This Sunday, Canadians are supposed to get together, huddle in front of a TV, and watch our home grown version of Super Bowl Lite, a.k.a., the Grey Cup.
Alas, The Menzoid will not be among them.
In fact, The Menzoid is actually calling for a boycott of the CFL Championship Game and, for that matter, the CFL in general.
This has this anything to do with The Menzoid’s desire for an NFL team relocating to Toronto. Besides, The Menzoid knows the Buffalo Bills will soon be playing all of their games out of SkyDome, as the Toronto Rogers.
No. The issue is simply this: the CFL is an illegal sports league.
Oh, it’s true. It’s true.
Riddle me this: why is that we must report temperature in Celsius; sell bananas by the kilo; measure speed and distance by the kilometre; and purchase petro by the litre?
And yet, when it comes to the CFL, the field isn’t marked out in Systeme Internationale-approved metres. Nope, even in 2012, the CFL clings to defunct old Imperial yards. And without repercussions to boot!
It’s a heinous double-standard.
After all, if this radio station reverted back to reporting temperatures in Fahrenheit or if your friendly neighbourhood Imperial Oil station sold gas imperially by the gallon, there’d be hell to pay thanks to the measurement mandarins in Ottawa.
So how is it that millionaire sports team owners and their rich pro athletes don’t have to play by the same set of rules as everyone else when it comes to metrification?
This has bothered The Menzoid for a long time. When he first contacted the CFL, a spokesman said sticking with yards all came down to “tradition” and the fact that all the league’s records over the decades have always been measured in yards and inches, not metres and centimetres.
What’s more, the CFL spokesman said if the league was ever forced to go metric, they would simply mark off the field in 110 increments measuring exactly 91.44 centimetres (in other words, 36 inches.) And each 91.44-centometre increment would officially be known as something called a “yard.”
Who knew the “C” in CFL stood for “Cheeky-monkey”?
In fact, if anything, the CFL has a perfectly legit reason to go metric. After all, a CFL field between the end zones is 110 yards. Think about that – 110. What a stupid number. Well, by happy coincidence, 100 metres fits almost perfectly into a 110-yard footprint. And 100 is such a nice round number.
But nooo – the CFL gets to flaunt metrification, long after it became law .
This isn’t right. After all, the Canadian populace – that is to say, those who aren’t professional football players — has suffered enough. Used to be that if someone got 28 miles to the gallon, that was a pretty fuel-efficient vehicle. But in the Bizarro metric world, we must contend with litres-per-100 kilometres. Really, does anyone say their car consumes 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres? (There was a solution to this, by the way: we could’ve measured fuel consumption by adopting the far more understandable system of kilometres-per-litre. But that was too logical for Ottawa’s measurement czars.)
And let’s be honest: does anyone measure their tire pressure in kilopascals as opposed to pounds per square inch? Didn’t think so.
Oh, and not to be rude, but what was the sense of going metric in the first place given that our largest trading partner, the United States, is still rooted in Imperial?
Indeed, The Menzoid remembers back in 1975, when metric madness first began, how he had to sit through government propaganda films as a Grade 7 student. He remembers the Q&A about the trading partner thingy, and it was answered thusly: Metrification in the United States is “just around the corner” according to the Metric Canada commissioner.
Wow… 37 years later, that’s some corner!
The point is, either we have one measurement standard for everyone or we have complete freedom of choice. The fact remains, the CFL enjoys privileged status in this land for no good reason. Put another way: if you operate a grocery store and sell fruit exclusively by the pound, expect to be fined or even shut down.
But if you run a professional football league in this land, you can measure the progress of the game in yards and inches with no repercussions whatsoever. In fact, your lawlessness will be celebrated because it supposedly contributes to a century-old sporting tradition and the great Canadian mosaic.
Bottom line, come Sunday afternoon, The Menzoid’s TV set will be a CFL-free zone. And it will remain CFL-free until measurement liberty finally returns to our grand Dominion.
Won’t you please join The Menzoid in this endeavour?