This weekend the CFL playoffs get under way and since I come from a family where the sport of football rules, there is plenty of excitement about the games coming up. You would think there would be plenty of excitement throughout Canada -- but no. Maybe for the Grey Cup game, perhaps, but not right now. In fact, I get the impression people in frozen Canada are still more interested in hockey than football, even at this important time of year when the playoffs are on at every level of the sport.
What nonsense. Football deserves to be Number One at this point in the year, but Canadians still can't get enough of their beloved hockey players -- which leads me to this video which has to rank as almost sacrilege to many Canadian sports fans..
I stumbled across this video on YouTube. It's from about a year ago, of Winnipeg Blue Bombers football legend Milt Stegall trashing the sport of hockey in hilarious fashion. (Courtesy: Rogers Sportsnet.)
As a football fan, I find this rant highly amusing, but apparently a lot of Canadians were offended. It was as if Stegall was insulting Canadians' taste in professional sports. Only in Canada would something like Stegall's comments be controversial. Whenever someone talks trash about the sport of hockey, Canadians automatically react as if their own culture and way of life is being attacked. But here's a guy from a sport that is played in Canada who plays for a Canadian team who is speaking his mind about a sport he doesn't play and which, quite frankly, he doesn't have much use for. I mean, really, you don't see Americans up at arms when football players trash baseball and vice-versa. People realize they are just kidding around. But here, people go nuts over stuff like this, as if it was Canada itself he was lampooning.
Such is sports fandom in Canada, where hockey players are treated like royalty and the Second Coming, while the sport of football and football players are treated by fans as second-class all the way. Hey, Canada, remember that when the Jets left for the States, the Blue Bombers stayed put. And you never see these CFL players walking out on strike or being locked out, or cancelling entire seasons like the NHL has done. The CFL's been more loyal to this country than the NHL has ever been, and that's a big reason why your football players fully deserve your full support in the playoffs. (Too bad Winnipeg isn't in the playoffs, but that's life.)