For those not suffering from Canadaphilia, the Grey Cup is the Canadian Football League’s championship game; think of it as the Canadian Super Bowl.
- The field in Canadian football is 110 yards long and 65 yards wide, not the 100 yards by 53⅓ yards used in American football.
- Canadian football plays 3 downs, not 4.
- In Canadian football all offensive backfield players, except the quarterback, can be in motion when the ball is snapped.
There are other differences too, but these are some of the most obvious to American football fans. As a casual observer (I grew up watching American football but have only watched maybe half a dozen Canadian football games in my entire life) my take is that the Canadian football game is faster paced and higher scoring and there is more passing of the ball and less running. Compared to the NFL, CFL football players are smaller and faster. I don’t care much for gridiron football, but if I had to choose between NFL and CFL I’d go Canadian every time.
Two years ago I searched, nearly in vain, for a place to watch the game in Portland. We finally tracked down a cable channel broadcast, and several fellow Canadaphiles and I joined a group of Canadian ex-pats at the McMenamins on NE Broadway to watch the game. Last year a Canadian friend invited us over to her place. The homemade poutine and copious amounts of Canadian beer soothed the pain of watching the Stampeders defeat our beloved Alouettes.
But Montreal is back! This year’s finals is between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Montreal Alouettes. The game takes place in Calgary, and will be broadcast in Portland on CSN, Comcast Cable channel 37 at 3:30pm.
Where to watch the 2009 Grey Cup in Portland, Oregon: