After watching Sunday’s thrilling 104th Grey Cup, I sent out a tweet suggesting that if you still didn’t like the CFL after that game, that’s on you and that’s fine. We are a free country after all and we’re allowed to like and dislike just about whatever we want.
The response, mostly positive, got me thinking about how we (fans and media alike) are constantly defending the CFL on regular basis. Whether it’s from people who think the rules are dumb, the players aren’t good, or the league is too “minor league” for them. Social media has made it easier than ever for people who don’t like this league to share their thoughts with us. Why they feel compelled to do it every time the league comes up is beyond me, but it is what it is.
Here’s the thing, it’s time we stop worrying about those people. It’s time we start giving the CFL some credit when it deserves it. I myself has been guilty of being too negative toward the league at times, but for those of us that love the league, we are hard on it because we want things to get better not because we want the league to go away.
It’s time for us to be proud to be fans of this league. It’s very Canadian to be quiet and humble about the things that make us great, well, forget that. Should fans start chanting “C-F-L” at games like we’re a bunch of patriotic Americans or when big plays happen like fans of ECW wrestling? Maybe not (though if you want to that’s cool). But, we should all try and speak more positively about the CFL. A loud and proud fan base could go along way to helping the image of the league, it sure works for other sports. In just about every measurable viewership category, a league like the MLS is dwarfed by the CFL in this country, yet which do some people think is more popular?
Does this mean we should never criticize the league? Of course not. There’s still plenty of things to work on, we all know the list of things that could and need to get better (review process, officiating, player safety, etc…). Here’s the thing, many of the problems the CFL is facing right now are problems that basically every sports league across the world is dealing with in some form or another. So, when a ref blows a call, it’s not the CFL being the CFL, it’s sports and we all need to do a better job remembering that.
Next time someone tells you they don’t like the CFL because it’s “bush league.”Just let it go, who cares about those people, be confident about the league you love. Perhaps that confidence can help the league look a little better.