CFL – The little league that can

CFL – The little league that can

The CFL is probably not the first thing UK based fans think of when they think of American football. It may not even be the second, as most people think of the NFL and then college football and then the long off season. It is time for that to change! The CFL is becoming more exciting, more accessible and just such plain good old fashioned fun that we owe it to ourselves to start taking more of an interest!

The NFL is a multi-billion dollar behemoth that is a globally recognisable brand. To live in its shadow must be akin to being a non-league football team when the Champions League rolls in to town. So how must that make those involved with Canada’s professional football league, the CFL feel? After all, they are the ones with the tiny markets, the nine team league and the rules tweaks that can seem so odd to first time fans.

It is true, the CFL is small. It is true; the CFL has flirted with disaster. Expansion into the Northern United States market was a failure. Teams have disappeared down the years and it is not the place we would expect to find marquee names playing. To compare the NFL to the CFL is to make the latter seem even smaller. Take the salary cap for example, in the NFL it is currently $168 million a year for each team, in the CFL that number is $5.15 million a year. There really is no comparison.

So does the CFL feel inferior? Judging by the amount of self-effacing jokes Canadians make about it, possibly. The question is does this matter? Not really. Let’s just take the CFL at face value, a small, but growing, vibrant, fun league that plays from June to November and is well worth a look. After all 10 per cent of Americans have started following the CFL ‘very closely’ or ‘fairly closely’ according to recent research.

This is a league on the up. If you are a follower of college football and miss some of the guys who don’t make it to the NFL – then you are likely to recognise quite a few players out on the CFL field. If you are looking for talent that might one day make it to the NFL then this is one place to look. If you want to see fast moving, entertaining football when the NFL and college football are still a month or two away, then the CFL is for you.

I hear people saying the NFL stand for No Fun League from time to time. This is not something you can level at the CFL. When players are playing for the love or the opportunity rather than the money like they are north of the US border, then fun really counts!

Just be warned when you find yourself watching football in July on a huge field with lots of pre-snap movement and no 4th down…you might just find yourself starting to fall in love with the little league that can grab our attention.

Image copyright: The Daily Dose.

6 thoughts on “CFL – The little league that can

  1. Our league is over 100 yeas old and is way more exciting then the NFL. If your down 21 points with five minutes left the game is far from over cause no lead is safe. Check it out and I think you will be surprised by its fast pace.

  2. Just for the record, WE INVENTED AMERICAN FOOTBALL, its called “American football” because it was invented on the American continent, not in the United States. Therefore, we did not tweak the rules 😉
    All of North America’s oldest continuously running teams are Canadian Football teams.
    Toronto Argonauts: 1873-present, Ottawa roughriders: 1876-1996, Hamilton Tiger cats(arguably): 1869-present.
    Just some historical context. Thanks for the article 🙂

  3. Great article, love the CFL, and did kid yourself, Canadians love to make fun of anything Canadian, but they also love the CFL in record numbers. CFL is the number 1 rated TV sport in Canada during the summer months and on,y second to hockey in TV rating. Keep up the coverage of the CFL, love it

  4. What a great article. I’m from Vancouver and I’m a hardcore BC Lions fan having watched them back in the early 80’s glory days. I’ve been to NFL games (Detroit, Seattle and Arizona) but the loudest fans I’ve ever heard was the 1985 Western Conference final between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and my home team Lions. 60,000 screaming fans under the Dome, two great teams and the atmosphere was beyond electric. Everytime Clements tried to call his plays, the Lions fans made sure no one could hear. My ears were buzzing for twenty four hours but in the end; we won. A week later we won the Grey Cup in Montreal. Cheers dad for the tickets. Trust me when I say this, if you genuinely like football, you will like the CFL (it’s played throughout the summer as well and on BT Sport).

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