Greetings, our fine neighbors to the north. This is my first post and I do have a lot to say. First of all, my exposure to the CFL dates back to 1982 when the NFL players went on strike. I remember watching the Eskimos play the BC Lions on ESPN. At that time the Eskimos had a great QB named Warren Moon. My first thoughts when I was watching this as a 12 year old kid was, "I love this! It reminds me of the way we played football in the back yard." Well, as I got older, the CFL intrigued me more. A 110 by 65 yard field, 20 yard end zones, Multiple players in motion in the backfield, and 3 downs to go 10 yards. When I watch football, I like to see a shoot-out instead of a defensive struggle. Well, while I was attending Journalism school in Indiana back in 1988, I shared a dorm room with a guy from Hamilton. During a week long break from class, he invited me to come to Hamilton and see a CFL game live and in person. I couldn't pass that opportunity up. I had never visited Canada before, so this was going to be a unique opportunity. The first thing i observed about the Canadian people was how polite and respectful folks were. During the drive from Windsor to Hamilton was the fact that I got pulled over for driving too fast. The officer could have given me a ticket which would have resulted in a fine but instead he gave me a card converting miles to kilometers. I still keep that card in my wallet after 20 years.
Well, we get to Hamilton and got to the stadium and the fans were just crazy. My friend explained to me that CFL fans are more than just fans, they are "adopted family members". Nevertheless, Hamilton won their game and It was exactly what I expected. A lot of offense, a lot of hard hitting, and most of all, a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the Ti-Cats arent doing so well the past few years. I asked a Ti-Cats fan while I was at the stadium if all CFL fans are as enthusiastic and I got a resounding YES!. Visiting Canada and getting to see a CFL game was an experience, I never forgot. Another thing I noticed while I was there was the absence of showboating and the snobbish personalities that a lot of NFL players have.
I live in Iowa now, and unfortunately we don't get TSN here. it's too bad that networks like ESPN have gotten so big that they have forgotten all about the CFL. I still follow the CFL as much as I can, thanks to Youtube and cfl.ca. I hope to make it back up to Canada to see another CFL game soon.
Thank you Canada, for putting a football product on the field that is very entertaining and thrilling to watch.
Jon W. Burkholder
Davenport, Iowa USA
PS How can you NOT love guys like Pinball, Gizmo, and the Fluties