Canadian Football League
Infobox sports league
title = Canadian Football League
current_season = 2008 CFL season
pixels = 94
founded = 1958
motto = "This is our league"
teams = 8, in two four-team divisions
country = CAN
Toronto Argonauts(total) Edmonton Eskimos(modern era)
website = [http://www.cfl.ca cfl.ca]
TV = TSN, RDS
The Canadian Football League (CFL) ("Ligue canadienne de football (LCF)" in French), is a major professional
sports leaguelocated in Canadathat plays Canadian football.
Its eight teams, which are located in eight cities, are divided into two divisions of four teams each (East and West). The league's nineteen-week regular season runs from mid-June to early November. Each team plays eighteen games with one bye week. Following the regular season, six of the eight teams compete in the league's three-week
playoffs, which culminate in the late-November Grey Cupchampionship, the country's largest annual sports and television event.cite web |url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061220.wsptcfl20/TPStory/Sports/columnists |title=Grey Cup moves to TSN in new deal |accessdate=2006-12-23 |publisher= The Globe and Mail|year=2006-12-20 |author=William Houston]
The CFL was officially founded in 1958, but can trace its origins to the 1860s. It is the highest level of play in Canadian football, the most popular football league in Canada, and the most popular major sports league in Canada after the
National Hockey League.cite web |author=Canadian Press |authorlink=Canadian Press |date=2006-06-08 |url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060608.wsurvey8/BNStory/Sports/home |title=Survey: Canadian interest in pro football is on the rise |publisher= The Globe and Mail|accessdate=2006-06-08]
ice hockeyis Canada's most popular sport, the CFL has increased the popularity of Canadian footballin Quebecand Western Canada. Canadian football is enjoyed at amateur levels (ie. youth, high school, CJFL, QJFL, CIS and senior leagues such as the Alberta Football League).
Southern Ontario, the CFL is recovering from the bankruptcythat plagued the Toronto and Hamilton teams in the 2003 season. Having come under new ownership, both teams have improved their attendance figures dramatically since then.
Vancouver-based BC Lionsclub has also seen a recent resurgence of fan support, which many attribute to improved on-field and off-field management. The Lions now compete with the Edmonton Eskimosfor top attendance numbers; the Eskimos average as many as 40,000 people per game. (Vancouver's BC Place Stadium, Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, and Toronto's Rogers Centreare the only stadiums that seat 40,000 or more).
Rugby footballbegan to be played in Canada in the 1860s, and many of the first Canadian football teams played under the auspices of the Canadian Rugby Football Union (CRFU), founded in 1884.cite web |url=http://www.footballcanada.com/history_timeline.asp |title=Canadian Football Timelines (1860-present) |accessdate=2006-12-23 |publisher= Football Canada] The CRFU was reorganized as the Canadian Rugby Union (CRU) in 1892, and served as an umbrella organizationthat several leagues were part of. The Grey Cupwas donated by Governor General Earl Grey in 1909 to the team winning the "Senior Amateur Football Championship of Canada". By that time, the sport as played in Canada had diverged markedly different from its rugby origins. From the 1930s to the 1950s the two senior leagues of the CRU, the Inter provincial Rugby Union (IRFU) and Western Inter provincial Football Union (WIFU) gradually evolved from amateur to professional leagues, and amateur teams such as those in the Ontario Rugby Football Union(ORFU) were no longer competitive in their challenges for the Cup. The ORFU withdrew from Grey Cup competition in 1954, heralding the start of the modern eraof professional Canadian football, in which the Grey Cup has been exclusively contested by professional teams (Since 1965, Canada's top amateur teams, competing in Canadian Inter university Sport (CIS), have contested the Vanier Cup).
