Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

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Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by amcflfan » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:44 pm

And that was amazingly evident to this American as I traveled recently to the 'Birthplace of Gridiron Football',

Montreal Quebec Canada. This past November 23rd that sparkling city played host to the 'Grey Cup'. The

championship game that wraps up the season for the 'Canadian Football League', and is the second oldest trophy

vied for in North America by professional athletes.

This years match up featured two powerhouses of this league. The western division champion Calgary Stampeders

against the eastern division champions the Montreal Alouettes. The Al's (as they're called by fans) came armed with

future hall of fame quarterback Anthony Calvillo who came into this game after completing a stellar regular season

that saw him wrack up 5,624 yards while throwing 43 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions.

And with targets like wide receivers Ben Cahoon who had over 1200 yards receiving and 7 TD's in the regular

season, along with his linemate Jamal Richardson who also finished the year with over 1200 yards and led the league

with 16 TD's, and running back Avon Cobourne in the backfield who gained 950 yards on 145 attempts during the

season, you would think that Calvillo and the Al's would have just walked away with this years Grey Cup.

But, they had to get passed the 'Stamps' and their All Star quarterback Henry Burris and his 12 gauge arm that saw

him compile 5,039 yards in the regular season as well as 39 TD's and only 14 interceptions. And his receiving core

are no slouches eitherl! Featuring the leagues top receiver in Kenyon Rambo who ran away with 1,473 yards on 100

catches and 8 TD's and his counterparts of Nik Lewis with 87 catches for 1,109 yards and 10 TD's and Jeremaine

Copeland who added 763 yards and 7 TD's himself on only 52 catches.

Combine that with the leagues leading rusher in running back Joffery Reynolds who gained 1,310 yards and 10

TD's in 227 attempts. That's a league leading 5.8 yard average per carry.

In the end after four quarters of a hard fought championship, and with passing yards over 300+ for both QB's, the

Stamps prevailed by a score of 22-14. And the man who (in this writers opinion) should have been awarded the game

MVP but wasn't, is kicker Sandro Deangelis of the Stampeders. At 27 years old he has become one of the most

accurate kickers in all of professional football. This season alone he made 50 out of 58 field goal's for 217 points.

And how did Deangelis do in the "big game"? How does 16 points sound? He nailed field goals of 12, 21, 30, 44,

and a 50 yarder that sealed the deal for the Stampeders. And believe me he can do 50 yarders as easily as i can lose

my car keys and that's pretty darn easy! In pre game warmups alone I was watching him hit 55 yarders better then i

can hit my garbage can with a crumpled napkin from three feet away.

My congratulations to coach John Hufnagel, Henry Burris, Rambo...Reynolds...Deangelis and the rest of the Calgary

Stampeders..on winning the 2008 Grey Cup.. AND all those loyal Calgary fans that travelled to Montreal to see their

team win!

And that is where the real meat and potatoes (spelling Mr. Quayle?) of my article comes into play. Calgary wasn't

the only team represented at this years festivities by it's fans. Every team had fans in town showing their support and

colours for the week long celebration that is the Grey Cup festival. At the corner of Rene Levesque and Peel streets

was the 'Grey Cup Village' which has all kinds of activities for everyone of every age, from live bands in the 'Bistro' tent

to a miniature football field where you could play touch football against CFL players.

On my first night in town I was walking downtown heading to the village when I passed some Eskimo supporters

standing outside the Centre Sheraton hotel, so I stopped to chat with true blue, die hard Edmonton Eskimo fans. The

next thing I know i'm being taken up to the main ball room of the hotel where a huge party is going on with a few

hundred people already in attendance.

This party is put on every year..at every Grey Cup, by a group called 'The Sprit of Edmonton'. If my understanding is

correct, they are like a 'booster club' similar to the kind that supports your local high school team only on a much

larger scale. They had live bands at the party and the cheerleaders from all the CFL teams were there. And of course

great food and Canadian beer! The great thing about this party? Free to get in!!! And...did I mention the cheerleaders

were there??

