A popular NFL video game, Madden NFL 11, is taking a kick at Canadian football — and some CFLers say that's out of bounds.
The latest version of the EA Sports classic includes a line from NBC colour commentator Cris Collinsworth reacting to an errant punt that lands out of bounds.
"Unbelievable, the field is 53-and-a-half yards wide and he still missed it. We're gonna have to send him to Canada,? Collinsworth says.
The crack about the wider Canadian fields drew mixed reactions at Montreal Alouettes practice this week.
Kicker Damon Duval, whose Grey Cup-winning field goal clinched the championship for the Als last season, is an American but was probably the most offended of the Montreal players.
“I guess (Collinsworth) is trying to be disrespectful to our league,? said the Louisiana native, who turned down two NFL offers this year to stay in the CFL.
“In fact it’s harder to kick here. The field is bigger (65 yards wide) and you have to punt at an angle, not just kick the ball in a straight line.?
Duval, 30, said four-down American football is less interesting than the three-down CFL game, adding that the Madden script writers were just showing their ignorance.
“Anyone who actually watches our games says ‘wow, it’s cool’ since it’s much more exciting than the NFL. There are more players, more offensive movement and more big plays. We don’t have two- or three-yard gains in the middle of the field.?
Alouettes running-backs coach and Andy Bischoff, a Minnesota native, says CFL kickers work harder than their NFL counterparts.
“Damon Duval does all the work, while in some cases in the NFL they have three players to do what he does — the kickoff, punts and field goals.?
Alouettes safety Etienne Boulay took Collinsworth’s quip as a compliment.
“The comment shouldn’t be taken as an insult,? he said. “We were mentioned in a video game that’s loved by millions of people.?