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Article:An NFL/CFL Comparison and the Voting of Armchair GM Users

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You have all heard of bias in the media and this forum is no different. Unlike the Main Stream Media (MSM), Armchairgm is not biased politically, but rather it is biased towards US sports versus the rest of the world.

Alex and I have had this discussion before. We are both long time users that are big time fans of non-US sports. I don’t know Alex’s feelings on this, but I really do like US sports. However, it is the CFL that is my passion.

For the past several months, I have been editing and updating the player pages of CFL teams. Some of the player pages have been edited, already, by other users, before I get to them due to their experience in the NFL. The only thing irritating in this is that these players are categorically listed as retired players and the back editing of the biography that is needed to be done. The previous users add the line "(This player) played for the (team/teams) for their entire career." This quote and the category listing are added to a page even if there is clear evidence that the player is currently playing in the CFL. I would suggest that the "retired category" be removed on future edits (where evidence of CFL experience is evident). Also, I suggest that the quote contain the addition "their entire NFL career."

But, all of that aside, it is the rankings of CFL players versus NFL players that really perplex me. For me to say something to everyone is easily dismissible, but to see a side by side comparison is something else. By comparing player stats from members of both leagues in a head-to-head match-up, I hope to help change some of the voting habits of Armchair GM users in regard to CFL players. In this comparison, I will pair up two quarterbacks, two running backs, and two receivers. For these comparisons, I am basing this on total seasons played in their respective leagues and the recorded stats for their position.

First, I want to look at running backs. For this, I am going to look at two retired backs. Walter Payton represents the NFL and Mike Pringle represents the CFL. As you can see, each player played in their respective leagues for 13 years. Mike Pringle played in two fewer games, had 876 fewer carries, averaged 1.2 more yards, and had 15 more touchdowns than Payton.


Walter Payton
year team league games ATT YDS AVG TD LNG
1975 CHI NFL 13 196 679 3.5 7 54t
1976 CHI NFL 14 311 1390 4.5 13 60
1977 CHI NFL 14 339 1852 5.5 14 73
1978 CHI NFL 16 333 1395 4.2 11 76
1979 CHI NFL 16 369 1610 4.4 14 43t
1980 CHI NFL 16 317 1460 4.6 6 69t
1981 CHI NFL 16 339 1222 3.6 6 39
1982 CHI NFL 9 148 596 4 1 26
1983 CHI NFL 16 314 1421 4.5 6 49t
1984 CHI NFL 16 381 1684 4.4 11 72t
1985 CHI NFL 16 324 1551 4.8 9 40t
1986 CHI NFL 16 321 1333 4.2 8 41
1987 CHI NFL 12 146 533 3.7 4 17
13 year NFL career 190 3838 16726 4.4 110 76
Mike Pringle
year team league games ATT YDS AVG TD LNG
1992 EDM CFL 3 22 129 5.9 0 30
1993 SAC CFL 1 60 366 6.1 4 44
1994 BLT CFL 18 308 1972 6.4 13 83
1995 BLT CFL 1 311 1791 5.8 13 86
1996 MTL CFL 8 127 825 6.5 5 65
1997 MTL CFL 8 306 1775 5.8 13 86
1998 MTL CFL 18 347 2065 6.0 9 56
1999 MTL CFL 18 322 1656 5.1 13 43
2000 MTL CFL 18 326 1778 5.5 19 62
2001 MTL CFL 1 262 1326 5.0 16 47
2002 MTL CFL 1 39 227 5.8 0 40
2003 EDM CFL 1 273 1377 5.0 13 61
2004 EDM CFL 18 259 1141 4.4 8 51
13 year CFL career 188 2962 16425 5.6 125 86














Because of Walter's popularity, name recognition and the fact that he is an NFL player, he has received 406 votes from ACGM users for a 4.46 average. Pringle has received just two votes. One, a five vote from me, and a single point from someone else for an average of 3.00. How can a user give Pringle one star despite the numbers? I just don't get the understanding of the vote.

Next, I want to look at receivers. In this example I will use Cris Carter for the NFL and Milt Stegall for the CFL. Although the number of seasons are not equal, I think that it is a fair comparison between players. Neither is Jerry Rice, but no one can compare to him anyway. Cris had 3 years more experience, 49 more total games, and 276 more catches, but he had 11 less touchdowns, 796 less yards, and 5.2 less average yards.