But I digress..although the people who put this shindig together are called the Sprit of Edmonton, what I saw for my

four days in Montreal was, truly, the sprit of Canada! By the time this party was in full swing the people in attendance

was easily over 1,000, and you would think that with that many people there, all dressed in their team colours,

mingling amongst each other, drinking adult beverages, that there would have to be one or two power drinkers who

can't handle their alcohol and might get a little mouthy yelling about how their team is so great and your

team...well.....you get the idea.

Inevitably, it ends in some kind of scuffle. What I'm reffering to is something that happens where i come from too

often and is something I've witnessed just as much. I like to call it D.I.S.K. and that stands for "Drunken Indignant

Sports Knowitalls". The odd thing was...D.I.S.K. never reared it's ugly head! At all! Ever! The whole time I was there.

Instead, what I witnessed was not only a love of Football which is what brought all these people together from just

about everywhere in Canada ( and at least one from the U.S.), but I sensed a true love of being Canadian. There were

no scuffles...no attitudes...no egos. No..none of that. All I saw were people, no matter what team they supported,

honestly, truly enjoying themselves AND each other.

I met many people my first night in town and talked Football with all of them. Fans from Saskatchewan and

Toronto. From Hamilton and British Columbia. From Winnipeg and , of course, Edmonton and Montreal. Even fans

from Ottawa who lost their team a few years back and are hoping they get another soon. There were fans who spoke

more French then English. Some who spoke little French. And others who spoke no French at all. Sure, everyone in

this mixed bag of fandom teased and ribbed each other, sang their own teams fight songs and sarcastic songs about

other teams, but the whole time all I saw were smiles! And..after the teasing and ribbing was done there were

handshakes and more smiles and a slap on the back.

After the game was over, thousands of fans were taking the Metro back to their various hotels and motels and I (

like everyone else) was crammed into a metro car with fans and team colours representing every CFL team. There

was celebrating not only from the Calgary fans, but from all fans. They started singing their teams songs again. They

started picking on the other teams, but all the while there was laughter and high fives.

Finally the metro came to my stop and I was let out into the station and then up to the street where I could hear

people singing and laughing. I made my way down to Bishop street where there's a basement bar I love and that I

have to pay a visit to anytime i'm in Montreal. 'Charlies American Pub'. I walked in to find some of the regulars that

were there when I was in town last year for an Al's game and I sat down and ordered an adult beverage and we

discussed our teams loss in the Grey Cup.

I don't think anyone from any nation doubts just how passionate Canadians are about Hockey. Heck! they invented

it! But I also know from first hand experience, just how passionate they are about their Football. The CFL is a proud

league and it has the most devoted fans I have ever met. I myself would like to thank the great city of Montreal, the

birthplace of Gridiron Football, for hosting this years Grey Cup..to the 'Spirit of Edmonton' for a party like i've never

seen, to Bob and his lovely wife, also from Edmonton, for inviting me into that party like i was one of the family.

To the Montreal Alouettes for keeping me on the edge of my seat many times this season and of course I have to

say once again, congrats to the Calgary Stampeders on winning Le Coupe de Grey 2008.

And...I can't forget all the great people at 'Charlies'. If you ever go there look for a gentleman by the name of

'Wayne' he looks like Penn Jillette and performs magic just as well, if not better!

Here's to another great CFL season in 2009 Canada, and thank you for the best Football in the world!
Last edited by amcflfan on Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by greycupgarry » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:39 am

What a great read! Thanks for submitting. :beer: :clap:
[font=Comic Sans MS]if you have noticed this notice you will have noticed that this notice is not worth noticing [/font]

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by prairiedog » Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:41 pm

amcflfan wrote:kicker Sandro Deangelis of the Stampeders. At 27 years old he has become one of the most

accurate kickers in all of professional football. This season alone he made 58 out of 50 field goal's for 217 points.


