CFL: All you need to know ahead of the 109th Grey Cup

πŸ’« 22-year-old @OrlandoCitySC winger Facundo Torres didn’t feature for Uruguay in their 0-0 draw against South Korea.

⚽️ He outperformed his xG more than almost any other player in the #MLS this season, scoring 4.7 goals over expected (9 in total).

#URU | #FIFAWorldCup

Move over #Thanksgiving, it’s time for #BlackFriday, and the big games just keep on coming:

🏈 Tulane @ Cincinnati
⚽️ #ThreeLions vs. #USMNT

Our Thanksgiving weekend viewers’ guide has you covered today.

#NCAA | #FIFAWorldCup
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/a-rare-sporting-equinox-our-ultimate-thanksgiving-viewer-guide/

🏈 #NFLThanksgiving gave us three close and competitive games yesterday, with wins for the #Bills, #Cowboys and #Vikings.

These were the top performers from the Thanksgiving slate, per @NextGenStats. ✨

π™Žπ™˜π™€π™ͺπ™©π™žπ™£π™œ π™π™šπ™₯𝙀𝙧𝙩: @USMNT x @MLS

Just one player of the starting XI against Wales came from a team in the #MLS. But the bench was stacked with MLS talent that could hurt England tonight.

Here are a few to watch out for. 🧡

#ThreeLions | #USMNT

πŸ’« Dak’s 88% completion rate in Week 11 was the highest recorded in a single game (min 15 attempts) in the whole of 2022 so far.

⭐️ The #Cowboys are getting hot at the right time, but Coach of the Year contender Brian Daboll has the #Giants playing elite football.

#NYGvsDAL

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The Canadian Football League is the second-largest Pro Football league in the world, behind only the NFL in terms of popularity. It holds a special place in the heart of Canadians and football fans from around the world.

But what makes the CFL unique? Why should I start watching? And what do I need to know?

Popularity

With around 11.4 million fans, the CFL ranks in the top two of all Canadian sports, and has a rich and illustrious history. Formed in 1958 in a merger of what are now known as the East and West Divisions, the CFL is engrained in North American sports culture.

It’s popularity cannot be understated. Approximately two million fans entered through stadium gates in 2021, with average game attendances reaching 24,500. And then there’s the Grey Cup – the most watched sporting event in Canada – which an estimated two in five of the population tune-in to watch.

Last season, 2.83 million people watched the Winnipeg Blue Bombers overturn a 12 point deficit in the fourth quarter, going on to win in overtime. It is the most watched

Format & Rules

Nine teams participate in the CFL, with the league split into Eastern (four teams) and Western (five teams) divisions. Beginning in mid-June and continuing through to November, the regular season spans 21 weeks, meaning each team will play 18 games and receive three bye-weeks. Teams play the other eight teams twice, with a further two games against a divisional rival that alters each year.

The winners of each division, following some playoff games, face off at the end of November in the much-anticipated Grey Cup, the second oldest trophy in North American sports. This year, the 109th edition of the Grey Cup will be hosted by the city of Regina.

In terms of rules, most of the CFL is aligned with pro-football rules you might associate with the NFL or NCAA. There are, however, some slight differences. For example, the field is slightly longer and wider, and the endzone is 20 yards deep, rather than 10. In addition, there are 12 players per team, with an extra back who is allotted as a receiver. Perhaps the most distinctive rule is that teams have three downs to make 10 yards, rather than the usual four, which often makes for more impossible catches and creative plays. Check this out, from a preseason game:

Crossovers with the NFL and NCAA

Links with the NCAA are plentiful, and many young players turn to the CFL to begin their careers. In fact, of all the players involved in the 2021 All Star game, 74% played in the NCAA. Perhaps even more remarkably, every single starting, first choice quarterback in the CFL has played in the NCAA. That has been the case ever since 1982.

There is also, of course, a huge crossover with the NFL. There have been a number of players who have swapped one league for another – and back again. The most famous of which is perhaps the 1984 Heisman recipient Doug Flutie, who spent several seasons in Canada, winning three Grey Cups, before moving to the Buffalo Bills, where he earned a Pro Bowl spot and cult-hero status. There are countless examples of players who move north to continue, rejuvenate, finish, or start their careers.

Doug Flutie (left) pictured with the famous Grey Cup. (Photo by Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

There is also a CFL Draft and Combine, which sources players from either NCAA Colleges or the Canadian U Sports network at the beginning of each season.

Okay, I’m in. What else do I need to know?

Perfect timing.

This weekend, the 2022 CFL season hits its peak, as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Toronto Argonauts go head-to-head for the Grey Cup. It pits the team with the most Grey Cup wins in CFL history (Toronto, with 17) against the defending champions, Winnipeg.

The 109th Grey Cup will take place at the Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan. Here’s how the two teams stack up, sourced with official CFL data:

You can see the full final schedule at the CFL website, here.

In addition, Twitter and Instagram are also great resources for news and insight as the buildup to the Grey Cup progresses.

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πŸ’« 22-year-old @OrlandoCitySC winger Facundo Torres didn’t feature for Uruguay in their 0-0 draw against South Korea.

⚽️ He outperformed his xG more than almost any other player in the #MLS this season, scoring 4.7 goals over expected (9 in total).

#URU | #FIFAWorldCup

Move over #Thanksgiving, it’s time for #BlackFriday, and the big games just keep on coming:

🏈 Tulane @ Cincinnati
⚽️ #ThreeLions vs. #USMNT

Our Thanksgiving weekend viewers’ guide has you covered today.

#NCAA | #FIFAWorldCup
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/a-rare-sporting-equinox-our-ultimate-thanksgiving-viewer-guide/

🏈 #NFLThanksgiving gave us three close and competitive games yesterday, with wins for the #Bills, #Cowboys and #Vikings.

These were the top performers from the Thanksgiving slate, per @NextGenStats. ✨

π™Žπ™˜π™€π™ͺπ™©π™žπ™£π™œ π™π™šπ™₯𝙀𝙧𝙩: @USMNT x @MLS

Just one player of the starting XI against Wales came from a team in the #MLS. But the bench was stacked with MLS talent that could hurt England tonight.

Here are a few to watch out for. 🧡

#ThreeLions | #USMNT

πŸ’« Dak’s 88% completion rate in Week 11 was the highest recorded in a single game (min 15 attempts) in the whole of 2022 so far.

⭐️ The #Cowboys are getting hot at the right time, but Coach of the Year contender Brian Daboll has the #Giants playing elite football.

#NYGvsDAL

Load More