Canada is Canadian Football by Caretaker Bob !!

Canada is Canadian Football.

I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. But I’ve now spent the majority of my life in countries other than Canada. Instead of becoming less Canadian this has made me more appreciative of things Canadian than any of the resident Canadians I know. The best single example of what I know about Canada that many Canadians don’t seem to understand is Canadian Football.

· The 101 year old Grey Cup Championship is the most watched sporting event in Canada year in, year out.

· The oldest continuously operating North American “Football? (of any sort) club is the Canadian Hamilton Tiger-Cats, founded in 1869. According to Wikipedia it is the 55th oldest football club anywhere, including Europe.

· The typical CFL football game is watched by three to four times as many Canadians as watch any US football game.

· Canadian high schools, colleges and junior football leagues are all played under Canadian Football’s three down rules.

So why is there even a debate on this topic? Because of probably the second most Canadian cultural identifier - namely Canada’s odd habit of undervaluing our own culture. So Canadian Football cannot be any good simply because it has been developed, is played, and is enjoyed by Canadians. This sad instinct has major Canadian corporate leaders somehow thinking that because Canada’s Championship was played in Regina Saskatchewan it could not be world class.

But it is precisely that fully a quarter of the population of the capital of one of Canada’s 10 provinces came out for a Canadian Football game in sub-zero weather, and a third of the country tuned in on TV, that makes it world class.

So why does this effort to bring the American sport of four down NFL football to Canada persist? It is a direct result of this lack of appreciation of Canadian culture by Canadians that is to blame. How else do you explain great Canadian leaders like Mr Paul Godfrey bragging about his failed thirty year crusade to bring the NFL to Toronto?

Or why would a great Canadian corporation like Rogers Communications Inc. spend millions promoting a US competitor over a more popular Canadian institution? Particularly given that Rogers’ prospers thanks to Canadian Government rules (CRTC regulations) that give it, as a Canadian supplier, great competitive advantages over foreign competitors. The oddest bit is that Rogers’s own marketing folks know, but don’t tell their bosses that, outside of downtown Toronto no one likes Rogers’ using its clout to damage a Canadian institution we all love.

These folks are not less patriotic than you and me. They care every bit as much about the success of Canada and Canadians. They are simply making the same mistake that millions of Canadians have made before them. They simply see things as being more valuable, more worthwhile, or maybe just “cooler? if societies other than Canada’s also value these things.

No Canadian musician is considered successful in Canada if they have not been successful in the United States. It is the rare Canadian cultural icon who becomes successful in Canada without foreign endorsement.

So how does the Canadian Football League prevent the NFL from wanting to put a NFL team in Canada? The CFL has to do two things, first it must convince Canadian leaders such as Mr Paul Godfrey and Canadian corporations such as Rogers, of the value of our hundred and fifty year old Canadian cultural institution.

And secondly we must partner with the National Football League in an organized and mutually profitable way. It is already true that CFL coaches and general managers, whether Canadian or American have many friends among their counterparts in the NFL teams. The CFL league office has more in common with the NFL league office (and vice versa) than they do with any other institution on the planet. After all, the CFL and NFL are the only two “gridiron? football leagues.

The National Football league is a lot like the Canadian Football League, being a collection of teams who banded together to form an institution dedicated to their collective success. Our leagues are among the most successful cooperatives in the history of business anywhere. We have more incentive to cooperate with each other than any two businesses you could name.

The Canadian Football League is stronger than ever. We are now able to do more to support athletic achievement in Canada, we are doing more to support the charities we all care about, and more to celebrate this great country. I’m personally very proud to be a small cog, along with my free market capitalist colleagues, in the recent progress of our league in our contributions to Canada and Canadian culture.

Canada is Canadian Football. And unlike Canadian Football which is well appreciated coast to coast across our remarkable country, Canadians need to learn to celebrate Canada and things Canadian, whether or not the rest of the world even notices.

[url=] ... n-football[/url]

Very well said, CaretakerBob. I support you 100%! :thup:

This is a great post and very much true; those of us in this forum probably don't believe so. But Canadians have a general knack for thinking that anything Canadian can not be as good as something foreign. I just do not understand the lack of confidence Canadians have, most of us are very proud to be Canadian but yet we don't show that we are proud of Canadian products; nature sights to see, sports ect


More Canadians should perhaps travel outside North America to get a true perspective about how great our country really is. We don't always have to compare ourselves to Americans to get a sense of our worth.

Canadians are probably the most sports minded people on Earth. We formed the first city football leagues in North America, developing and improving the game of football from its humble rugby roots into the great and exciting sport that Canadian football is today.

Canadians also invented lacrosse, hockey, basketball, among others and had some of the first organized baseball and softball leagues in the world, as well as popularizing and modernizing curling into Canada's most popular participation sport!

Yes, Canada should be proud of our sporting heritage and celebrate all the things which make us uniquely Canadian. :thup:

We certainly have a right to be proud of our accomplishments. Who would have thought we could operate a professional sports league on our own that isn’t even our no. 1 sport and take it to the levels we have with the Canadian Football League! That is a minor miracle, especially considering some of our very own bigwigs like Paul Godfrey and Phil Lind have tried to destroy the league and put it out of existence.