58 out of 50? DAMN!! Now THAT'S accurate! ;)
ping wrote:Funny thing is all argo fans should support the cats and vise-versa. There not our enemy, Montreal is!!


heh

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by winched » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:30 am

I guess the secret is out about the CFL and it's fans :wink:

Great article, thoroughly enjoyed it. :beer:

If you go to Calgary next year, I suggest you attend Perogiefest and the 13thman Man Meet and Greet/CFL Fans Fight Cancer party?

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by Cool » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:14 am

greycupgarry wrote:What a great read! Thanks for submitting. :beer: :clap:


Here here.
102

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by woody » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:38 am

winched wrote:I guess the secret is out about the CFL and it's fans :wink:

Great article, thoroughly enjoyed it. :beer:

If you go to Calgary next year, I suggest you attend Perogiefest and the 13thman Man Meet and Greet/CFL Fans Fight Cancer party?


:whs:
I believe Cookie Gilchrist is the most complete football player of all time. He belongs in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame!

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by amcflfan » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:19 pm

prairiedog wrote:
amcflfan wrote:kicker Sandro Deangelis of the Stampeders. At 27 years old he has become one of the most

accurate kickers in all of professional football. This season alone he made 58 out of 50 field goal's for 217 points.


58 out of 50? DAMN!! Now THAT'S accurate! ;)


Thanks for pointing that out...darn slysdexia again...lol

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by Waiting for Gaudaur » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:12 pm

Montreal the birthplace of gridiron football? Harvard and McGill played in 1874, that was five years after Rutgers and Princeton played in 1869.

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by B.C.FAN » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:09 am

Waiting for Gaudaur wrote:Montreal the birthplace of gridiron football? Harvard and McGill played in 1874, that was five years after Rutgers and Princeton played in 1869.

Yes, but the American game was said to resemble soccer more than football before the McGill influence.

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by amcflfan » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:02 pm

Waiting for Gaudaur wrote:Montreal the birthplace of gridiron football? Harvard and McGill played in 1874, that was five years after Rutgers and Princeton played in 1869.



According to my ongoing research, ALL Gridiron Football is a derivative of 'Rugby'. And 'Rugby' apparently had a foothold in Canada before the United States. The game you are reffering to might be this one....



"In the fall of 1869 William Leggett, the captain of Rutgers' soccer team, took advantage of the proximity of the two schools and issued a challenge to William S. Gummere, his opposite number at Princeton. The contest is usually called the first intercollegiate football game. American fans celebrated football's centennial in 1969. They were mistaken. The game played was not American football, nor even its more direct ancestor rugby. Rutgers' historic victory was in soccer."



Back


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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by Waiting for Gaudaur » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:21 am

amcflfan wrote:
Waiting for Gaudaur wrote:Montreal the birthplace of gridiron football? Harvard and McGill played in 1874, that was five years after Rutgers and Princeton played in 1869.



According to my ongoing research, ALL Gridiron Football is a derivative of 'Rugby'. And 'Rugby' apparently had a foothold in Canada before the United States. The game you are reffering to might be this one....



"In the fall of 1869 William Leggett, the captain of Rutgers' soccer team, took advantage of the proximity of the two schools and issued a challenge to William S. Gummere, his opposite number at Princeton. The contest is usually called the first intercollegiate football game. American fans celebrated football's centennial in 1969. They were mistaken. The game played was not American football, nor even its more direct ancestor rugby. Rutgers' historic victory was in soccer."



Back


I'll give you the point that the game was more like soccer, Harvard allowed running with the ball only if he was being pursued but couldn't find other teams to play that way so they found McGill.

