CFL is 60 years old this year and.........(crickets chirping)

Hello, I am new to this forum and signed on hoping to get an answer to a question.

According to my history books, the CFL as we know it today, was founded in January 1958, which makes it 60 years old this year. This is the Diamond Anniversary of our league and yet there is zero mention of it. What gives? Have I got my history all wrong? Does the CFL not acknowledge 1958 as its founding year? This should be a big deal. Where are the celebrations and observances?

The "formation" of the CFL in 1958 was mostly an administrative change -- two leagues agreed to join forces, but they stuck to playing each other only in the Grey Cup, not the regular season, until 1961 when interlocking play began. And even then, it was not fully interlocking until 1981. I think it's safe to say that most fans consider 1954, the year when the Lions joined the WFC, as Year 1 of the CFL as we know it, even though it was not named that or administered jointly until 1958.

Yes, the CFL was officially "formed" in 1958 but it was no big deal.

Since 1891 the governing body for the sport of football in Canada had been the Canadian Rugby Union. It was under the auspices of the CRU that the Grey Cup game was played following the trophy's introduction in 1909. By 1955 though the only two member leagues of the CRU competitive enough to continue vying for the Grey Cup were the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (a.k.a. the Big Four) and the Western Interprovincial Football Union. These two leagues formed an umbrella organization called the Canadian Football Council in 1956. The Canadian Football Council broke away from the Canadian Rugby Union in 1958 and renamed itself the Canadian Football League. Inter-conference play between the by then renamed Eastern Football Conference and Western Football Conference didn't begin until 1961 though.

So the 1958 year didn't really mark a big event in Canadian football.


I remember back in 1992, there were celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CRU and 100 years of organised football in Canada. From what I remember, the celebration was to mark a milestone in Canadian football history and wasn't made into a major event.
As the other posters have already stated, the founding of the CFL wasn't a major event as football had been played for a long time before that, so I suspect there won't be much of any kind of celebration (maybe only a mention of it being 60 years since the formation of the CFL, but then again, maybe not).

They should count from whatever year that Canada implemented the forward pass.

Canadian football has a long history that has largely been ignored compared with hockey other than people like Frank Cosentino and a few others that have researched and written about it. As Today says, the formation of the CFL as it is now called was mainly an administrative change so doesn't really need any major celebration. But interesting nevertheless. For myself the major mark is the Grey Cup starting from 1909 (well 1908 some might say ;)) but I guess we all have our own timelines on these matters.

Thanks for posting and welcome to the forum

The league needs to capitalize on it's history and create content for social media educating us all on the rich history of the league.

You mean like this?

I'd like to see Traditions republished at higher quality.

First Grey Cup, Rosedale Field, Toronto, 1909:

Also, wouldn't last year have been the year to celebrate, given that it was the 60th season for the league?

(I know, one in every crowd. :slight_smile: )

Yes exactly, but apply it to social media and educate us all.

to me, the most important thing to celebrate or acknowledge is the day the CFL became an entity.

YouTube is social media. The CFL is also on most of the other big social media platforms.

Thanks all for the informed answers. One of the confusing aspects of Canadian Football history is its rather disjointed lineage.

I recently reconnect with the league (in 2014 when the Redblacks made their debut) after drifting away from it for several years and thus have been trying to bone up on its proud history.

I grew up immersed in it because everyone in my family were die-hard Rough Riders (the real ones ;)) fans; except my mother who cheered for the Tabbys. In fact, and I tell this to anyone who will listen to the rants of a cranky old b*****d, that in the 50, 60s & 70s, in Ottawa, football was king. It was bigger than hockey. It is probably a function of advancing age and a sense of nostalgia that has re-kindled my interest in the league.

I agree with the poster who lamented that the history of Canadian Football has been largely overshadowed by hockey. Go into a big bookstore and look for something about the CFL and you will come up with zilch. I am grateful for Amazon.

Anyhow, thanks again for the informative responses (and video links). As I said, I have just returned to the fold after drifting away years ago so I will likely be back here with a lot more stupid questions so I hope the more seasoned members will indulge me with answers.

Canadian Football Hall of Fame as well with information on the history of football in Canada.

1956 is also the year that TDs started counting as six points.

So that seems like a pretty good launching point.

But why did you drift away? Just because the Renegades folded?

I grew up immersed in it because everyone in my family were die-hard Rough Riders (the real ones ) fans; except my mother who cheered for the Tabbys. In fact, and I tell this to anyone who will listen to the rants of a cranky old b*****d, that in the 50, 60s & 70s, in Ottawa, football was king.
Did you collect any CFL cards in the 1950's?


Yes but re purpose that content for all the other forms of social media, not just YouTube.