Please Bring Back Football

It's great that the Cats are back over 500 and have turned things around.

I get out to some games each year and watch some on TV, but it's getting harder and harder to pay attention to a CFL game for me.

This is not a pro-NFL rant for 4 downs and no single points. I love the CFL brand of football, but I think that the run and shoot started yrs ago by the Argos has run it's course. Almost every play from scrimmage has so much motion with running starts, that the game has evolved to one that really doesn't look much like football.

Think back to the days of tight ends like Tony Gabriel, running backs like George Reed and QBs like the Lancaster. There is no more room for a 'Little General' that reads and picks apart defences, nor a power back that can average 3-4 yards a carry. The tight end is all but extinct. Those guys I mentioned (and others) could make sustained drives down the field like you see in the NFL, and do it within the CFL rules.

The new game has gunslinger QBs that try to hit a bunch of backs and receivers that make a running start at the line of scrimmage on most plays. Half the time they look offside. Usually 2 shots are followed by a punt, but enough 1st downs and big plays happen to rack up big scores. Ball control and drives mean nothing. For those of us that remember the NFL strike in '82, NBC (I think) broadcast CFL games during the walkout. I remember the broadcaster commenting that the game looked like a track meet and that was when the Argos where just starting this brand of Football. The comments were very prophetic. The game has become just that...a track meet.

Maybe some like this type of football, just like some like rule changes for higher scoring NHL hockey games. I may be a voice in the wilderness, it but I'm watching a lot more NFL these days and so are most of my kids' generation. The CFL needs to look at the rules and limit motion to bring back the game and football fans. Otherwise it will sadly become a sideline like Arena Football.

Go Cats Go

With this brand of football there will always be more punting and more 2 and outs than the NFL. It's just how it will always, I like the CFL but that will always be the thing i dislike most about this game, the amount of punts.

The problem of course with your analysis is that the motion rules you bemoan were in place during the golden age of 2 TEs, split wings, and all the mini-ball features of THAT era. It took Mouse Davis and a new generation of head coaches and offensive coordinators to maximize the use of pre-snap motion in the Canadian game as an offensive approach.

ANYONE who watched yesterday's game in Regina will disagree with you. The game has changed -- and for entertainment value -- for the better!

I will take the offensive mind of Marc Trestman over John "can't we line up 4 TEs?" Huard any day of the week. Sorry.

Oski Wee Wee,


One additional point would be that the "opening up" of the NFL game with the two main lines of the West Coast offense -- the Gillman-Coryell line and the Bill Walsh line, dramatically changed the American game after the Mel Blount rule (no contact by DBs after 5 yards), the end to the headslap, and other pro-passing rule changes had been implemented starting in the late 1970s. To argue that spread offense approaches like the ones adopted by various offenses in the NFL (Martz's Rams, the Patriots, Cardinals, etc). is not "football" is to fundamentally limit the creativity of coaches to maximize offensive output via the passing game.

The NFL is not just the "three yards and a cloud of dust league": it's Larry Fitzgerald, DeSean Jackson, and Andre Johnson NOT playing my father's NFL.

The NCAA is the "breeding ground" for spread offense today. Urban Meyer is not going to go away unless it's to a plum NFL head coaching job. Who has Meyer been discussing his offense with? Jon Gruden and Bill Belichick! That genie is out of the bottle. Let it be.

My Nebraska Cornhuskers went for Tom Osbornism to...Bill Callahan? LMAO Times change.

Approaches I believe are cyclical. As smaller, faster DBs are recruited and developed in college to cover the wide-open spreads, eventually coaches will seek to pound the ball more with more "traditional" power football offenses. And so it will go.

It's the clash of approaches (West Coast Walsh, pound the the rock Marty Ball, the wildcat, etc.) that makes the NFL fascinating to watch. The running game is crucial for success, IMHO. The wider-open NFL today allows the pint-sized Chris Johnsons and Leon Washingtons to play because guys like Barry Sanders made the 4-WR attack viable as a running approach. I applaud the diversity of the game's philosophical approaches on both sides of the ball, even if I am biased towards certain ones.

Oski Wee Wee,


Nostalgia is a popular affliction. OP seems like he misses the older times but they are gone and not coming back, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the football product.

This is not the NFL. If you don't like the game, watch the NFL. To each his own. Of course, the younger generations will always be more interested in the NFL; that's the big show with big bucks behind it. It's got video games, their favourite musicians promoting it, the king of beers sponsoring and it makes for an interesting Sunday to see how all your proline picks are doing. I don't think it has much to do with them being upset about the motion in the backfield in the CFL :lol: .

There are plenty of sustained drives in the CFL but you can also score quickly. That has always been the hallmark of the CFL, anything can happen and you're never out of a game if you're down by a touchdown in the last minute.

The CFL has a rich history and is unique. To compare it to the arena league is ridiculous. As far as what a CBS broadcaster said about the game in 1982, well, what can I tell ya? I've rarely heard an American sportscaster say anything positive about the CFL.

What's the problem you speak of? I'm aware that the motion rules were always in place. That's in fact my point. Those rules were always there and just not overexploited. The game has now evolved to a point that IMHO (not my 'analysis'), the offense is predicatable and not as much fun to watch. It's running start footraces with little speedsters. My thought was to limit some motion to break this trend up; in fact evolve the game, not simply turn back the clock. This is not a plea for the 4 TE set you speak of. The NFL, as you point out, has evolved and is entertaining in it's current form.

Sure there are nailbiter finishes like yesterday's game. So in their own way was the '72 cup and especially the '76 cup. This isn't new or a product of the motion issue that is the subject of my post. Great finishes are a trait of the CFL and have as much to do with our timeclock management as anything else. Single points and return kickers in the end zone are another fun factor for super finishes.

Simply put, limiting motion would force CFL offenses to take a more balanced approach that would be more entertaining in my opinion. I'm likely in the minority. :slight_smile:

I like the full motion. To me, the benefit is that it lengthens the defence out. So, technically, there should be more room between 5 and 15 yards down field.

I’ve been watching more NFL this year than I ever have and all its done is solidify my position as a fan of the CFL game. Watching chip shots into traffic usually results in a couple attempted passes then a reliance on 3 and 4 yard runs. The precision you need to pass the ball makes it pretty difficult for any sort of air game to take hold – with the exception of a few elite QB/ Receiver teams.

I don’t think in a 3 down game, you can rely as much on the run regardless of fringe rules like motion. And, to me, motion is one of the key parts of the Canadian game…harkening back to flying wings and to the rugby roots.

To me, limiting motion just takes the defence off the hook. Plus, the idea of limiting motion, by rule, seems awkward to me — like a rule for the sake of a rule…like those zone defence rules in basketball…or 3 in the key. I don’t know – seems like a crutch, to me.