From the Story of Football circa 1970

"They found one in McGill University at Montreal, Canada. Inasmuch as Rugby had been transplanted to Canada from England, the McGill youths played under rules that allowed a player to pick up the ball and run with it whenever he wished. More, the especially Canadian feature of the game was to count touchdowns, as well as goals, in the scoring. In pure Rugby, a touchdown only provided the chance to kick a free goal from the field. If the kick was missed, the touchdown did not count.
However, the first U.S.-Canadian football game, which took place at Cambridge on May 14, 1874, was played under Harvard rules. The Crimson won, three goals to nothing. Next day the game was played under McGill rules and ended in a scoreless tie. But it had been so wide-open and exciting that the Harvard men were converted to the Canadian rules. They agreed to follow them again at the third meeting held in Montreal in October. Harvard won that match-three touchdowns to nothing."

Unlimited running and scoring was the major difference between the two games and those first games were held in Cambridge. Those were very important to the development of football, but they wouldn't have been possible if Harvard wasn't already playing a running game. From that point the innovations were on the American side mostly by Walter Camp and later copied by the Canadian game, kicking the ball into scrimmage, then later snapping the ball into play. In 1880 Camp came up with a 110-yard field by 53 feet wide. 1882 Camp came up with three downs to make five yards, in 1903 Canadian football started the three down system to make ten yards and then Camp changed to three downs to make ten yards which was the rule from 1906-1912 until the fourth down was introduced in American football. Forward passing was introduced to the US in 1906 and not in Canada until 1929. The US went to six-point touchdowns in 1912, not in Canada until 1956. The two-point conversion came to the US in 1958, to Canada in 1975. The current overtime format began in the US in 1996, in Canada in 2000 IIRC.

From the CFL website it says the first football game in Canada was in 1861 in Toronto, now it depends what you call football, but from it's beginnings as Rugby in England which was the influence on the Canadian game, Canadian football borrowed more from American football than the other way around, I know I will get burned at the stake for this comment but oh well. I look at American and Canadian football as sons of British rugby that developed closely at the same time and then took slightly different paths and converged at different points in history to the great games that they are today on both sides of the border.

The yard off the ball, no fair catch, and unlimited men in motion, were they at any time part of American football? I don't know, but if anyone knows anything about that let me know. Thanks.

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by prairiedog » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:28 am

Waiting for Gaudaur wrote:Forward passing was introduced to the US in 1906 and not in Canada until 1929.


I'm pretty sure that the forward pass was allowed in WESTERN Canada throughout the 20s. It was a bone of contention for western teams in Grey Cups when the Eastern teams would insist on Eastern rules, taking away the west's formidable offensive weapon.
ping wrote:Funny thing is all argo fans should support the cats and vise-versa. There not our enemy, Montreal is!!


heh

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by amcflfan » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:52 pm

Waiting for Gaudaur wrote:
amcflfan wrote:
Waiting for Gaudaur wrote:Montreal the birthplace of gridiron football? Harvard and McGill played in 1874, that was five years after Rutgers and Princeton played in 1869.



According to my ongoing research, ALL Gridiron Football is a derivative of 'Rugby'. And 'Rugby' apparently had a foothold in Canada before the United States. The game you are reffering to might be this one....



"In the fall of 1869 William Leggett, the captain of Rutgers' soccer team, took advantage of the proximity of the two schools and issued a challenge to William S. Gummere, his opposite number at Princeton. The contest is usually called the first intercollegiate football game. American fans celebrated football's centennial in 1969. They were mistaken. The game played was not American football, nor even its more direct ancestor rugby. Rutgers' historic victory was in soccer."



Back


I'll give you the point that the game was more like soccer, Harvard allowed running with the ball only if he was being pursued but couldn't find other teams to play that way so they found McGill.

From the Story of Football circa 1970

"They found one in McGill University at Montreal, Canada. Inasmuch as Rugby had been transplanted to Canada from England, the McGill youths played under rules that allowed a player to pick up the ball and run with it whenever he wished. More, the especially Canadian feature of the game was to count touchdowns, as well as goals, in the scoring. In pure Rugby, a touchdown only provided the chance to kick a free goal from the field. If the kick was missed, the touchdown did not count.
However, the first U.S.-Canadian football game, which took place at Cambridge on May 14, 1874, was played under Harvard rules. The Crimson won, three goals to nothing. Next day the game was played under McGill rules and ended in a scoreless tie. But it had been so wide-open and exciting that the Harvard men were converted to the Canadian rules. They agreed to follow them again at the third meeting held in Montreal in October. Harvard won that match-three touchdowns to nothing."

