CFL playoff teams ranked based on likability

Likability may not be the most important thing, but if you are a fan of one of the three CFL franchises that are not in the playoffs, it can be what separates you being somewhat content with the team that wins the Grey Cup and absolutely apoplectic that “anyone but them” came away the champions. Ask Ticats fans about the Redblacks last year or any time the Riders have won the Grey Cup since the Bombers last won in 1990.

So if you happen to be a fan of the Lions, Alouettes or Tiger-Cats and are looking for a rooting interest in these CFL playoffs, I am here to help. Here are my likability rankings for the six teams in this year’s Grey Cup tournament.

6. Ottawa Redblacks

Yeah, OK, Ticats fan bias likely has me putting the Redblacks last, but hear me out. Is there anything that remarkable or likeable about this team? There isn’t that one player you really want to see win a championship, they don’t have an old gunslinger heading towards his final duel, nor do they have a super compelling story outside of being the hosts, and we have recently seen three hosts win a Grey Cup on home soil, so it is not special anymore. The Redblacks lack that certain something. Also, they are the defending champions and hopping on the bandwagon of the team that won the year prior is just lame. And they have a hashtag on their pants and that deserves ridicule and derision from now until the end of time.

5. Edmonton Eskimos

One person knocks the Esks down this low and it is Jason Maas. The Esks have a ton of players you can’t help but like, from tough-as-nails Mike Reilly to true-good-guy Adarius Bowman down to stalwart Calvin McCarty, but all of those good vibes go away because their head coach is a petulant man-baby who deserves nothing but terrible things to happen to him as a head coach. Just thinking of seeing Maas’ childish behaviour rewarded with a championship makes me want to throw a headset or cuss out one of my 3Down colleagues.

4. Calgary Stampeders

Calgary is similar to Ottawa in that cheering for them is lame because they are expected to win. Being a Stamps fan is fine and I envy their team’s success, but I can’t openly root for them and neither should you.

Also, as much as I think he is good for the league and he is a truly great player, Bo Levi Mitchell can come off a bit smug and that makes it more fun to cheer for him to lose (which does not happen often) than to win.

3. Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Kevin Glenn looks to pass during first half CFL football action against the Calgary Stampeders in Calgary on Saturday July 22, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Yeah, I’m surprised the Riders are this high, too. They may even be higher if Duron Carter wasn’t such a clown (although, like Mitchell, I think he is great for the league, but as a villain, not a hero) and Chris Jones wasn’t so dislikable, but seeing Kevin Glenn finally lift the Grey Cup would be enough to even swallow another Riders championship and listening to their insufferable fans gloat all off-season.

2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers

They haven’t won a championship in 27 years, and even though it means the jokes about longest drought will leave Winnipeg and head Hamilton’s way, it is not enough for me to wish the Bombers ill in their attempts to win their first Grey Cup since 1990. As a long-suffering Chicago Cubs fan, I know the jubilation that comes with finally seeing your team break an insufferably long curse, so I truly hope Bombers fans can feel that joy sooner rather than later.

1. Toronto Argonauts

Coming it at No. 1 is, yes, the Toronto Argonauts. This really boils down to one man and that is Ricky Ray. He is almost the anti-Burris in that I think many will be rooting for the future Hall of Famer to possibly cap his career with one final championship in what could be his final season. No matter what colours he wears, everyone likes Ricky Ray and because of that the Toronto Argonauts come in as the most likeable team in this year’s CFL playoffs.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.
Josh Smith

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Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.

63 Comments on CFL playoff teams ranked based on likability

  1. Sources Say // November 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm //

    I’m a Roughrider fan and I agree with you in your rankings. With Chris Jones at the helm of the Riders there’s not much to like.

  2. Boy, it’s hard to be reminded so frequently how Burris broke Josh’s heart. Very nearly brings a tear to the eye.

  3. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Josh.

  4. Scottsask // November 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm //

    As an insufferable Rider fan, I think we should be number one. In Jones we Trust.

