The Canadian Football League

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Overview

North American football was born in Canada in the 1860s. For decades, though,the growth of Canadian football was slow to change from its rugby traditions. In recent decades, it has been in the shadow of its largest competitor, the National Football League. Although hockey is held up as Canada's number one sport, the CFL has enjoyed as rich and storied a tradition in Canadian sports history. This book is not the usual general history detailing on-field accomplishments, Grey Cup winners etc. Instead, it combines an...
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Overview

North American football was born in Canada in the 1860s. For decades, though,the growth of Canadian football was slow to change from its rugby traditions. In recent decades, it has been in the shadow of its largest competitor, the National Football League. Although hockey is held up as Canada's number one sport, the CFL has enjoyed as rich and storied a tradition in Canadian sports history. This book is not the usual general history detailing on-field accomplishments, Grey Cup winners etc. Instead, it combines an historical look through 2003 with discussion of continuous themes which have shaped the League. These include the role of the Canadian player, competition from other pro sports, the media's role in creating an image of the CFL, Canadians' attitudes towards pro sports, and how the CFL continually struggles to survive - often in spite of itself.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781411658608
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication date: 11/13/2005
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2006

    An excellent book

    Being a American fan of the Canadian Football League for fifteen years now, I have been searching for the definitive book that details the history of this great game. This book is it. The author starts the book with an explanation of the game's early roots in English Rugby, as played by British troops stationed in Canada during the 19th Century. He also details the failure to devise a unified set of rules for all of Canadian 'Rugby Football', which hurt the development of the game. It then goes into the founding of the IRFU, the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union and the WIFU, or Western Interprovincial Football Union. These two leagues eventually merged to form what would come be called the CFL. Mr. O'Brien explains in Chapter two the League's failure to control the runaway spending by the member clubs. Also dicussed is the impact on the CFL by the formation of both the United States Football League and the NFL-backed World League of American Football. Chapter three details the ill-concieved and ill-fated U.S. expansion experiment. This was done to shore up a league that was on the brink of collapse. The CFL did not conduct any background checks on any of the people to whom they granted franchises. The fifth chapter is an analysis of the US expansion years. What suprised me was the fact that many Canadian CFL'ers were supportive of the plan to expand into the USA. Chapter six discusses the CFL's re-inveting itself as an 'All-Canada' league. Also dicussed is America's influence on Canada, the inferiority complex that Canada has towards the USA, as well as the place sports has in Canada. In addition, the relationship between the CFL and the Canadian media is profiled. In the ealry days, teams would pay beat writers for stories about the team and its players. This gave the writers some badly needed income. When the Canadian media was unionized, the average salary for a reporter tripled. Also, the Watergate scandal in the US had an effect on the Canadian media, as well. 'The media and the CFL as adversaries' mindset began to creep into people on both sides, much to the detriment of the CFL-Media relationship. The last chapter explains how the CFL teks two steps forward and one step back. Case in point, the disaster of the Ottawa Renegades. The origianl owner were promised that their loss would not be as great as they were because the $2.5 million salary cap would be enforced. That was not the case. The other eight temas were in violation of the cap. This caused several of the teams owners to bail. Still others threatened to sue the league for fraud. The two sides settled out of court. Still, the CFL continues to roll along. In conclusion, Mr. O'Brien's book is a fascinating look into the strange life of the Canadian Football League.

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