In 1956, the IRFU and WIFU formed a new umbrella organization, the Canadian Football Council (CFC), and in 1958, the CFC left the CRU, becoming the Canadian Football League (The CRU remained the governing body for amateur play in Canada, eventually adopting the name
Football Canada). Initially, there was no inter-divisional play between eastern (IRFU) and western (WIFU) teams except at the Grey Cupfinal. Limited interlocking play was introduced in 1961 and by 1981 there was a full interlocking schedule of 16 games per season. The separate histories of the IRFU and the WIFU accounted for the fact that two teams had basically the same name: the IRFU's Ottawa "Rough Riders" were often called the "Eastern Riders", while the WIFU's Saskatchewan "Roughriders" were called the "Western Riders" or "Green Riders". Other team names had unusual yet traditional origins: with rowing a national craze in the late 1800s, the Argonaut Rowing Club of Toronto formed a rugby team for its members' off-season participation; the club name Toronto Argonautsremains to this day, and after World War II, the two teams in Hamilton—the Tigers and the Flying Wildcats—merged both their organizations and their names, forming the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
After the admission of the expansion
British Columbia Lionsin Vancouver in 1954, the league remained stable with nine franchises: ( BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders, Montreal Alouettes) from its 1958 inception until 1982, when the Alouettes folded and were replaced the same year by a new franchise named the Concordes.
In 1986 the Concordes were renamed the Alouettes to attract more fan support, but the team folded the next year. The demise of the Alouettes, leaving only three teams in the East Division compared to five teams in the West Division, forced the League to balance its playoff structure by moving the easternmost Western team, the
Winnipeg Blue Bombers, into the East Division, upsetting the long-standing tradition of "East vs. West", as Winnipeg isn't a part of Eastern Canada.
United States expansion
The CFL began eyeing an American expansion in 1992. In 1993, the league admitted its first
United States-based franchise, the Sacramento Gold Miners. After modest success, the league then expanded further in the U.S. in 1994 with the Las Vegas Posse, Baltimore Stallions, and Shreveport Pirates. The Las Vegas franchise was an abject failure and turned into a road team by the end of the season. Baltimore, however, advanced all the way to the 82nd Grey Cupand was a financial success as well.
For the 1995 campaign, the American teams were split off into their own South Division. Las Vegas was folded, while two new teams, the
Birmingham Barracudasand Memphis Mad Dogs, were added. The Sacramento team moved to become the San Antonio Texans– an ironic occurrence, since a San Antonio team was to have been admitted into the CFL along with the Gold Miners for 1993 but folded before taking a single snap. 1995 saw the Stallions become the first non-Canadian team to win the Grey Cup.
The success of the CFL's U.S. expansion was mixed. Baltimore and San Antonio had sustainable operations and were expected to return in 1996. Memphis had reasonable success in 1995 but ran into severe attendance problems during
college footballseason; Birmingham had similar problems. By the end of the 1995 season, Shreveport and Birmingham moved out of their cities and ultimately folded, and Memphis followed suit. When Art Modell, owner of the NFL's Cleveland Browns, announced he would be moving his team to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens, the Stallions moved to Montreal, becoming the revived Montreal Alouettes. San Antonio decided not to continue operations as the only American team and folded shortly thereafter. By the 1996 season, the Canadian Football League was once again based entirely in Canada.
It should be noted that, long before the launch of the CFL USA program,
NBC Sportshad broadcast three CFL games live during the 1982 season while NFL players were on strike. Future NFL star Warren Moon, then of the Edmonton Eskimos, played in one of those games. Charlie Jones and Len Dawsonwere the announcers. (For more information on current U.S. rights to broadcast CFL games, see the "Broadcasting" section below.)