  5. Argos????? Torontonians don’t even like the Argos!!! Can’t even avg. 14000 fans with 6 million people in the GTA!!!!!

    • True green // November 7, 2017 at 8:40 pm //

      Josh, no offence to you as a fan of an eastern team as I truly like the cats, but TO cannot be number 1. Sure they’ve got Ray and he is hard not to like but if we are talking number 1 across all CFL fans, trying to leave bias aside for your home team, I’m thinking you might get enough TO fans together to split a 6 pack with 3 left over. Let’s face it, CFL lives in the west and overall barely survives in the east. Cats and RBs aside, but that’s hardly enough to keep the interest of eastern Canada. There is far too much interest in soccer and nfl for the average eastern canadian to even care if there is a cfl league. My pics:
      1 – 2 Riders and Bombers, most loyal and largest fan base
      3 – 4 Stamps and Esks, fan base but smaller than 1- 2 (yeah yeah but we know it’s true!)
      5 Ottawa because they actually have a fan base and are a relatively new team so not many enemies
      6 TO, because no one cares about TO

  6. Wow – lots of butthurt still leftover from the Miracle on Bank St. Surprised that it’s enough for a TiCats boy to take the bandwagon down the QEW.

    Grey Cup will be a rematch from last year with the same result. GOOOOOOOO RRRRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  7. To Toronto’s likability, I would add S.J. Green and Trestman. Trestman is a class act at all times and demands class and respectability from his team. He would never have anyone like Duron Carter on his team.
    It would be good to see C.J. Gable with a Grey Cup ring after coming from Hamilton and being used so sparingly and looking so good with Edmonton. Reilly is also a classy guy and it would be nice to see John Chick hoist the cup one more time.
    I would put a Chris Jones led Rider team in last place. Dead last. He is only slightly better on the sidelines than Mass. Yes, he hasn’t broken any headphones but his comments after a bad play will never be aired on TSN. Jones has planted ego and arrogance on his team and it’s fans. Duron Carter is a ticking time bomb. Not much there to admire.
    Winnipeg deserves to be close to the top. Long suffering fans. Hard working blue collar type of team. I would like to see Nichols, O’Shea, Harris and Dressler with the cup.
    Ottawa perhaps in third place because the team and their coach are also classy. No temper tantrums, yelling and shouting on the sidelines.
    1. Toronto
    2. Winnipeg
    3. Ottawa
    4. Edmonton
    5. Calgary
    6. Saskatchewan

  8. Well this is officially the stupidest article I’ve ever read on this website.

    • Have faith, I’m sure Josh will manage to top it before long.

    • Would you prefer to have no CFL coverage, like every other media outlet? Keep it up, 3Down!

      • eskoil_81 // November 8, 2017 at 8:07 pm //

        Sorry but an article by a Ti-cats fan who just picked his teams biggest rival as the most “likeable” team in the playoffs does not make for good reading. In-fact, it pretty much throws his opinion and credibility out the window. 3down nation is loaded with good material. This is not some of it.

    • MR. Green // November 7, 2017 at 8:09 pm //

      Eskimos fan 81 …..isnt it tho. But fun to read the comments. Ah cheap. What’s 3-1? I’m going with 2

    • MR. Green // November 7, 2017 at 8:17 pm //

      Most likeable team, your team. Least liked, whoever your team is playing and for me lately Calgary. Which if your Calgary means their good.

    • its true though maas does cry and takes hissy fits and whines alot cant deny it.

      • eskoil_81 // November 9, 2017 at 8:27 pm //

        I’m sorry but i’ll take the opinion of the Eskimo players and coaches when it comes to Mass. Not an internet troll that doesn’t know a lot is 2 words.

  9. Scottsask // November 7, 2017 at 2:53 pm //

    The Roughriders had a very nice man coaching the team in 2009 and 2010. His teams lost consecutive Grey Cups. I for one do not care how “likeable” our coach is.

  10. Nice biases there Josh. The worst supported team in the CFL and you pick them them. What an asshat eastern clown to call that. Why I clicked and read is beyond me, 5 minutes I wasted for sure.

