How about a World Cup of Canadian Football?

Kevin McGran, Toronto Star

So how was your Grey Cup party? I ate all the chips and dip at mine. Sorry.

The Grey Cup was great (when isn’t it). Appointment watching, really. Happy for Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders. And how about those Ottawa Redblacks. The Ottawa Senators are the only team in the NHL who can say the CFL team in their city is cutting their grass. Good for the Lumberjacks.

I know this is normally a hockey column, but in honour of the Grey Cup – and they did look like they were skating out there — I wanted to share an idea.

I’ve been lucky enough to stumble across commissioner Randy Ambrosie a couple of times this fall. The man’s got a great deal of energy and a lot of ideas. I’m on board with the Atlantic Schooners, by the way.

Ambrosie is big on internationalizing grid-iron football. He’s not talking about placing CFL teams outside Canada, but tapping on those markets where the gridiron game has taken roots. He was telling me about all kinds of football programs, particularly in Germany and Japan. Sure, they play the four-down version.

But what’s to stop Canada from sending coaches, players and scouts over there to tap into things?

Sure thing. Do it, I say.

Here’s another idea: A World Cup of Canadian Football.

Play it in spring, before training camp. Gather up a Team Europe and Team Asia from the vast gridiron programs over there, and teach them the three-down version. You have plenty of Canadians and Americans under CFL contracts who know the game. You might throw in a few recent college grads and a handful of free agents since it will be prior to training camps.

Four teams: Canada, United States, Europe, Asia. One round robin. Then the top two square off for the World Cup of Canadian Football, one Sunday in May.

Canada might be weak at the quarterback position, but the gold medal game would be Canada vs. The United States.

I’d watch. Bet the rest of the country would too. Voila, two must-watch Canadian football games a year, bracketing and drawing attention to a league that – in the East anyway – needs attention.

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