As a Canadian living in the shadow of Detroit, the CFL has never had an impact in my life. We are exposed to far more American media here than any other city in our country. And for the most part, I am quite happy with that. Today, after having my fill of NFL games and NCAA basketball, I found myself changing the channel to the Canadian sister station of ESPN, TSN. Let's face it, the prospect of tuning in to Baltimore and Pittsburgh wasn't really exciting.
It was the second quarter in the host city of Calgary where Saskatchewan was leading Montreal by a converted touchdown (or 7 rouges). At first, I was interested because a kid from this area played for the Roughriders, but as time went on, the match continued to hold my attention. I even watched it during dinner...
The "3 down game" moves along pretty quickly and there's a lot more passing. The commentators sound more like hockey announcers, but at least there was no Matt Millen. In the second half, the Alouettes came back from being 16 down and were in a position to win the game with a field goal with only a few ticks left. The snap came and Damon Duval (no sunglasses, so not David's brother) kicked the ball, but it went wide right. Hold on though, Saskatchewan had too many players on the field (13). His second chance went straight between the posts and the Alouettes had won the 97th Grey Cup! Very exciting stuff.
The game was over, but I was sitting on my couch wanting more. These teams made up of mostly Americans and a handful of Canadians put out a good product for the 3 hours that I watched, which is about the amount of time that I've tuned in to CFL championships my whole life. An ex-Detroit Lion was actually the MVP - Avon Cobourne. He played in Detroit back in 2003, I believe.
The final thing the Grey Cup game showed me was how nice we are in Canada. Not only do they award an overall MVP trophy, but the league north of the border gives another MVP award to the Most Outstanding Canadian. It reminds us of how far behind in talent we are to Americans when it comes to football, but recognizes those that at least get in and play a few downs.
Thank you, CFL, for some good sports entertainment and for defining what it means to be Canadian!