After three seasons that included American teams, the CFL returned to an all-Canadian format in 1996 with nine teams; however, the
Ottawa Rough Riders, in existence since 1876, folded before the following season. In 2002, the league expanded back to nine teams with the creation of the Ottawa Renegades. After four seasons of financial losses, the Renegades were suspended indefinitely before the 2006 season; their players were absorbed by the remaining teams in a dispersal draft. The league had struck a committee in 2003 to examine the feasibility of adding a tenth team, with the leading candidate cities being Quebec Cityand Halifax.cite web |url=http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2003/11/14/cfl-expansion031114.html |title=CFL considering Quebec or Halifax expansion |accessdate=2006-12-02 |publisher=CBC Sports Online |year=2003-11-14] Exhibition games were held in Quebec City in 2003cite web |url=http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2003/06/08/als_gades030607.html |title=Calvillo, Alouettes hammer Renegades |accessdate=2006-12-02 |publisher=CBC Sports Online |year=2003-06-09] and in Halifax in 2005. The Halifax event, dubbed Touchdown Atlantic, was scheduled to repeat in 2006 but was cancelled after the suspension of the Ottawa Renegades franchise.cite web |url=http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/news_story/?ID=161969 |title=CFL suspends operations of Renegades |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=TSN.ca |year=2006-04-09 |author= Canadian Press] Commissioner Tom Wright had indicated that Halifax was the leading candidate for expansion.cite web |url=http://www.smuhuskies.ca/01272006fb.html |title=CFL returning to Halifax|accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher= Halifax Daily News|year=2006-01-27 |author=Adam Richardson] Monctonis also known to be pursuing a CFL team and, though the city is constructing a stadium for the World Junior Track and Field Championships, set for opening in 2010, the seating, and field itself would have to be greatly expanded for a CFL team. [Crase, Dave. [http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=2d953ba3-7b59-47bd-9e5a-36da7d380a5b&sponsor= New stadium puts hopes for a CFL franchise on high] . CanWestNews Service. 23 April 2008.]
In 2005, the league set an all-time attendance record with a total attendance of more than 2.3 million.cite web |url=http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=sbd.preview&storyId=SBD2005111731 |title=CFL Sees Numbers Rise At The Gates |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=Sports Business Daily |year=2005-11-17] With the absence of Ottawa in 2006, the league recorded total
regular seasonattendance of 2,112,696, increasing the average per-game attendance to 29,343. This is the third highest per-game attendance of any North American sports league and the sixth highest per-game attendance of any sports league worldwide. A recent survey conducted at the University of Lethbridgeconfirmed that the CFL is the second most popular sports league in Canada, with the following of 19% of the total adult Canadian population compared to 30% for the NHL. The NFL had 13% following, with a total of 34% following at least one of the pro football leagues. This could be interpreted to mean that approximately 80% of Canadian football fans follow the CFL and about 55% follow the NFL. The 2007 CFL seasonmarked the sixth straight season of over two million attendance in regular season. Though slightly less than 2006, the 2,100,016 total attendance figure showed greater over-all strength as the average game attendance rose to 29,167, the highest since the 1983 season. [cite news |title=Sold-out stadiums and strong attendance across the board lead to highest average since 1983 |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&topicnum=&nid=21311&writer=0 |publisher=CFL.ca |date=2007-11-08 |accessdate=2007-12-29] Leading the growth were the Roughriders with six consecutive sellouts, the Blue Bombers with five consecutive sellouts, and the Argonauts, whose average attendance of 30,931 was their highest since 1992. [cite news |first=CBC Sports |title=CFL scores high in attendance |url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2007/11/08/cfl-attendance-increase.html |publisher=CBC |date=2007-11-09 |accessdate=2007-12-29] The 2007 Grey Cup champion Roughriders were named Canada's team of the year by Canadian Pressand credited with rekindling interest in football in the West. [cite news |first=The Canadian Press |title=Roughriders named Canadian Press team of the year |url=http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/story/2007/12/28/cp-team-year.html |publisher=CBC |date=2007-12-28 |accessdate=2007-12-29]
In 2008, the CFL re-awarded the former Renegades franchise to
Ottawa 67'sowner Jeff Hunt, who will launch a new Ottawa franchise in 2010 pending reconstruction of Frank Clair Stadium.
As of 2008, The CFL season includes:
* A 2-game, 2-week exhibition season (or pre-season) in mid-June
* An 18-game, 19-week regular season running from late June to early November
* A 6-team, 3-week
single elimination playofftournament beginning in November and culminating in the Grey Cupchampionship in late November. Championship teams will play either 2 or 3 playoff games, including the Grey Cup game, depending on their standing at the end of the regular season.