    • George Porge // November 7, 2017 at 3:29 pm //

      Sensitive much? I think someone needs a Snicker’s bar. You’d think Josh ran over his dog or something.

  11. Argos? Lol. People in Toronto don’t even like Toronto and the rest of the league could care less about them. This writer is clearly drunk today.

  12. He hasn’t been around long enough to prove himself but I think the Argos have the most exciting player in the league in James Wilder Jr.
    How could you not cheer for him?

    • cuz hes in toronto and no one cares about toronto and they are a mediocre team at best that have no one that stands out in a likeable way really

  13. Skimmed through it, meh.

  14. For me, #6 is Toronto. I just hate that team with every fiber of my being. #5 Saskatchewan, Don’t hate them as much as Toronto, but I do hate them. #4 Calgary, I live in Edmonton so I have to hate Calgary. #3 Ottawa, I like the RB’s, but I don’t want to see them win a second year in a row. #2 Edmonton, I really would like to see CJ Gable hoisting the cup, but I really understand what you are saying about Mass, that leaves #1 for the Bombers. I still don’t like O’Shea but I do like Nichols and Winnipeg has not won the Cup since 1990. They deserve it.

  15. Marc Lebut // November 7, 2017 at 4:36 pm //

    I’d go for the Argos only because I want the Wetenhalls to kick Kavis Reed out of the GM spot, which would mean show the door to Joe Mack with him. If the Toronto Alouettes win this one, the decision to part ways with Popp only to put the clueless Kavis-Joe tandem will stand as the worst since the Bombers hired Mike Kelly. Hope they get back on this one, but since both are confirmed, folding is the probable future for CFL in Montréal.

    • who are the toronto alouettes and joe mack was the biggest joke in winnipegs history thank god we got rid of that clueless idiot

  16. tuesday weld // November 7, 2017 at 5:18 pm //

    You found a photo of Maas singing a lullaby to his spawnling? A rare find indeed. For the purposes of this article though, you should have found one of him losing his cool.

  17. greenonions // November 7, 2017 at 5:22 pm //

    How about 3Down likability? Busby, Hodge, Dunk, Edwards, Gasson, Filoso & Smith? I wonder who ranks highest on likability scale????

    • Lancaster/Reed // November 7, 2017 at 9:02 pm //

      Dont know who would be highest, but santino filoso would be at the bottom.

      • What’d Filoso ever do that was so wrong? He pretty much stick to his own team and mixes opinion and news.

        Beats the hell out of “Let’s match each CFL with the James Bond actor they most resemble” articles from Smith or his ridiculously biased suggestions that a 5-4 coach should be named coach of the year.

        • Marc Lebut // November 8, 2017 at 11:31 am //

          Filoso writes about the Alouettes. This is probably the motive behind the smile.

          • I’m pretty sure he only writes about the Redblacks, unless some of the Als articles written by “3downstaff” are actually him.

      • George Fogarty // November 10, 2017 at 8:18 am //

        Your comments are about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

  18. Enrico Della penta // November 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm //

    Another article from hypocrite Josh who last year on Twitter said he was done with the bush league CFL. Yet here he is still writing articles.

  19. Eddiefelson // November 7, 2017 at 5:57 pm //

    Ummmm arblows? Likabity? Ticat fan? Are you nuts?
    Let me straighten you out.
    No.
    Not possible.
    You are NOT allowed.
    You either root for ANYBODY but the arblows- ORRRRR…you dont come back to the good side. Was that clear enough?
    Wow- cannot believe a parent missed teaching you that lesson.

    P.s.You wanna kmow who is the anti burris? Rooting for the redblacks so burris learns it wasnt him that turned them around.

    • Details Details // November 7, 2017 at 6:11 pm //

      Leave Josh’s parents out of this discussion.
      His family are not a bunch of ignorant inbreds like yours.

  20. Details Details // November 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm //

    Fun article Josh.
    Don’t let the moronic negative comments above bother you.
    Those posters need to lighten up.

