‘I would say no’: CFL legend Milt Stegall staunchly against four-down CFL football

Photo courtesy: TSN

As the CFL enters an off-season of potential change, many alterations to the league have been discussed.

The one that is gathering the most attention is changing the league from three downs to four. 3DownNation’s John Hodge doesn’t believe it would be a change for the better and now you can add CFL legend and current TSN analyst Milt Stegall to that side as well.

“I would say no, this game is unique for certain reasons, there are certain things we need to do to improve the game but going to four downs, I don’t know how you do that. I was talking to Bo Levi Mitchell about that and he was like: ‘That would be the worst thing you did for this league,'” Stegall said on TSN 1260 in Edmonton.

“You’re talking about this wide-open field, four downs and being able to run the ball, you can run the ball now two or three times because you have four downs. That takes away from the excitement of the game and takes away from how special teams plays a big part in this game.”

The Cincinnati native retired as the CFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 15,153 and touchdowns scored at 147. He was a nine-time league all-star, the league’s Most Outstanding Player in 2002 and a first-ballot inductee to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

“There are other things we definitely need to do, but going to four downs is not one of them, that takes away one of the signature traits the CFL is all about. There are other things we need to do and going to four downs is not it,” Stegall explained.

“Hopefully the commissioner and the other powers that be realize that’s not going to get more fans in. That’s not going to get the people who only watch US college football in the states, or in Canada, or NFL in Canada, that’s not going to get them to watch our game.”

Stegall hopes Ambrosie looks in some different areas to improve the game without changing the number of downs.