For the first time in 56 years, the Grey Cup, the championship game of the CFL, won’t be broadcast on free television in Canada today. To get a sense of what that’s like, picture Roger Goodell pulling a power play and making sure the Super Bowl is only shown on the NFL Network. But don’t picture it too hard; it’s probably not too far off.
(”Go Roughriders! Beat those Roughriders!”)
Back to our neighbors to the north. Understandably, some fans are very upset that they won’t be able to see today’s Alouettes/Stampeders matchup. It’ll be broadcast on TSN, a cable channel that’s basically the ESPN of Canada. While “virtually 99 percent” of Canadians get TSN on either cable or satellite, a good chunk of people will be shut out. What what they’ll receive instead just adds insult to injury.
Canadians still get to watch the NFL live on CTV. So for those who can’t get the biggest, most important, most exciting game of the CFL season, at least they’ll get…Jets/Titans. Might as well just spit in their eyes, TSN.
Mike Donaldson has been an Edmonton Eskimos fan for 35 years:
“Every other year I could watch the Grey Cup at home with my family. I’m sitting here with a 50-inch TV and I can’t watch the Grey Cup!”
Donaldson lives in rural Alberta, near Elk Island National Park. Cable isn’t an option.
Cheering for the CFL comes naturally to him, but this year was tough.
“I never saw one game, not nothing,” says Donaldson. “Now the only way I can watch a football game is to go out to a sports bar.
“I would rather be sitting at home with my wife that I’ve been married to for 30 years and watching (the Grey Cup) at home, rather than go out to a sports bar where it’s a bunch of people getting drunk and screaming and yelling.”
So what’s Donaldson planning to do today? It’s equal parts sweet and pathetic:
“I’ll be listening to the game on the radio,” he says. “So I’m sitting listening to the radio and visualizing the plays in my head, whereas I could be sitting and watching the actual thing that’s happening.”