    I especially liked the comment about the REDBLACKS having a hashtag on their pants. You forgot to mention that the team name is all in capital letters. Another stupid thing and reason to not like them.

  21. Get Canadian // November 7, 2017 at 6:44 pm //

    Well, it’s an opinion piece, and everyone will list their teams from who they hate to eho they love.
    I actually ain’t that big hate. Everyone’s got a good story. Winnipeg, the 27 year drought. Toronto, Ray and Trestman, two wholly decent people.
    Calgary, can they shed their perhaps undeserved reputation as big game losers.
    Ottawa, can they be the first team to go back to back since the Als in 2009-10.
    And the Riders, can this completely retooled team with an aging QB and a hard driving coach run the table.

    All good stories. No reason for anyone to throw ketchup in the salad . . .

    • Lucid comment. I am voting for Glenn to get his ring.

    • Nice to see a few well thought out, mature comments. Like Get Canadian states, “It’s an opinon piece” and as Details Details says “…..posters need to lighten up”. Sheesh, I’d hate to see how people react to really important things.

    • Well said. Although now I want to try ketchup on a salad…

      Argos fan here, and if they don’t win, I’d go for the Riders or Bombers bcs of Osh, Glenn, and CO2. The RedBlacks are becoming more hated by me than the Ticats, although since I’m friends with Bryan Chiu I can’t even wish them ill. Hoping for an Argos win, but I’ll just enjoy the ride.

  22. 6. Stamps – arrogance knows no bounds
    5. Bombers – Sask license plate = Spittle covered cars
    4. Redblacks – no repeats allowed
    3. Argos – Not the Leafs or Jays
    2. Eskimos – in spite of coach + respectful players
    1. Riders = Kevin Glen deserves it

  23. “Popular” isn’t the same thing as “likeable”, people.

    The Argos really are a likeable team. Their leaders are decent, talented, thoughtful people and the roster is almost free of showboaters and cheapshot artists.

    • they arent liked league wide though by fans is the point we are making to josh basically every other team is more liked.

  24. I would say the Stamps are last. Everyone hates them because they win so much in the reg season. Redblacks would be my #2

  25. Sure the Stamps team is unlikeable as heck, but the crieder fans are waaaaaay worse!

  26. I laugh at the label that Rider fans are considered “insufferable”. Being an Al’s fan, I’d place the Riders as my second favorite team in the league more on the fan base than the actual team. The team is owned by the fan-base, no one in the CFL supports their team at home & away like Riders fans even with one of the least productive records in winning Grey Cups & continually the strongest in merch sales & TV ratings which props up the league stats. Based on this & other CFL forums that I’ve experienced, fans from Calgary & Hamilton continually tend to be the most smug & the rudest among the league.

  27. lol what a surprise picking toronto as the fans favorite? come on be a little less biased here , no one eally cares about toronto i would pick winnipeg 1, sask 2, ottawa 3, toronto 4 edmonton 5 calgary 6 every time someone writes an article they always try to make toronto look like roses and everyone else is crap, such a joke lol

  28. and i dont like ricky ray never have so you cant say everyone likes him im sick of seeing his face personally.

    • Josh likes Ray, or at least respects him, so “everyone” likes Ray.

      That’s why Ray’s the “anti-Burris”. Josh hates Burris, therefore “everyone” wanted to see Burris fail last year. That’s kind of how it works with Josh.

      • i liked Burris he was cool

        • And to be fair, I understand way some people don’t like him. He does have a history of inconsistent play and uses the words “I” or “me” an awful lot.

          But to suggest that a majority of folks wanted to see him fail last year is a reach. That’s Josh projecting his own feelings onto others.

    • Lithium supply running low or are you normally this dense?

  29. riderontheisland // November 9, 2017 at 1:18 pm //

    Hahahaha. Ya I wear green goggles but still think the Riders should be #1.

  30. You gotta repeat before you three-peat. GO REDBLACKS!!!

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