Team training camps open in May, with pre-season exhibition games beginning in early June. The pre-season schedule is two weeks long with each team playing two games against a team in its own division.
The regular season is nineteen weeks long, with games beginning on the
Canada Dayweekend and finishing by early November. The CFL's eight teams are divided into two divisions: the East Division and West Division, with four teams in each division. Each team plays two games against each team in the opposite division, three games against two teams in its own division, and four games against the other team in its own division. Alternating divisional bye weeks take place in weeks nine and ten, putting the focus on games within the division not resting that week. The most popular featured week in the CFL season is the Labour Day Classic, played over the course of the Labour Dayweekend, where the matchups feature the first half of home-and-home series between the traditional geographic rivalries of Toronto–Hamilton (a rivalry which began in 1873), Edmonton–Calgary (see Battle of Alberta), and Winnipeg–Saskatchewan. BC—Montreal, while not considered a "traditional" rivalry, rounds out the week's games.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&topicnum=&nid=15128&writer=0 |title=CFL Game Schedule Announced |accessdate=2007-05-21 |publisher=CFL.ca |date=2007-02-14] The following week's rematch of these games is a popular event as well, especially in recent years, where the rematch of the Saskatchewan-Winnipeg game has been dubbed the Banjo Bowl. Other features of the regular season schedule are the Hall of Fame Game in Hamilton and the Thanksgiving Classic, where the match ups do not always feature traditional rivalries.
playoffs begin in November. After the regular season, the top team from each division has an automatic home berth in the Division Final, and a bye week during the Division Semifinal. The second-place team from each division hosts the third-place team in the Division Semifinal, unless a fourth-place team from one division finishes with a better record than a third place team in the other (this provision is known as the "crossover rule", and while it implies that it is possible for two teams in the same division to play for the Grey Cup, no crossover team has ever won the Semifinal game). The winners of each Division's Semifinal game then travel to play the first place teams in the Division Finals. Since 2005, the Division Semifinals and Division Finals have been sponsored by Scotiabank.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&topicnum=&nid=5653 |title=Partnership of champions |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca |year=2005-08-08] The two division champions then face each other in the Grey Cupgame, which is held on the third or fourth Sunday of November.
Grey Cupis both the name of the championship of the CFL and the name of the trophy awarded to the victorious team. The Grey Cup game is hosted in one of the league's member cities. In recent years, it has been hosted in a different city every year, selected two or more years in advance. The 2007 Grey Cup, held in Torontoon November 25, 2007, featured a Labour Day Classic match up for the first time ever, with the Saskatchewan Roughriderswinning 23–19 over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
As the country's largest annual sporting event, the Grey Cup has long served as an unofficial Canadian autumn festival generating national media coverage and a large amount of revenue for the host city. Many fans travel from across the country to attend the game and the week of festivities that lead up to it. [http://www.footballcanada.com/history_timeline.asp#grey_cup Grey Cup champions]
Following the Grey Cup game, the
Grey Cup Most Valuable Playerand Grey Cup Most Valuable Canadianare selected. A number of league individual player awards, such as the Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Defensive Player, are awarded annually at a special ceremony in the host city during the week before the Grey Cup game; this ceremony is broadcast nationally on TSN. The Annis Stukus Trophy, also known as the Coach of the Year Award, is awarded separately at a banquet held during the off-season each February. While the CFL has not held an all-star gamesince 1988, an All-Star Team is selected and honoured at the league awards ceremony during Grey Cup week.
Currently, the official television broadcasters of CFL games are cable network TSN (which began televising CFL games in 1985), while cable network and TSN partner RDS broadcasts
Montreal Alouettesgames in French for the Quebectelevision market.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=page&id=16 |title=Broadcast |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca] Games are typically scheduled for Thursday to Saturday evenings during June, July and August, but switch to more Saturday and Sunday afternoon games during September and October.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=sked&func=view |title=Schedule |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca] TSN has created a tradition of at least one Friday night game each week, branded as "Friday Night Football". CBC and TSN drew record television audiences for CFL broadcasts in 2005.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&topicnum=&nid=7783&writer=0 |title=CFL announces updated schedule |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca |year=2006-04-17] The 2006 season was the first season in which every regular season game was televised, as the league implemented an instant replaychallenge system.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&topicnum=&nid=8949 |title=CFL to introduce instant replay for 2006 |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca |year=2006-06-13] In 2006, the CFL also began offering pay-per-view webcasts of every game on CFL Broadband.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&topicnum=&nid=9235 |title=CFL debuts live webcast for entire schedule |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca |year=2006-06-22] Until the end of the 2007 season CBC and RDS were the exclusive television broadcasters for all playoff games, including the Grey Cup, which regularly draws a Canadian viewing audience in excess of 4 million.cite web |url=http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061120.wspttruth20/GSStory/GlobeSportsFootball/home |title=Minor rise in Grey Cup ratings good for CBC |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher= The Globe and Mail|year=2006-11-20 |author=William Houston]
Beginning in 2008, TSN and RDS will be the exclusive television and internet broadcasters of all CFL games, including the playoffs and Grey Cup. The five-year agreement, which includes an option for a sixth year, is worth about $16 million annually and marks the first time since 1952 that CBC will not be broadcasting any CFL games. The CFL will no longer be broadcast on Canadian
terrestrial television, unless TSN chooses to air the game on its terrestrial partners, CTV or A-Channel. The move to TSN all but assures that all CFL games will be broadcast in high definition. As of 2006, TSN was available in about 8.8 million of Canada's 13 million households. The two play by play announcers are Chris Cuthbert and Rod Black while the colour commentators are Glen Suitor (with Cuthbert) and Duane Forde (with Black).
CFL teams have local broadcast contracts with terrestrial radio stations for regular season and playoff games, while The Fan Radio Network (
Rogers Communications) owns the rights to the Grey Cup [ [http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=page&id=16 CFL broadcasters page] accessed 2008-03-06] . In 2006, Sirius Satellite Radiogained exclusive rights for North American CFL satellite radiobroadcasts and will broadcast 25 CFL games per season, including the Grey Cup, through 2008.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&topicnum=&nid=7859 |title=CFL Gets Sirius |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca |year=2006-04-24]
In the United States, CFL television broadcasts are available nationally on
Dish Network, DirecTVand America One, which also feeds the broadcasts to regional cable outlets, such as NESNand Comcast Sportsnet. Friday Night Football is available exclusively on World Sport HD, in high definition.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&nid=17127 |title=CFL available in all U.S. markets |accessdate=2007-06-13 |publisher=CFL.ca |year=2007-06-13] In Europe, games are available on NASN.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&topicnum=&nid=9059 |title=NASN secures European CFL TV rights |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca |year=2006-06-16]
From 1962 through 1986, CBC and CTV shared CFL broadcasting rights. They split playoff games and
simulcastthe Grey Cup. In 1962, 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1970, CTV commentators were used for the dual network telecast, while in 1963, 1964, 1966 and 1969, CBC announcers were provided. From 1971 through 1986, one network's crew called the first half while the other called the rest of the game. After the 1986 season, CTV dropped coverage of the CFL and the Grey Cup. From 1987 through 1990, the CFL operated its own syndicated network, CFN. Like CTV, CFN split playoff games with CBC. However, CFN had completely separate coverage of the Grey Cup, utilizing its own production and commentators. From 1991 to 2007, all post-season games have been exclusively on CBC; beginning 2008, the Grey Cup will be carried on TSN, although the cable provider reserves the right to move the game to sister station CTV.
On the Internet, all radio broadcasts of CFL games are available for free through each affiliate's Web site. Video broadcasts are free in Canada, but international viewers (identified by
geolocation) are required to use either CFL Broadband (a pay-per-viewservice, outside Northern America) or, beginning 2008, ESPN360in the United States. A small number of America One affiliates do stream on the Internet, thus providing certain CFL video feeds for free, even though the CFL discourages this.
