The CFL started out in the 1880s as the Canadian Rugby Football Union; the game was originally known as rugby. The league evolved over the years, as did the game. While Canadian football is now more like United States gridiron football, it retains several rugby traditions such as only three down, a larger field, and more players on the field. The Grey Cup was donated in 1909 by the then-Governor General of Canada, the fourth Earl Grey. No games were played from 1916 to 1919 due to the First World War. Continue reading →
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Weather permitting, we played football in backyards, inventing ways to play two-on-one, or even two-on-three, running the length of the yard for a down, then turning around and running the other way for a touchdown. For me, life was simple and Russ Jackson was the king. Then, over the years, something happened. When I moved to southern Ontario I discovered that the most populated part of Canada, star-struck by the drawing power of our neighbours to the south, was enamoured with the National Football League. What’s your favourite team? was more likely to bring a response such as Miami or Buffalo, instead of Ottawa or Hamilton. One day, a friend of mine remarked, “They will hold a Grey Cup game in Toronto and nobody in the city will notice.” I’ve seen that happen twice.
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