The CFL playing with three downs in the future is up in the air.
According to TSN reporters Farhan Lalji and Dave Naylor: all aspects of the CFL game will be closely reviewed and considered this off-season, including three downs versus four.
Three downs has been a trademark of the Canadian game forever. 3DownNation’s John Hodge believes the CFL will never be a better four-down league than the NFL, nor should it try to be.
Canadian interest in the NFL has grown substantially over the last five years. Interest in college football has not, indicating that it is the glitz and glamour of the NFL rather than the amount of downs played that influences consumers.
Remaining unique is the only way the CFL will maintain its current fan base. Regardless of whether or not it merges with the XFL, doubling down on its quirks — making the game even more different — could help grow it.
Becoming a cheap imitation of the NFL would only result in more fans switching to the real thing. If the CFL’s leadership is smart, they’ll avoid playing four-down football at all costs.