Iconic American animated comedy series The Simpsons has once again turned to the CFL for comedy inspiration in their 34th season.
In the show’s latest episode, “Lisa the Boy Scout,” fictionalized hackers called Pseudo-nonymous cut into the broadcast and threatened to air unreleased footage from the show if they weren’t paid $20 million in Bitcoin. The episode then devolved into a clip show, including one entitled “Field Goal of Dreams.”
The parody of the famed 1989 baseball movie Field of Dreams featured Homer building a full-sized football field in a cornfield in order to attract deceased players from “football heaven.” The ploy works, as a number of athletes in red uniforms and maple leaf-adorned helmets emerge from the corn, but Homer does not recognize them. That leads Marge to point out that he has painted two 50-yard lines, erroneously creating a Canadian football field.
The players in question aren’t shown favourably, as several run into the goalpost placed at the front of the endzone and later commend their teammate for a “nice rouge.” The clip ends with legendary CFL quarterback Doug Flutie approaching Homer and asking to throw him a hail mary — a reference to the defining play of his 1984 Heisman Trophy-winning season. The Simpson family patriarch was not amused, responding with an angry “shut up, Flutie.”
— Kevin (@kevinwpg) October 10, 2022
Flutie — who remains very much alive — is widely considered to be the greatest CFL player of all time, playing eight seasons north of the border from 1990 to 1997 with the B.C. Lions, Calgary Stampeders, and Toronto Argonauts. He was named the league’s Most Outstanding Player six times and won three Grey Cups, throwing for 41,355 yards, 270 touchdowns and 155 interceptions.
This isn’t the first time that The Simpsons has taken aim at the CFL over their more than three decades on the air. In January, an episode depicted the Springfield Atoms football team dominating their opponents by a score of 42-3, which caused the visiting defence to quit mid-game to “try their luck in the Canadian Football League.” They were then shown loading themselves onto the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ team bus.
— y-Winnipeg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) January 3, 2022
The show’s most famous CFL reference occurred in its third season, in which Homer skips a barbeque hosted by his neighbour Ned Flanders in order to watch the CFL Draft. The announcers explain that Saskatchewan is currently on the clock, having “scored only four rouges all last season.”
On this day in 1991, “The Simpsons” aired a new episode in which Homer skips Ned’s barbecue to watch the CFL draft. A reporter explains that Saskatchewan, who “scored only four rouges all last season,” are on the clock. It has since become a popular Internet meme. #CFL #CFLDraft pic.twitter.com/P6t3y4Rqmg
— 3DownNation (@3DownNation) October 4, 2020
While not exactly flattering, being the butt of a joke on The Simpsons is a right of passage for all cultural touchstones — including the CFL. Fittingly, creator Matt Groening would actually qualify for National status in the league, as his father, after whom Homer is named, was born in Saskatchewan.