Great passion but take care CareTaker. Let's get some facts straight:

  1. I am a huge CFL fan. So don't give me this "NFL troll" garbage after reading remaining facts.
  2. Super Bowl is largest TV audience year in year out. Exceptions: Olympic hockey. World Cup soccer final can beat Grey Cup in some years. Last time Blue Jays won World Series - beat Grey Cup.
  3. CFL games do not beat NFL games 3x in ratings. Sometimes yes. Usually one CFL game gets 650K viewers while three competing NFL games get 400K viewers EACH. Do the math.
  4. Not all Canadian high school leagues play CFL rules. Does Ontario not play US rules? Does Simon Fraser university (BC) not play in NCAA?

That said, CFL is awesome. I prefer to watch the Winnipeg Jets play hockey, even if San Jose vs Anaheim is better hockey. Similarly, I enjoy SSK vs BC over Jacksonville vs Arizona, That's why CFL is #1.

And the Super Bowl should be having far, far more viewers in Canada than the Grey Cup due to all the American media hype and American marketing we receive via all the American media most Canadians are tuned into and influenced by to a great extent. That is a given, as well it is played in the dead of winter and easier to get viewers. Also, the Grey Cup does compete to some extent with regular NFL games when it is played, the SB in Canada has no competition at all from any other football.

As well, it is really no wonder why any “major league” as most would call the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and World Cup should have higher ratings than any Canadian Football League game. Again all of those leagues are hyped by American and world television and media which the CFL doesn’t have and as I’ve said, since most Canadians are subject to this American and world media and greatly influenced by it and the hype as a result, something the the Grey Cup or a CFL games really shouldn’t even be in the same ballpark. The World Series with a Canadian team should be at least double what a Grey Cup game gets, it’s the “major” MLB as most see it vs the “non-major” CFL as most see it.

But our ratings for the Grey Cup and CFL games are pretty decent nonetheless considering it’s just a local thingy and for the most part strictly a Canadian event, and media event. We should be proud of doing something on our own and those who aren’t proud, well, I’m not sure why to be honest. Although I suppose a lot of Canadians, choosing to remain to live and work in this country, aren’t even proud of Canada as a country come to think of it, so why should they be proud of a Canadian production in that case that isn’t all huge glitzy Americanized or Worldized, I guess. :?

I will never understand as a country why we're so worried about how we are perceived by others, so much so that it affects our perception of our own identity. I don't know of another nation with this problem. Don't be embarrassed to wave the flag !!!

Grey Cup is on cable, Superbowl is not. CTV is available and subscribed to approx 5 million more people than TSN. Yet viewership wise barely beats it out. Put the Grey Cup on CTV to get a true number with equals.
I'd also like to see what the blue jays television ratings were, could you please provide this information.

Incorrect. When the ratings come out they are the "COMBINED" 1pm/4pm games. The ratings report even says this.

Correct on Simon Fraser, But some Ontario highschools play 4 downs with junior football, however the rest of the rules are still CFL rules. This has lead to some people who played highschool football to think they played "NFL Rules" because the only difference they know is that one has 3 downs, other has 4. If you play football on a 110 yard field with 20 yard deep endzones, the waggle, D lines up 1 yard off the ball, and have to give 5 yards to punts but with 4 downs. Are you playing NFL rules or CFL rules?

When it comes to gridiron football rules, I don't get too upset what is being played or combination of rules, for non-entertainment type gridiron ie. kids leagues, high school as the below is football any way you look at it:

If you don't like football and contact, then don't play, small field, big field, small rosters, big rosters, 3 downs, 4 downs etc. That being said, sure, I think the more Canadian rules amateurs play in this country the better from a cultural perspective and, as well, they get more used to the strategies if they go to university and the CFL which plays Canadian rules except for a very few like Simon Fraser. But as Canadian kids get better all the time, I can see more pressure for amateur leagues in this country to play American rules simply as kids want every advantage possible if they are really good to get that American university scholarship which basically amounts to a nice salary, a full scholarship. I think in time the CFL will also adopt more American rules, Canadian universities as well.

I am very ashamed to be Canadian and after working in Alberta tar sands even more so. All of our bosses are Americans and we get treated like third world dogs. I even heard one boss man from Houston refer to Canadians as "white n-word"
We are a truly pathetic country that has givin away our natural resourses for practically free and ur national identity is that,"we are Americans...but"
The CFL is not diferent where we have almost 100% of all coaches and GMs as Americans and our Canadian players play the grunt positions. This is almost a carbon copy of the Alberta tar sands.
It is embarrassing explaining to forigners that associate hockey with Canada that we actually have our teams in the same league as the Americans. No one understands this at all.
Being Canadian is like being the prettiest girl in school, but we have no self esteem so we let everyone have a go. The US doesn't even have the courtesy to buy us dinner first ,and just stops over and has his way with us and we don't even think that it isn't normal anymore.
Next time anyone flys into Vancouver, look at the Frasier river. You will see huge log barges that are on their way to the US to be logged by Mexican slaves. It is so depressing that I laugh whenever I fly into Vancouver... I haven't worked there in three years... I can't even work where I live because we allow anyone and everyone into our country so they pay pre-apprentice wages in Vancouver to journeymen tradesmen.

