What is the best thing about the CFL?

It’s monday. That’s all I got.

3 downs
Blocking. Imagine if soccer had blocking! I might even watch a game then.
Wide field.
Long field.
History, lots of history and great players, plays, games and events.

Nothing the author offers is the best thing about the CFL.

The best thing about the CFL is the same thing as the best thing about hockey.


The game.

According to the main board, 4 point field goals

YES and that means the rules. They are what make our game exciting. I don’t know why we have to constantly frig around with them.

All those options are framed in comparison with the American version of the sport.

I like football because it is a sort of violent chess. Coaches deploy 12 players at a time from a roster of 42 who in turn execute masterful plays that they’ve spent tremendous energies studying and practicing. I love this sport of specialist athletes where sumo wrestlers work together with sprinters and pass catchers and kickers and throwers verses various types of specialized defenders.

I love the skill sets on display running and passing and kicking and defending in and around the most fundamental and important skills of blocking and tackling.

And in the Canadian version, I love the balance of all the above. The more prominent American version is quickly doing away with kicking which was already limited in scope with all sorts of rules to render a kicked ball dead more quickly (fair catch, illegal touching, goal post assembly on dead ball line, uncaught place kicks from scrimmage blown immediately dead, kickoffs situated 75 yards from the dead ball line sailing out the back of the end zone, no kicks down field, no onside kick players from scrimmage).

This and pointlessly stringent formation and restrictive pre-snap motion rules render American football quite boring to me relatively speaking.

I do think all codes of gridiron football should look at the fundamentals that make their games great and set out to simplify the rest of the game to make it more accessible. Some rules around kicking could be unified for simplicity for example such as the differences between an illegal punt, kickoff or other kicks out of bounds. Clock rules could be rejigged especially in the CFL to have a consistent set of timing rules the whole game as opposed to different rules in different quarters and also before and after the 3 minute warnings. In fact they could rejig such rules so that there are the same number of plays on average per game, the same propensity to fight the game until the end (no lead is safe) without the need for a 3 minute warning or special rules at the end of the half. Replay can also get streamlined more akin to what’s done in rugby or tennis.

That’s both what I love about Canadian football and how I think it can get better.

Joey T makes some excellent points but, in comparing to US rules, I’d like to add: 20 yard end zones, less restriction in area to pass to.

The space is something I likewise prefer.

The challenges of moving the ball are somewhat different in Canadian and American football in that the Canadian game offers more space in fewer downs. It makes for big play football but it’s also more prone to getting gummed up by poor quaterback play and becoming a bit of a punt fest. That said, when two teams are executing well in the CFL, there aren’t many spectacles in sports that can compare in terms of excitement.

…this was (sniff), simply…beautiful…[/wipe tear]…

I agree. That’s the kind of answer I would have aspired to give to the original question, but he said it better.

People automatically want to compare the CFL to the American version. I don’t watch football games and think to myself on every series, “Ha - the NFL would have had an extra down” or “that sideline pass would have been shorter in the NFL”

I enjoy the CFL because it is professional football, with all its inherent attributes that make it more interesting to me than other sports. And it is in my own country, meaning I can attend the games and feel a connection to the teams and the players.

As an afterthought, yes, I do prefer the CFL variation over the U.S. version for just about every rule difference. But if you think about it, the two games have way more similarities than differences.

Yes, the history, the teams (particularly that of the teams I like the best)!

Good point! Well said.


If we’re comparing the CFL to the NFL, the best difference that they have is the unlimited backfield motion. I love how it adds more to the game when some guys get a flying start, or you can cross guys just before the snap. It adds so much new strategy possibilities (like maybe give the ball to a TB who builds momentum presnap).

Taking the question as it’s written, I think Joey said it best, about how all sorts of different people types need to come together for a common goal to achieve anything.

When I am teaching people who are new to playing football, one of the first things I tell them is that you don’t have to be big, or good at throwing, or a sprinter, the list goes on… There is a position for every size and ability, and all of them need to give everything they have for a chance at success

the affordability to entertainment ratio.

Very well said, and I wish the league would include/address the bolded part in its Diversity Is Strength campaign. Having diverse races and genders involved with the game is great, but so too is the diversity of athletic skills and body types.

I find football to be the best microcosmic representation not just of chess/war, but of society as a whole. And with our nation as divided as it is now, the CFL just becomes that much more important to me.

Indeed. And there’s no reason for it. Do people who play checkers automatically compare their game to dominoes? If not, why should we compare our game to American football? Because of the similarity in name?


That it’s Canadian!

I almost didn’t post this poll due to its simplicity, but the responses were really great. I want to start playing chess again.