STOP THE DRAFT: CFL lottery conspiracies for every team


It’s time to get to the bottom of one of the great conspiracy theories of our time, or at least one that will eventually come to light.

The 2021 CFL draft.

The league recently announced that the next edition of the draft will be unlike any other in league history, which makes sense as there were no games played in 2020 to determine the draft order. We’ll see a lottery to determine the draft order and the draft will snake like most fantasy sports leagues, which means if you pick last in the first round, you’re picking first in the second round.

CFL using random draw to determine 2021 draft order among other changes

Given the circumstances, all of this seems fair. Except *puts on tinfoil hat* that it’s rigged.

Yes, that’s right. The CFL draft lottery will, in fact, be rigged. For who? We don’t know. The powers that be are ensuring that stays under wraps, but be sure, we’ll figure it out.

Remember, no matter who wins, it’s rigged. Here’s why.

Montreal Alouettes

The Alouettes had a big resurgence in 2019. In order to keep that going and try and tap into the football-mad province of Quebec, the league gives the first overall pick to the Alouettes.

It’s also a nice little reward for Gary Stern and Sid Spiegel sitting through the first year of ownership with no games.

It should be noted that Montreal traded their first-round selection in 2021 to the Tiger-Cats as part of the Johnny Manziel deal, but who’s to say that trade will still stand in this corrupt world?

Ottawa Redblacks

In order to secure federal government funding, Randy Ambrosie promised Justin Trudeau that the team in the nation’s capital would get the first overall selection in the draft, among other things.

Not only that but, of course, all of the eastern teams pick in the top four.

Toronto Argonauts

The Argos are no strangers to strange coincidences. Ricky Ray for a kicker, anyone?

If Ambrosie is unable to get cash from the feds, then he turns to the richest entity in the CFL — Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Canada’s biggest professional sports organization is willing to bail out the league with a number of conditions, including the Argos receiving the first overall pick.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

It’s no secret that it hasn’t been a good run for iconic Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons, who just so happen to own the naming rights for the Ticats’ new stadium.

What does this have to do with the CFL draft lottery? Everything.

In order to try to help save their image, Tim’s uses their sway as a league and team sponsor to land the Ticats the first overall pick.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Few executives in the CFL were as outspoken during the league’s ask for federal money than Blue Bombers’ president Wade Miller.

Naturally, Ambrosie rewards Miller’s loyalty by giving the defending Grey Cup champions the top selection.

Saskatchewan Roughriders

This one is pretty easy. The league makes sure the Riders pick first in order to either keep Rider Nation and their richest franchise happy and/or anger the fans of other teams.

It’s also a good way for the league to get everyone talking as there will be no shortage of opinions on the Riders getting the pick.

All publicity is good publicity.

Calgary Stampeders


Take a look at Alberta premier Jason Kenney’s now-infamous podium and slogan during their last provincial election — it’s there.

Kenney delivers on the draft picks by landing the first overall pick for the Stamps. Kenney proclaims the selection as a major victory over Trudeau who wanted to make sure that the pick stayed east.

Unsurprisingly, the price of oil remains unaffected by the news.

Unrelated, but notable — Stampeders’ general manager John Hufnagel then uses the first and 18th picks to acquire selections nine and 10 where he ends up taking the best players in the draft.

Edmonton Football Team

It’s been a very eventful year for the Edmonton Football Team, and most of it hasn’t been great.

They’re in the process of changing their name, which is good, but they’ve taken some heat for it. They also laid off their long-time equipment manager, Dwayne Mandrusiak, which has drawn fire from just about everyone. And, of course, the passing of Edmonton sports legend Joey Moss.

Ambrosie feels empathy for the organization and sees this as a way of making them feel better and thanking them for taking a sticking point across the league off their hands by getting rid of their old name.

BC Lions

With the passing of longtime owner David Braley, the Lions will eventually be sold.

In order to try and help make the franchise more interesting to prospective buyers, the league makes sure that the Lions land the first overall selection.

So, there you have it. The CFL draft lottery is rigged. We’ll find out later who the league decided to rig it for.

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic. He is also a beer aficionado.