my early teen years. I remember when the Sacramento Gold Miners moved to San Antonio and became....something else, but that's about it. Prior to this past year's Grey Cup, I can't remember the last time I watched more than a few minutes of a game on television; the last time I attended a game in person, I think Doug Flutie was still a Stampeder. From what I have gathered since, Ottawa gains or loses a franchise every second year, half of the league's starting quarterbacks are entering their third decade of service, Edmonton and Montreal have played in about six consecutive Grey Cups, and every spring, either Henry Burris or Mike Pringle come back from their umpteenth failed attempt to stick with an NFL club. Also, the league's owners appear to organize a coup (or at least talk about a coup) to boot a commissioner about as frequently as the Italians topple their government.

As for the game itself, I don't think anyone would deny that its players are far below the quality found in the NFL, and might be generously compared to those in NFL Europe and the Arena Football League. I also have doubts about a league where:

• You get points for missing a field goal and for punting the ball through the end zone.

• The one-yard buffer that the defense has to give the offense makes it almost impossible for them to stop their opponents in short-yardage situations.

• A 42-year old can win the MVP award.

• The 3 down rule results in about 48 punts per game.

• Half of those 48 punts result in no-yards penalties on the kicking team.

Earlier this spring, I provided a list of my ideas for improving the game. Surprisingly, none of them have been acted on. Making matters worse, Onterrio Smith was cut by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, meaning that it's all on Ricky Williams' shoulders now to hold even my passing interest in the campaign.

So it looks I'll be tuning out yet another season of Canadian Football. But maybe I'm missing something; that's why I would like to hear from our readers. I know there are Canadian Football League fans out there, so please use our comments section to convince me, and all the other CFL haters out there, that we're wrong, and that we should give the CFL a chance.

I look forward to hearing your case. And to the fans out there, enjoy the season - no matter which Roughriders squad you cheer for.


At 6:59 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

There is only one Roughriders squad now.

I heard a rumour that EA was going to put out a CFL game this year. If I could have Swervin Mervyn Fernandez on my team, I might be interested in buying it.


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