Is the Canadian Football League better than the NFL?

This is a question that a growing number of gridiron fans seem to be asking themselves and of Google. With another NFL season fast approaching and the 2021 CFL campaign just getting started, it seems an opportune moment to discuss how the Canadian Football League compares with the world-renowned NFL.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jim Flannery, the CFL is a “superior sport” that features “inferior players” compared with the NFL’s rosters. We wanted to put Flannery’s theory to the test and research just how the CFL stacks up as a major league sport north of the border.

Some CFL stars have made the jump to the NFL

Although there is a sense that the CFL is a second-class football league compared with the NFL, there are many players in the CFL that have been scouted and attracted to the NFL. Former established CFL icons like Jeff Garcia, Warren Moon, “Rocket” Ismael and Joe Theismann were eventually enticed to the NFL. Garcia spent four years with the Calgary Stampeders after joining as an undrafted free agent. He had been considered too small to be selected for the NFL Draft. Four years later, the San Francisco 49ers took the plunge to sign him as a reserve to Steve Young.

There’s no such thing as a fair catch in the CFL

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When it comes to the style of the CFL versus the NFL, one of the most exciting plays in the Canadian Football League is the antithesis of the NFL. While the NFL enforces teams to punt to a fair catch, the CFL enables the receiving team to make a play directly from the kicking team’s punt. As soon as the ball lands in the palms of the receiver’s hands they have carte blanche to do what they want. More plays means more entertainment and that can only be a good thing, right?

There are plentiful betting opportunities in CFL markets

Most of the leading sports books across North America will cover the CFL with the same regard as the NFL. However, some sports books will know more about the teams than others. This can result in certain opportunities for CFL bettors to find value odds pre-game and punish those traders that may lack the research or knowledge on the ground. Just like poker players that look to find value in their pot odds to continue a hand, sports bettors in the CFL will also look to take advantage when a sports book’s traders make a mistake and offer lines that don’t reflect the true probability of it occurring.

CFL offers bigger real estate and additional players

The playing field in Canadian football is also slightly bigger than in American football. At 110 yards in length and 65 yards in width, the CFL has whopping 20-yard-deep end zones that are a dream for quarterbacks with the arm to reach. The additional on-field space adds extra spice to the offensive side of the CFL. Offensive lines have greater freedom to try stunt plays. Furthermore, the additional pitch real estate means that CFL teams are permitted to use one extra player than in the NFL – one additional receiver for the quarterbacks to find!

The Grey Cup is one of the oldest sporting championships in North America

The pinnacle of any CFL career is holding aloft the Grey Cup. Although the Lombardi Trophy of the Super Bowl is regarded around the world as an iconic championship, the CFL’s Grey Cup is actually older and more historic than its counterpart south of the border. The first Grey Cup was awarded back in 1909 and there have been 107 editions of the Grey Cup since. The Grey Cup may not hold a global audience in quite the same way as the Super Bowl, but it remains the most talked about sporting event in the calendar for Canadians. It attracts television viewing figures of more than four million annually.

So, while the CFL may not have the bells and whistles of the NFL, there is certainly plenty of wholesome entertainment and still enough exposure for Canada’s college hopefuls to make a big impression at the CFC Combines and succeed professionally on home turf.

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