For the last two seasons I’ve been banging the drum on this site for the CFL. I’ve always felt that if people give it a go there’s a chance they could fall in love with it. Especially as it fills a void for British fans who can combine seeing pro football whilst following their local Britball teams during the long wait for the return of the US college and NFL seasons.
One of the key arguments I always make in favour of the CFL is that it is a fun league. As there are only nine teams, (for now), too you get to know the players across the league and all their personal quirks quite well. So it’s intimate and it’s fun. Key points that can differentiate the CFL from the sprawling juggernaut of the NFL.
There was never any real chance of the CFL being given an epitaph akin to the NFL’s ‘No Fun League’ but that’s an even more distant possibility now following a recent statement from the league on celebrations.
We’ve all seen players get caught up in the moment celebrating a TD only to have the moment lessened by an unsportsmanlike penalty. Sometimes you just wish the leagues would remember it’s a game. An entertainment at heart and it’s supposed to be fun.
It seems the CFL has taken that to heart. In a recent statement they have relaxed officiating standards when it comes to touchdown celebrations. https://press.cfl.ca/cfl-relaxes-officiating-standard-for-touchdown-celebrations
Commissioner Randy Ambrosie was quick to note, “at the end of the day, football is a game and it should be fun for players and fun for fans.” I can’t imagine many people would disagree with that. Further the league has stated that: Effective immediately, props can be used in a touchdown celebration provided they are not hidden in a player’s uniform or the goal post assembly, they are not demeaning or discriminatory in any way, they do not simulate the firing of a weapon and they do not unduly delay the game.
This means that some celebrations that would have drawn penalties before won’t be doing now. It’s going to be fun seeing what the players come up with from this loosening of the rules. They were already coming up with some fun stuff – I’ve yet to see last year’s Redblacks limbo TD celebrations bested for instance. Perhaps having props will broaden the opportunities for fun celebrations. With that in mind let’s enjoy what seems like a positive move from the league and see where this takes us.
Image from cfl.ca