In 1982, during a players' strike in the NFL, NBC broadcast CFL games in the United States in lieu of the NFL games which were cancelled.
Players and compensation
The CFL began enforcing a salary cap for the 2007 season of $4.05 million per team. Financial penalties for teams that breach the cap are set at $1 to $1 for the first $100,000 over, $2 to $1 for $100,000 to $300,000 over, and $3 to $1 for $300,000 and above. Penalties could also include forfeited draft picks.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=page&id=17 |title=Salary Management System |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca] In 2006, the active roster limit was increased from 40 to 42. The "import/non-import ratio", which required teams to keep at least 20 non-import (Canadian-born or Canadian-trained) players on their active roster, was increased to 21. Teams may have up to 4 players on their reserve roster, and up to 7 on their practice roster. Eligible non-imports (usually from
CIS footballor American college football) are drafted by teams in the annual Canadian College Draft, which follows an evaluation camp similar to the NFL Combine.cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=page&id=296 |title=TransGlobe Evaluation Camp |accessdate=2007-05-22 |publisher=CFL.ca] A junior player in the locale of a team may be claimed as a "territorial exemption" and sign with that team before beginning collegiate play (one recent example is Saskatchewan Roughrider Mike Maurercite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=roster&func=display&ros_id=82 |title=Mike Maurer #19 |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFL.ca] ). Teams maintain "negotiation lists" of players they wish to sign as free agents. CFL players are represented by the Canadian Football League Players Association (CFLPA). Each team elects two players to the CFLPA Board of Player Representatives, which meets once per year. Every two years, it elects an executive Board of Directors.cite web |url=http://www.cflpa.com/index.php?module=page&id=5014 |title=Organization of the CFLPA |accessdate=2006-12-03 |publisher=CFLPA.ca]
In the days when sports teams were financed almost entirely by ticket sales, the CFL and NFL were, financially speaking, on relatively equal footing, and CFL teams could sign top U.S.
college footballstars such as Johnny Rodgersand Joe Theismann. During the 1950s and 1960s exhibition games were played between CFL and NFL/AFL teams using a mixture of each league's rules. The last such exhibition game saw the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Catsdefeat the AFL's Buffalo Bills, the only time in which a Canadian team defeated an American team in the series. As late as the 1970s and early 1980s, when high-capacity stadiums were built in Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto, people such as Montreal Alouettesowner Nelson Skalbaniacontinued to believe that relative parity could be sustained so long as the CFL could get larger stadiums built in its other cities and sell them out. However, by the 1980s it became clear that financial parity between the two leagues would not be maintained, not so much because of the disparity in attendance figures, but because of the NFL's increasingly lucrative television contracts that now bring in a majority of the NFL's revenue. The CFL could not hope to negotiate similar contracts with Canadian networks because the U.S. television market is more than ten times the size of Canada's. A notable exception to this trend occurred in 1991 when the deep-pocketed owners of the Toronto Argonauts (tycoon Bruce McNall, actor John Candy, and hockey star Wayne Gretzky) signed U.S. college star Raghib "Rocket" Ismailto the then-unheard of sum of $18.2 million spread over four years. This proved unsustainable and Ismail left for the NFL after two seasons. Currently, the difference in average salaries between the CFL and NFL is significant, with only a handful of CFL players making more than the NFL minimum.
Despite a common belief that the average NFL player is more talented than the average CFL player, the disparity in talent is not nearly as great as the disparity in compensation. Due to the difference in rules, pace of play and field size between the two leagues, they mostly compete for different types of players. Mobility and quickness are typically valued over size and strength in the CFL, and CFL teams often recruit skilled players who would be considered "undersized" by NFL standards. For this reason, there are few players who have played in both leagues, and even fewer who have achieved success in both leagues. Only two people have been elected to both the
Canadian Football Hall of Fameand the U.S. Pro Football Hall of Fame: quarterback Warren Moonand coach Bud Grant. There are many cases of CFLers going to the NFL and having success, such as Pro Bowlers Joe Horn, Jeff Garcia, Brendon Ayanbadejoand Doug Flutieand Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy. On the other hand, there have also been cases of NFL stars coming to the CFL and failing to excel, such as the 2006 "big splash" signing of Ricky Williamscite web |url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/News/2006/08/22/1769584-sun.html |title=NFL experience doesn't translate |accessdate=2007-06-30 |publisher=Winnipeg Sun |author=Jim Bender |date=2006-08-22] .