Cris Carter
year team league games REC YDS AVG TD LNG
1987 PHI NFL 9 5 84 16.8 2 25
1988 PHI NFL 16 39 761 19.5 6 80t
1989 PHI NFL 16 45 605 13.4 11 42
1990 MIN NFL 16 27 413 15.3 3 78t
1991 MIN NFL 16 72 962 13.4 5 50
1992 MIN NFL 12 53 681 12.8 6 44
1993 MIN NFL 16 86 1071 12.5 9 58
1994 MIN NFL 16 122 1256 10.3 7 65t
1995 MIN NFL 16 122 1371 11.2 17 60t
1996 MIN NFL 16 96 1163 12.1 10 43t
1997 MIN NFL 16 89 1069 12 13 43
1998 MIN NFL 16 78 1011 13 12 54t
1999 MIN NFL 16 90 1241 13.8 13 68
2000 MIN NFL 16 96 1274 13.3 9 53
2001 MIN NFL 16 73 871 11.9 6 52
2002 MIA NFL 5 8 66 8.3 1 15
16 year NFL career 234 1101 13899 12.6 130 0
Milt Stegall
year team league games REC YDS AVG TD LNG
1995 WPG CFL 6 25 469 18.8 4 51
1996 WPG CFL 11 34 613 18.0 6 53
1997 WPG CFL 18 61 1616 26.5 14 105
1998 WPG CFL 6 32 403 12.6 6 62
1999 WPG CFL 13 73 1193 16.3 6 99
2000 WPG CFL 15 78 1499 19.2 15 86
2001 WPG CFL 16 81 1214 15.0 14 79
2002 WPG CFL 18 105 1862 17.7 23 83
2003 WPG CFL 18 68 1144 16.8 15 73
2004 WPG CFL 16 68 1121 16.5 6 67
2005 WPG CFL 16 52 1184 22.8 17 101
2006 WPG CFL 15 79 1269 16.1 7 100
2007 WPG CFL 17 69 1108 16.1 8 49
13 year CFL career 185 825 14695 17.8 141 105

















In this instance, Milt has received more ACGM votes than has Cris. Milt has 104 votes for a 3.71 average. Cris has received 103 votes for an average of 4.13. Pretty close numbers, yet the CFL player is still down to the NFL player for doing the same job, just a different league.

Finally, I want to look at two quarterbacks, Dan Marino for the NFL and Damon Allen for the CFL. No NFL quarterback has played for the same number of seasons as has Allen in the CFL. The closest that anyone has come, to 23 seasons, was Johnny Unitas at 18 seasons.


Dan Marino
year team league games ATT CMP PCT YDS YPA TD INT SKD SKY RAT
1983 MIA NFL 11 296 173 58.4 2210 7.47 20 6 10 80 96
1984 MIA NFL 16 564 362 64.2 5084 9.01 48 17 13 120 108.9
1985 MIA NFL 16 567 336 59.3 4137 7.3 30 21 18 157 84.1
1986 MIA NFL 16 623 378 60.7 4746 7.62 44 23 17 119 92.5
1987 MIA NFL 12 444 263 59.2 3245 7.31 26 13 9 77 89.2
1988 MIA NFL 16 606 354 58.4 4434 7.32 28 23 6 31 80.8
1989 MIA NFL 16 550 308 56 3997 7.27 24 22 10 86 76.9
1990 MIA NFL 16 531 306 57.6 3563 6.71 21 11 15 90 82.6
1991 MIA NFL 16 549 318 57.9 3970 7.23 25 13 27 182 85.8
1992 MIA NFL 16 554 330 59.6 4116 7.43 24 16 28 173 85.1
1993 MIA NFL 5 150 91 60.7 1218 8.12 8 3 7 42 95.9
1994 MIA NFL 16 615 385 62.6 4453 7.24 30 17 18 113 89.2
1995 MIA NFL 14 482 309 64.1 3668 7.61 24 15 22 153 90.8
1996 MIA NFL 13 373 221 59.2 2795 7.49 17 9 18 131 87.8
1997 MIA NFL 16 548 319 58.2 3780 6.9 16 11 21 142 80.7
1998 MIA NFL 16 537 310 57.7 3479 6.48 23 15 23 178 79.8
1999 MIA NFL 11 369 204 55.3 2448 6.63 12 17 9 66 67.4
17 year NFL career 242 8358 4967 59.4 61343 7.34 420 252 271 1940 86.4
Damon Allen
year team league games ATT CMP PCT YDS YPA TD INT SKD SKY RAT
1985 EDM CFL 16 98 48 49.0 661 0 3 3 0 0 68.5
1986 EDM CFL 18 87 49 56.3 878 0 8 3 0 0 107.4
1987 EDM CFL 18 287 150 52.3 2670 0 17 13 0 0 85.3
1988 EDM CFL 10 218 94 43.1 1309 0 4 12 0 0 46.2
1989 OTT CFL 13 434 209 48.2 3093 0 17 16 0 0 69.6
1990 OTT CFL 17 528 276 52.3 3883 0 34 23 0 0 79.6
1991 OTT CFL 18 546 282 51.6 4275 0 24 31 0 0 68.7
1992 OTT CFL 18 523 266 50.9 4275 0 19 14 0 0 76.2
1993 EDM CFL 18 400 214 53.5 3394 0 25 10 0 0 92.4
1994 EDM CFL 18 493 254 51.5 3554 0 19 15 0 0 75.2
1995 MEM CFL 14 390 228 58.5 3211 0 11 13 0 0 80.6
1996 BC CFL 14 368 219 59.5 2772 0 13 10 0 0 83.5
1997 BC CFL 18 583 378 64.8 4653 0 21 11 0 0 93.5
1998 BC CFL 18 479 282 58.9 3519 0 16 16 0 0 79.0
1999 BC CFL 18 521 315 60.5 4219 0 22 13 0 0 89.9
2000 BC CFL 18 525 324 61.7 4840 0 24 11 0 0 98.4
2001 BC CFL 16 471 215 53.5 4840 0 18 14 0 0 79.0
2002 BC CFL 18 474 268 56.5 3987 0 22 10 0 0 90.9
2003 TOR CFL 16 450 267 59.3 3395 0 17 10 0 0 86.3
2004 TOR CFL 11 312 189 60.6 2438 0 12 4 0 0 92.6
2005 TOR CFL 17 549 352 64.1 5082 0 33 15 0 0 102.7
2006 TOR CFL 18 335 198 59.1 2567 0 12 11 0 0 81.5
2007 TOR CFL 9 67 45 67.2 492 0 3 0 0 0 103.6
23 year CFL career 299 9138 5158 56.4 72381 0 394 278 0 0 83.8