Besides constantly complaining about this on this forum, what are you doing to fix the problem ? If nothing, then I suggest you move to another country where you don’t feel so hard done by, or even easier, don’t work for American bosses !!!

Since this is your 16th post on the CFL's national forum, after reading your remaining facts, perhaps you're only a "Rogers troll"?

2) Super Bowl is largest TV audience year in year out. Exceptions: Olympic hockey. World Cup soccer final can beat Grey Cup in some years. Last time Blue Jays won World Series - beat Grey Cup.
Wrong. The Caretaker said the GC is the biggest sporting event in Canada. Since when was the SB held in Canada? 3,600,000 Toronto fans did watch the Argos in the Grey Cup game last year. The Blue Jays, Raptors or Leafs have never had a Toronto audience that big in their franchise history.
3) CFL games do not beat NFL games 3x in ratings. Sometimes yes. Usually one CFL game gets 650K viewers while three competing NFL games get 400K viewers EACH. Do the math.
Wrong again, Roger. There is never 3 NFL games on at the same time on broadcast networks, the maximum is one or two games. CTV shows 1 game in each region highlighting the most popular team, Seahawks in BC/AB; Vikings in Man; Bills & Lions in Ont; Pats in Que, etc. On Nov. 17th for example, the combined ratings of all those 1:00 pm CTV games was 399,000, which is 60% below the average rating for one CFL game (760,000).

The combined Sportsnet/CityTV ratings were 430,000 for all the 4:00 pm NFL games. On that same Sunday the 2 CFL games drew 3,600,000 viewers combined. Sportsnet drew only 162,000 viewers to their 4:00 pm games across Canada.

Roger, please provide a source for your claim that 3 NFL games got 400,000 viewers at the same time? Or perhaps you just made that up for some reason?

And please don't use the false "but the ratings don't include American channels" claim. Canadians watching simulcast games on the American cable channels are included in ratings, which cover over 90% of Canadians watching NFL on American channels. And all those hordes watching NFL in bars are included in the above ratings also. PVR viewers too.

4) Not all Canadian high school leagues play CFL rules. Does Ontario not play US rules? Does Simon Fraser university (BC) not play in NCAA?
Ontario schools play Canadian rules, while in Toronto they play Canadian rules using 4 downs. So SFU plays American football, the only university in Canada which does so. Does that make you happy? [/quote]

And to be honest, as we know, the Canadian game with 3 downs is more difficult to gain a first down per possession regardless of the other rules, 3 downs is just tougher. So I think it is easier for kids and high schoolers to play 4 downs. 3 downs puts a lot of pressure on the qb, too much pressure for inexperienced qb’s. However, the CFL shouldn’t, IMHO ever change to 4 downs because I feel it’s too easy, 3 downs is the way of the pro game and university as well where you have more seasoned qb’s. Makes it more interesting due to the added level of difficulty. Sort of like computer games, not that I play them, but you start with it easy and make it more advanced as you go from a level to another level.

How about the CFL with 2 downs? :wink:

Many years ago an NFL lover was telling me how much more exciting that game was over ours, solely due to the fact that 4 downs is better than 3. I let him rant for a while and then asked him if he watched baseball. He told me he was a rabid fan. I then asked him " wouldn't baseball be more exciting with 4 strikes"?....I'm still waiting for an answer.


Let us know when you hear.

Hey DAN, obviously that guy would be someone who would be more likely content to stay at easier levels in computer games. Well, at least he isn't hiding the fact. :wink:

I liked the article, but it explains Canada as a whole not just football. Whether it be sports, the arts or business, Canadians tend to act inferior, not just in regards to our neighbours to the south. Recognition and success doesn't seem to be given or accepted until there is success viewed by people of other countries.
As for the Superbowl ratings vs Grey Cup. The Superbowl does not have any competition on TV. All other sports, hockey, basketball don't schedule games vs the Superbowl. There are no prime tv shows shown. There are only repeat tv shows or old movies. Now, the Grey Cup has to deal with not only Hockey, but Canadian NHL teams will play the same day, sometimes the same time. I can't recall if was for the 100th Grey Cup, but recently the Stamps were in the Grey Cup, and the Flames were playing at the same time. The Grey Cup has to deal with NFL, and the NBA as well. TV is regular programming, no reruns are set aside for the Grey Cup. For Superbowl, no options. For Grey Cup, business as usual. I think with how close the ratings are between the Superbowl and Grey Cup, speaks to just how popular the CFL really is. People choose to watch the Grey Cup, Superbowl Sunday, there is nothing else to watch.

That's a Great Point, if there was no other sports on Grey Cup Sunday the ratings would be 20 million :thup:

Good post wolfman. Funny, no matter what NHL teams were playing, I wouldn't watch if the GC was on. The GC is once a year as opposed to the millionth mid season hockey game. To me the GC is the ultimate Championship game. Everything else is secondary.