We saw a significant (extra) point being made during week 2 of this season’s CFL action. Hamilton crushed Toronto 64-14 and their offense rightly (over 600 yards) gained a lot of praise.
Hidden away in the game though was a little gem for future CFL quizzes. The first regular-season point ever scored by a CFL ‘global’ player.
It may not have seemed like much but the 130th play of the game was a historic one. The tabbies Mexican kicker Gabriel Amavizca Ortiz popped over an extra point.
Just for good measure he added a second – so you can give the same answer for who scored the first and second point by a global player too!
Ortiz made it through a Mexican combine and was selected with the next to last pick of the 3 round Mexican CFL draft by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. UK fans will pleased to see he caught on where he did as many will recognize Hamilton’s special teams coach Jeff Reinebold.
Reinebold declared on twitter he was “Really proud and happy for Ortiz” whilst noting he had become the first player from the CFL’s global initiative to score points.
Hamilton’s primary kicker Lirim Hajrullahu presented Ortiz with the ball he kicked the points with during the teams’ special teams meeting.
The benefits of seemingly small moments like this could be big for the league. That is because they want to grow the game internationally.
It is clear that the LFA is excited about this happening. Add to that the fact that wide receiver Andres Salgado saw special teams action for the Stampeders and you can see why they are already working on a game of the week and streaming agreements in Mexico.
You could make an argument that players who have a global background have already made an impact in the league.
For example the Riders have had an Australian born punter in Josh Bartel. However this is all about a new initiative for the league.
Global is a new designation in 2019, and players that could have qualified for that status, but were previously an ‘International’ player, have retained their International designation.
All of which takes nothing away from Ortiz and his becoming a future quiz question! Now I’d just love to see some European players make the field and see how they do.
Banner image Ortiz in his LFA days. Image from lfa.mx