A few years ago I started comparing CFL stuff to pop culture stuff.
Some of you like it while others reallllllllly hate it.
With not much going on in either realms these days — I am an avid movie goer and have been to the theatre exactly once in 2020 to see Christopher Nolan’s Tenet back in August — the CFL-meets-pop-culture pieces fell by the wayside.
But not so fast, my friends, we are back to comparing CFL to pop culture once again, and there’s no better time to start doing so than Christmastime!
Back in 2017, I compared CFL teams to Christmas songs. My plan the following year was to do the same but with Christmas movies. Then the league’s website ended up doing it first and I didn’t want to copy their idea.
But a couple of years have gone by since then and a new crop of Christmas movies has arrived, so let’s freshen up an old idea and make it new again.
Here is my list comparing each CFL team with a Christmas movie or TV special — enjoy!
B.C. Lions: Office Christmas Party
Kinda forgettable, but not totally unwatchable. That could describe either the movie or the Lions. B.C. had a season to forget in 2019, but they still had some stuff — Bryan Burnham’s catches, for example — worthy of making you tune in. Office Christmas Party isn’t a great movie, but it has enough solid jokes to keep you entertained.
Calgary Stampeders: It’s a Wonderful Life
Old reliable. Whether eight or 80, everyone has seen It’s a Wonderful Life. It is the standard by which all other Christmas movies are judged. That sounds a lot like the Calgary Stampeders of the last decade. Also, if you are a Stamps fan you have had a wonderful CFL life.
Edmonton Football Team: Noelle
A new movie for a team that will have a new name in the near future. Noelle was released just last year on Disney+ and it’s a cute, fun holiday film that is a great addition to Christmas watch lists everywhere.
It’s new and exciting, which means it’s not something you have seen 50 times already. With Edmonton ditching their old name and getting ready to jump into a new era, it makes perfect sense to pair these two new things together.
Saskatchewan Roughriders: Die Hard
Die Hard is a very polarizing Christmas movie. Is it one or isn’t it one is the question scholars have been pondering since its release in 1988. Many believe it is; former U.S. President Barack Obama says it isn’t. Either way, there is no consensus.
The Riders are a very polarizing team. Many love them, but just as many hate them, and whatever camp you reside in, you are unlikely to change your stance. Just like those who argue for or against Die Hard as a Christmas movie.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers: A Christmas Carol
Much like Ebenezer Scrooge, the Bombers shook off the ghosts of Christmas past when they finally ended their 30-year Grey Cup drought 13 months ago. They exited their beat down of the Ticats as new men, much like Scrooge did after his Christmas Eve visits from three spirits. All went well for Scrooge and all is well for the Bombers.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Bad Santa
Crass, loud, belligerent, and probably drunk — off some delicious Bench Brewing Lincoln Lager in a commemorative Ticats can — this product is not for everyone. The Ticats and Bad Santa are a perfect match.
Toronto Argonauts: Home Alone
Earlier this year I saw a tweet saying we need to stop making fun of the low crowds in Toronto. To that I say: hogwash. I get that CFL fandom is a tight-knit group, but I miss the days of hating rival teams. Now everyone wants to sing Kumbaya and be friendly. Nuts to that. The Argos are Home Alone because they basically play their games at home all alone. Argos suck!
Ottawa Redblacks: Love Actually
Continuing the trend of getting a good hate-on for your rivals, this pairing is simply because I hate them both. Love Actually is a terrible movie full of terrible people being terrible. The Ottawa Redblacks are terrible — they had the worst record in the league in 2019 — and I hate them. So that’s all the reason I need to put these two together.
Montreal Alouettes: Elf
Endearing, loveable, and scrappy. That’s both Elf and the Als. After years of mostly terrible holiday movies — namely, all those Hallmark ones — Elf burst into our hearts in 2003, much like the Alouettes did in 2019.
After years of abject failure, the Als found the right mix at head coach and quarterback to make for the first fun season in Montreal in sometime. Maybe they didn’t eat candy on their spaghetti for breakfast, but the Als were the sweet story of the 2019 season.
BONUS: CFL office: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It may not have been Christmas, but the league office cancelling the 2020 season robbed us of CFL Christmas (aka Labour Day) this year. You also have the league colluding to keep salaries low for 2021, robbing players of their well-deserved money.
Hopefully the league’s heart will grow three sizes sometime soon or else all the Whos (players, fans) down in Whoville (the nine CFL cities) might not be so happy. You’re a mean one, Mr. Ambrosie… err… I mean, Mr. Grinch.