The Diary of a New CFL Fan – Revisited

Exactly a year ago to the day I’m writing this, I released one of my favourite blogs. The response was very positive from CFL fans, and even CFL teams… Jim Popp apparently read the story and had Mike Hogan from the Argos staff reach out to get my phone number. He never did call… but he’s a busy man. My number hasn’t changed Jim!

1 year later I still consider myself a relatively new CFL fan, though I have watched a lot of games, recorded a lot of podcasts, and followed the league closely through an entire offseason since then. I thought it would be interesting to go back and look at my Likes and Dislikes from that article and see if anything has changed. It might be time to alter those lists, or even add to them!

The Likes:

  • 3 down football
  • The CFL kicking game
  • The size of the field

I think the only change I would make to this list is to replace the kicking game with something else. There are still plenty of aspects of it that I enjoy, but there are 2 things in particular that annoy me.

  1. The No Yards Rule
  2. Giving up Safeties

I hate the sight of a flag getting thrown… Penalties in general annoy me. I just want to see the teams play the game within the rules and keep the plays rolling. So why have a penalty that is so often worth taking for the kicking team that a flag is thrown more often than it’s not??? I get why the rule is there and I do enjoy the fact that there is no fair catch in the CFL, but there has to be another way here.

Taking a knee in the end zone can be a strategic play that I agree with, but this decision blows up in coaches faces too often in the Canadian game at all levels. The most recent case of course was this past week when the Red Blacks gave the game to the Stampeders. If those 2 points are the difference between a two score game and a one score game, or even worse would allow a field goal to beat you, trust your team and bring it out! I don’t even want to comment on giving up the lead by taking a safety, but it happens…

The Dislikes:

  • CFL fan attitudes towards NFL players and U.S. exposure
  • The lack of quality QBs
  • The lack of a 10th team

I still stand by this list, though 2019 has been much more positive with regards to fan attitude than 2018. I think it’s safe to tie that directly to Johnny Manziel’s exit from the CFL. I have no doubt these attitudes will resurface the next time a former high profile NFL player gives it a go up here, but I don’t think we will ever see anything to the likes of Johnny. His face plant in the CFL was legendary, and a big part of me understands why some Canadian fans were so irritated by the over saturation of coverage. I will leave it at that.

So I guess I should wrap this up by adding a Like and Dislike to the lists.

I Like…

…The live mic games! I was a big fan last year and I enjoy them even more now. I just don’t understand why a football fan wouldn’t want to hear that stuff. The banter, the antics, the play calls, I love it all. I enjoy hearing the coach explain what he is challenging. The discussions on the side lines over whether to punt or go for it. I have nothing bad to say about these games.

I Dislike…

…Western game start times. As an Atlantic Canadian who wants more than anything to see the 10th franchise come to Halifax, I hope very much that move also impacts the start time of games. Ottawa travels to Edmonton in week 9 and the game has an 11 PM AST start.

“Hey Andy, what are you doing tonight?”
“Watching the first quarter of the Red Blacks game.”
“Nice… what are you up to tomorrow?”
“Watching the other 3 quarters and then going to bed…”

This can’t be much better for a fan living in Ottawa! I understand that our vast country has a 4 hour variance from coast to coast. 4 and a half if you count the fans in Newfoundland which you should! But there HAS to be a better way to do this. I understand the vast majority of fans are not over here in the Atlantic time zone, and the league must cater to the majority, but when our Schooners head west to play the Lions please throw us a bone CFL!

Well that was a nice visit down memory lane… Maybe I will do it again a year from now.

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