Playing For The Love Of The Game:
Most CFL players don’t have particularly high salaries, and some even take on a second job to keep the bills paid. Take for instance, former Argos linebacker Adriano Belli who, during his playing days, famously ran a meat-packing plant on the side.
Airing It Out:
Any clown should be able to get 10 yards on four downs. But three? That’s a whole other story. CFL quarterbacks are forced to make more throws to advance the game—that way you’re less likely to be lulled to sleep by the often boring ground-and-pound game of the NFL.
The diminutive Michael “Pinball” Clemons was considered too small to play in the NFL. But, the ever-smiling running back overcame his small stature to win three Grey Cups as a player and one as a coach, becoming an inspirational story of how to succeed in pro football.
Put simply, this rule states that if the returning team can’t get a punt out of the end-zone for one reason or another, then the kicking team gains a point. This peculiarity of the Canadian game makes punting a more exciting and strategic pursuit than in the NFL.
The NFL used to have the odd Super Bowl in the cold and snow, but for Canadians it’s practically a yearly ritual. While NFL fans and athletes mostly flock to sunnier climes, we brave the frigid temperatures of Winnipeg and Calgary, using beer and sausages to fend off frostbite.
Remember Cameron Wake? He’s the Miami Dolphins’ Pro-Bowl lineman who started out in the CFL with the BC Lions. In fact, they switched him to the position he now excels in. You’re welcome, Cam. Oh, and some guys named, Warren Moon, Doug Flutie and Joe Theismann are also CFL alumni.
The Grey Cup:
We’re forced to share our beloved Stanley Cup with our neighbors to the south and they’ve been hogging it for a while now. Not the Grey Cup, though. It’s been all ours for 100 years now (save for one strange year in ’95) and it doesn’t matter what your team is—everyone’s welcome at the party.
No Yards Rule:
On punts the CFL straddles a line somewhere between the old XFL’s crazy “No fair catch” rule, but not as soft as the NFL, which gives players the option of a free pass. CFL players must give five yards of space to punt returners before they make a catch, but the receiving team must return the kick, leading to more excitement.
Faster Clocks, Faster Games:
Have you sat through an NFL game lately? If so, congratulations. They are often a marathon of commercial breaks and Joe Buck’s monotonous chatter. CFL teams are given only 20 seconds between plays, whereas NFL teams have a whopping 45, which considerably slows the game.