Hey guys I wrote an article for a local paper about the history of the CFL and the Canadian Forces. Hoping for a little feedback and to see if anybody can catch any factual/grammatical errors. I'm pretty new to writing, I don't have a journalism degree or anything, but I'll post the final article in this thread as well. My submit date is 5th of November and the paper should be out on the 17th. I wrote this in addition to putting an advertisement in the paper for the Grey Cup Party the mess (bar on a military base) will be hosting!
Thanks CFL.ca forum friends!
Canadian Football and the Canadian Forces
Did you know that the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers Football Club lost the 30th Grey Cup game to the Toronto RCAF Hurricanes? It’s true! In fact, the Canadian Football League and the Canadian Forces have a unique and storied history together. As this current CFL season is coming to a strong finish and the Grey Cup is nearing its Centennial game, I believe it’s important to share some of these incredible facts that many may not know about.
Ever since 1909 when the then Governor General of Canada, Earl Grey, donated the cup to recognize the top amateur rugby club in Canada to today, the “Grey Cup? has been a point of national pride. The Canadian Football League didn’t always have the East/West Division layout like it does today. For the first forty years many universities, adult leagues and even military clubs competed for the cup. Some military clubs even made it to big game and won. Perhaps the current Winnipeg Blue Bombers are echoing the woes of the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers who made it to the Grey Cup twice, but never pulled off a win.
The football clubs in the early days of the league were comprised of local men who played often as a hobby, in addition to holding down their normal jobs. As such, when World War I Shook the world and the Canadian Military went fighting overseas, the battle for the Commonwealth superseded the battle for the Grey Cup. Many of these football players joined the fight across the Atlantic and there were no playoff or Grey Cup games from 1916 to 1919.
Before World War II, Jevon Albert "Jeff" Nicklin played as a back with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He captured the hearts of the fans and the Grey Cup championship in 1939. When the War escalated in Europe, Jeff Nicklin deployed with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Parachuting into a German position at Varaville under heavy fire on D-Day he managed to get free from his parachute and take cover. He rejoined his unit and eventually took command of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. LCol Jeff Nicklin was killed in action on March 24, 1945 during an airborne assault fighting the Germans in Operation Varsity.
As tales of his bravery and strength of command were told, LCol Jeff Nicklin was posthumously appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Since 1973 the Canadian Football League has awarded the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy to the Most Outstanding Player in the West Division. Jeff Nicklin was introduced into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, and many consider him to be one of the all-time greatest Winnipeg players.
On August 20th of this year the Canadian Football League in conjunction with Veteran Affairs Canada introduced the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Trophy. This trophy will be awarded for the first time this year to the player who demonstrates the attributes shared by Canada’s Veterans. Jake Gaudaur was also a CFL player, executive and even Commissioner of the league in addition to being a Pilot in the Second World War. In fact, Jake was one the players responsible for the loss of the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers in the 30th Grey Cup mentioned previously.
The slogan the CFL uses to advertise itself is: “This Is Our League?. As we celebrate our heroes of battles past and the one’s battling on the gridiron today I don’t think a marketing slogan has ever rang so true. Jeff Nicklin and Jake Gaudaur are but a small example of the many Canadian footballers who also served with the Canadian Forces. The CFL and the Canadian Forces share a unique relationship even today. Every year each of the current eight CFL teams host a ‘Military Appreciation Day’ and there is no better way to start off an exciting football game then hearing the roars of the CF-18’s or the spectacle of our famous Snowbirds as they do a fly over the stadium.
Cheer on the Canadian Football League and Canadian history this November 28th as we celebrate the 98th rendition of Canada’s game.