#The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were created in 1950 as a merger of the Hamilton Tigers (founded 1869 as the Hamilton Foot Ball Club, and merged with the
Hamilton Alertsin 1914) and the Hamilton Flying Wildcats.
#The Alouettes' main home field is
Molson Stadium. In recent years, they also play their final regular season home game and any home playoff games at Olympic Stadium.
Percival Molson StadiumPhase II for Completion in 2009, upgrading an additional 5,000 seats, Northwest corner, and East Grandstand.
#The CFL considers the current Montreal Alouettes franchise (founded in 1994 as the
Baltimore Stallions, moved to Montreal and renamed the Montreal Alouettes in 1996) to be a continuation of the original Montreal Alouettes (founded 1946, played in the CFL 1958-1981) and Montreal Concordes(founded 1982, renamed the Montreal Alouettes in 1986, folded just before the 1987 season).cite web |url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=page&id=41 |title=History of the Montreal Alouettes |accessdate=2006-12-04 |publisher=CFL.ca]
#Created by a merger of the Winnipegs (whose roots go back to 1879) and the St. John's team, and become known as the "Winnipeg Pegs" before changing to the current name, Blue Bombers, in 1936.
#Not related to the Vancouver Grizzlies, who played one season in 1941.
#Roots go back to the
Calgary Rugby Foot-ball Club, which formed in 1907.
#Club originally formed in 1895, became officially known as the Eskimos in 1910.
#Became Saskatchewan Roughriders officially in 1950, after the team became the only pro football team left in the province in 1948.
#Proposed team that was abandoned before the 1995 season, after an exhibition game between Birmingham and Baltimore in Miami was poorly attended.
#Another team named the San Antonio Texans was founded in 1993, but folded before playing a game. The Texans team listed here is the same team as the Sacramento Gold Miners, who moved to Texas in 1995. The Gold Miners, in turn, were a continuation of the
Sacramento Surgeof the WLAF.
Canadian Football Act
Canadian Football Hall of Fame
Canadian Junior Football League
Comparison of Canadian and American football
Index of Professional Sports teams in the United States and Canada
List of Canadian Football League records
List of Canadian Football League seasons
List of Canadian Football League stadiums
List of attendance figures at domestic professional sports leagues
Major North American professional sports leagues
TSN Top 50 CFL Players
* [http://www.cfl.ca Canadian Football League]
* [http://www.cflpa.com Canadian Football League Players Association] ; Media
* [http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/home.html SLAM! Sports]
* [http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/index.jsp Sportsnet.ca]
* [http://tsn.ca/cfl/ TSN.ca] ; History
* [http://share.geocities.com/Colosseum/5743/index.htm Canadian Football Resources]
* [http://www.geocities.com/cflhistory/ Soudog's CFL History Fan Site]
* [http://www.geocities.com/cfl_historical/CFL-H.htm CFL: A Historical Look]
* [http://www.mmbolding.com/BSR/Candian_Football_League_vs_National_Football_League.htm CFL vs. NFL: Head to Head Game History]
* [http://michigan-football.com/cfl/cfl.htm All-time CFL standings since 1945] ; Forums
* [http://forums.cfl.ca CFL.ca Forum]
* [http://www.13thman.com/ 13thman.com]
* [http://www.cflzone.com/ CFL Zone]
* [http://www.55yardline.com/ 55 Yard Line]
* [http://forums.sportsnet.ca/category.jspa?categoryID=31 Sportsnet.ca CFL Forums] ; Blogs
* [http://canadianrules.ca/ CanadianRules.ca]
* [http://rougeforthewin.wordpress.com/ Rouge For The Win]
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