November 30, 2011

Why the CFL is just plain bad

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

So now that the Grey Cup has come and gone three days ago, can you name two players on the Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions defence? How about a single offensive lineman from either the Lions or the Winnipeg Blue Bombers? Probably not, right? That’s because you likely don’t care about the CFL.

I, personally, couldn’t care less about this association of teams that amounts to minor league football. I just don’t understand what the appeal is.

The rules seem ridiculous, giving the offence an incredible amount of leeway despite taking away a down. Receivers get a running start before the snap and only need to get one foot inbounds on a catch, there’s a yard to separate the two opposing lines, the field is wider and the end zones look like they’re half the size of the field.

The quality of play is terrible, likely because the players with enough talent to make the NFL undoubtedly go there. Why would anybody want to play for probably less than 20% of the money that could be made in the states if they had a chance to even just make a team’s practice squad?

There’s a reason why Anthony Calvillo – arguably one of, if not the best QB the CFL has ever seen – never played in the NFL: He simply isn’t or was never good enough.

Another great case is that of Casey Printers. This was a quarterback who won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award with the B.C. Lions and then was invited to the Kansas City Chiefs training camp. Well he wasn’t even good enough to beat out Tyler Thigpen or Brodie Croyle. He then came back to the CFL and was signed to a deal that made him the highest-paid player in the league.

Isn’t that something? Not good enough to make a NFL team that went 4-12, but good enough to be the highest-paid player in the CFL.

The only players you really see do well in the NFL after leaving the CFL are defenders, like Miami’s Cameron Wake. Because the rules are so slanted towards the offence up here, if you’re an elite player who can overcome that disadvantage, you have a fairly good shot at making a team down south.

But then again, I am from Toronto, where it’s pretty tough to love an inferior style of football when its superior neighbour comes north once a year.

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