Unlimited running and scoring was the major difference between the two games and those first games were held in Cambridge. Those were very important to the development of football, but they wouldn't have been possible if Harvard wasn't already playing a running game. From that point the innovations were on the American side mostly by Walter Camp and later copied by the Canadian game, kicking the ball into scrimmage, then later snapping the ball into play. In 1880 Camp came up with a 110-yard field by 53 feet wide. 1882 Camp came up with three downs to make five yards, in 1903 Canadian football started the three down system to make ten yards and then Camp changed to three downs to make ten yards which was the rule from 1906-1912 until the fourth down was introduced in American football. Forward passing was introduced to the US in 1906 and not in Canada until 1929. The US went to six-point touchdowns in 1912, not in Canada until 1956. The two-point conversion came to the US in 1958, to Canada in 1975. The current overtime format began in the US in 1996, in Canada in 2000 IIRC.

From the CFL website it says the first football game in Canada was in 1861 in Toronto, now it depends what you call football, but from it's beginnings as Rugby in England which was the influence on the Canadian game, Canadian football borrowed more from American football than the other way around, I know I will get burned at the stake for this comment but oh well. I look at American and Canadian football as sons of British rugby that developed closely at the same time and then took slightly different paths and converged at different points in history to the great games that they are today on both sides of the border.

The yard off the ball, no fair catch, and unlimited men in motion, were they at any time part of American football? I don't know, but if anyone knows anything about that let me know. Thanks.






"I'll give you the point that the game was more like soccer, Harvard allowed running with the ball only if he was being pursued but couldn't find other teams to play that way so they found McGill."

No....it wasn't "more like soccer" it WAS soccer!


Bottom line...Rugby came from England to Canada first so all other football came from that point. And...if you consider that it was the British Army Garrison that introduced McGill to the 'gridiron' way of playing Rugby and...that they played games between each other as far back as the 1830's then there is no doubt that 'Football' derived in Canada first.

To answer your other questions regarding the yard off the ball..no fair catch..unlimited motion? i'm not sure myself but I do know this. Americans started out playing the 3 down Football but in that series between Harvard and McGill, the home team was allowed to change one rule and Harvard added a fourth down because they couldn't generate offense in 3. Thus 4 down (American) Football was born.

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by amcflfan » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:55 pm

History
Football was introduced to North America in Canada, by the British Army garrison in Montreal, which played a series of games with McGill University.[1] In 1874, Harvard hosted McGill to play the new game derived from Rugby football in a home and home series. Many of the similarities and differences between the Canadian and American games indeed came out of this original home and home series where each home team set the rules. For instance, Harvard, because of a lack of campus space did not have a full-sized rugby pitch. Their pitch was only 100 yards long by 50 yards wide with undersized endzones (slightly less than the 53⅓-yard width of the current regulation size for American Football). Because of the reduced field, the Harvard team opted for 11 players per side, four less than the regulation 15 of Rugby Union. To generate more offence, the number of downs was also increased by Harvard to 4 from 3 as set by McGill. Both the Canadian and American games still have some things in common with the two varieties of rugby, especially rugby league, and, because of the similarities, the National Football League (NFL) has established a formal relationship with the Canadian Football League (CFL).

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Re: Canadians truly LOVE their Football!!!

Post by Rids » Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:44 pm

American football did have more motion in it's past than it currently does. The 4 Horsemen at Notre Dame used motion to such an advantage that it was a rule change made to slow down their attack.

I believe that the smaller field size actually came from Harvard setting up a series of play against other Ivy League schools and Yale did not have a field as large as the other schools. The other schools involved agreed to cut their fields down to match what Yale played on. Will check for references but I do know I have it in a book down in my office.
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