Monday, November 26, 2007

Grey Cup

Since 1909 the Canadian Football League's ( championship game - the Grey Cup - has been played thus it is a much older game than the National Football League's ("NFL" of the USA) Super Bowl. This year's Grey Cup was played on 25 November in Toronto between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and my Winnipeg Blue Bombers (yes the nearest CFL team to my state of Minnesota). Sadly the Roughriders defeated the Blue Bombers by a final score of 23 to 19.

As regular readers of this blog know I love all forms of "football" (not soccer) and the Canadian game is particularly fun since they only allow 3 downs for 15 yards versus American football with its 4 downs for 10 yards (for a first down). This rule differential makes the Canadian game very focused on having a successful passing offense. Although the 2007 Grey Cup resulted in only 42 total points I am certain I would have enjoyed seeing this game in Toronto.

The 2008 Grey Cup is set for Montreal, Quebec which would really test my limited French language skills but the bigger issue for an American like me in terms of traveling to such a game is that it follows the American Thanksgiving Day holiday thus a logistical challenge.

Beyond the game itself I noticed a short sports story this weekend that noted the Buffalo Bills of the NFL have reached an agreement to play some of its regular season games in Toronto to capitalize on their fan footprint which caused the Canadian Football League's Commissioner to speculate that the NFL would eventually add a franchise to Toronto thus moving in on the CFL's territory. This article reminded me of the CFL's expansion into the USA in the early 1990's - an expansion that failed miserably.

Instead of trying to poach each other's fan base let's have the CFL and NFL teams play each other via some "inter-league" games like the American and National Leagues do in Major League Baseball. Yes the rules are a bit different but that could be addressed simply by requiring visiting teams to play by the home team rules. Such a match up could find my Minnesota Vikings playing against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Winnipeg using the 3 downs and 15 yards for a first down format.

This would add yet another exciting aspect to the game of football that would help drive ticket sales for the Vikings to help ensure their games do not face TV black outs.

NAFTA would then be an acronym not for the North American Free Trade Agreement but instead for the North American Football Teams Agreement :-)

Football not checkpoints,


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