Canadian Football League Games are Here!

Canadian footballThe Canadian Football League is a professional football organization comprised of eight current franchises. It plays a brand of football similar to the American version played by the National Football League. The CFL has been in existence since 1958, although many of its teams have been active for much longer. It is divided into the East Division and West Divison. Its teams compete for the Grey Cup trophy. The CFL’s franchises are the British Columbia Lions, Montreal Alouettes, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts, Calgary Stampeders, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Edmonton Eskimos. There is also a new Ottawa franchise in development.

Although the CFL has similar rules to the NFL, there are several differences. Canadian football is played with twelve players on each side, as opposed to eleven in the NFL. Each team is given three tries to get a first down, as opposed to four. Finally, a regulation Canadian football field is 110 yards long, compared to 100 in the NFL. These differences have caused CFL offenses to be very pass oriented. There really is no difference between betting on NFL games and CFL fames, since most sportsbooks have lines for both.

The league’s playoff system includes all but two of the CFL’s teams. The squads with the six best regular season records qualify for the postseason. The two division winners receive byes and face the winners of the first round games. The winners of the second round games move on to the Grey Cup title game. All eight current teams have won the Grey Cup at some point in their histories. The team with the most championships is Toronto, with sixteen. Edmonton is close behind, with thirteen. Most recently, Toronto beat Calgary to win the 2012 Grey Cup, 35-22. This contest was the 100th Grey Cup. The trophy long predates the formation of the CFL. Its history dates back to 1909. It is one of the most legendary and prestigious trophies in Canadian sports.

The CFL has made several attempts to gain popularity in the United States, but has had difficulty competing against the larger, richer National Football League. Canadian teams sometimes competed in exhibition games with NFL and American Football League (AFL) teams in the 1950’s and ’60s. The American teams usually won these battles, but Hamilton did defeat Buffalo in 1961. Some CFL players have gone on to have significant success in the NFL, such as Warren Moon and Doug Flutie. In the mid-’90s, the CFL made the bold move of establishing six American expansion franchises. They were the Baltimore Stallions, Birmingham Barracadas, Las Vegas Posse, Memphis Mad Dogs, Sacramento Gold Miners, and San Antonio Texans. The Stallions were the most successful of these franchises, winning the 1995 Grey Cup (the only non-Canadian team to ever do so) and earning thousands of fans in the Baltimore area. However, the CFL’s hopes were dashed when the NFL’s Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens. The Stallions moved to Montreal and the other American franchises folded within a three year timeframe. Plans for a Miami franchise to compete with the NFL’s Dolphins were scrapped.

Other than the National Hockey League (NHL), the CFL is Canada’s most popular sports league. It is considered the pinnacle of the sport in Canada, with the best players and highest quality of play. With a ninth franchise in Ottawa expected to begin play in 2014, the CFL appears have a bright future ahead of it.

July 30, 2014 by : Posted in Football No Comments

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