I wake up late on Sunday nights, around 10pm. First thing I check is NFL scores and how my fantasy team is doing. Even on Grey Cup Sunday. Didn’t know the BC Lions had won till I got to work. Roared back on Sunday with the NFL picks after a 1-2 Thanksgiving. I sit at 11-4 for the week. Only got Chargers/Redskins wrong. If I have time I should see what my record is for the season. Take some time to add up.
If I’m home and nothing else is on, I’ll watch a CFL game. Same goes for Arena Football or US College as well. Both have the same amount of connection to me. CFL is a sport where if they don’t get you at a young age I don’t see many people picking it up later. Live in a market where there is a good team then you will follow it since you have a rooting interest. If not, it’s hard to attach yourself to it.
Back when CIS was called the CIAU and living in New Brunswick [1988-1993] we had Mount Allison and Saint Mary’s representing the East Coast in the Vanier Cup. Huskies lost 3 Vanier Cups and Mount Allison lost another during that time. Which did give us a reason to watch those games.
Looking back a lot of it was timing. That era was me seeing Boston in 2 Stanley Cup Finals and the Blue Jays win 2 World Series along with those Vanier Cup trips for Atlantic Canadian teams. Not much room for another league in the summer months when I was watching the Blue Jays or Expos.
The 1991 season is when I really got into football. My Dad was overseas and I thought I’d keep track of his team the Redskins all season since he was going to miss the entire season. They end up winning the SuperBowl that year, a lot of luck involved in that. Followed the Redskins ever since, which hasn’t worked out lately. But at least I can recall that season.
Meanwhile I can’t think of a reason I would have watched the CFL at that time. Closest CFL team at that time was Ottawa. For those saying ‘Montreal’, sorry the Alouettes had just left the league. I did cheer for the Expos so as a Bruins fan I can separate Montreal teams.
Then even when I did move to a CFL Market in 1993 where did I land? Pembroke in the Ottawa Valley. I got the end of the Ottawa Rough Riders with the Gliebermans for example. What a debacle that was. And 93 was also the first year of the Sacramento Gold Miners. Oh yes, the US Expansion idea. Brilliant. Sacramento, Las Vegas, Birmingham, etc. Seeing what a joke the Rough Riders had become and a league that was going down a wrong path was possibly the worst situation possible. So I never became a fan.
My Mom doesn’t watch since there is no team on the East Coast. Last year when the Moncton game was coming up she asked me if they were putting a team out east yet. I said no, her response was “then I don’t care”. She’s honest.
You oversell the CFL as being ‘Canadian’ you will get that response. Canada doesn’t go further east than Montreal apparently?
If you want to watch Canadian football played by a vast majority of Canadian players then you should watch CIS Football. And it goes from West Coast to East Coast. A league that really does cover the country.
CFL US Expansion did have one team with a connection to me, Shreveport Pirates of all teams. My Grandmother has lived outside of Shreveport, Louisiana since the early 70s. Born and raised in Newfoundland. Did she ever go to a CFL game in town? No, of course not. She was a Saints fan and had no interest in the CFL. Maybe it is in Newfoundland genetics. 🙂
Saw a Tweet on the weekend that Tom Power, new host of CBC Radio 2 Morning, found on the weekend. He’s from St. John’s and sums it up for most of us from the province.
“In Newfoundland there is no such thing as watching the Grey Cup”.