The stats listed for Marino are his passing stats only, we all know that he wasn't the most mobile quarterback. For the comparable rushing stats for a quarterback, I am going to use Randall Cunningham as he was the best rushing NFL quarterback.


Randall Cunningham
year team league games ATT YDS AVG TD LNG
1985 PHI NFL 6 29 205 7.1 0 0
1986 PHI NFL 15 66 540 8.2 5 20
1987 PHI NFL 12 76 505 6.6 3 45
1988 PHI NFL 16 93 624 6.7 6 33t
1989 PHI NFL 16 104 621 6 4 51
1990 PHI NFL 16 118 942 8 5 52t
1991 PHI NFL 1 0 0 0 0 0
1992 PHI NFL 15 87 549 6.3 5 30
1993 PHI NFL 4 18 110 6.1 1 26
1994 PHI NFL 14 65 288 4.4 3 0
1995 PHI NFL 7 21 98 4.7 0 20
1997 MIN NFL 6 19 127 6.7 0 28
1998 MIN NFL 15 32 132 4.1 1 22
1999 MIN NFL 6 10 58 5.8 0 14
2000 DAL NFL 6 23 89 3.9 1 19
2001 BAL NFL 6 14 40 2.9 1 15
16 year NFL career 161 775 4928 6.4 35 0
Damon Allen
year team league games ATT YDS AVG TD LNG FUM
1985 EDM CFL 16 36 190 5.3 5 18 3
1986 EDM CFL 18 31 245 7.9 6 39 2
1987 EDM CFL 18 66 562 8.5 6 40 8
1988 EDM CFL 10 33 130 3.9 1 13 5
1989 OTT CFL 13 75 532 7.1 1 51 7
1990 OTT CFL 17 124 776 6.3 7 41 9
1991 OTT CFL 18 129 1036 8.0 8 42 6
1992 HAM CFL 18 111 850 7.7 7 37 18
1993 EDM CFL 18 120 920 7.7 6 43 8
1994 EDM CFL 18 120 707 5.9 7 43 11
1995 MEM CFL 14 63 627 6.8 0 25 5
1996 BC CFL 14 52 400 7.7 2 31 7
1997 BC CFL 18 111 837 7.5 8 28 9
1998 BC CFL 18 115 782 6.8 2 29 5
1999 BC CFL 18 136 785 5.8 8 30 13
2000 BC CFL 18 58 284 4.9 2 34 7
2001 BC CFL 16 86 580 6.7 2 45 10
2002 BC CFL 18 70 479 6.8 4 22 7
2003 TOR CFL 16 76 507 6.7 4 26 9
2004 TOR CFL 11 40 212 5.3 3 32 0
2005 TOR CFL 17 85 267 5.5 4 26 9
2006 TOR CFL 18 25 197 7.9 0 0 1
2007 TOR CFL 9 4 15 3.8 0 0 2
23 year CFL career 299 1766 11920 6.7 93 51 161























Really, there is no comparison to Damon Allen, even amongst the best NFL quarterbacks. Yet, Marino has received 157 votes from ACGM users for an average of 4.34 and Cunningham has received 87 votes for a 3.85 average. Compare these to the 18 votes for Allen with a 2.89 average.

One argument, that I have heard, is the quality of play and the quality of talent between the two leagues. I can understand the argument against the CFL. However, a true comparison of the leagues is a bit difficult. This is somewhat like comparing a "Granny Smith" apple to a "Fuji" apple. Both are apples, yet they are different. Players can play in each league due to the similarities, yet they are two separate games.

Another argument is that the NFL is the best league and what’s more, that it is the original league (of football as we think of it versus rugby). The term “the best” is entirely subjective. The best what? Best paid? Best watched (in US markets)? Best players? For the argument of the original game, it is total fiction. Organized football began in the US in 1869 while football began in Canada in 1861. Let us not forget that the CFL Championship game just held its 95th Grey Cup.

So, judging by the above stats, is it fair to say that the CFL players are getting the short end of the stick in terms of Armchair voting? The next time that you jump on to the site and decide to vote for CFL players, I would hope that you would judge the player by his stats and what he has accomplished in the CFL. Remember that Canadian Football is not American Football and its players should be judged by what they did in their own league.


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