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.
|13 year NFL career||190||3838||16726||4.4||110||76|
|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.
|16 year NFL career||234||1101||13899||12.6||130||0|
|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.
|17 year NFL career||242||8358||4967||59.4||61343||7.34||420||252||271||1940||86.4|
|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.
|16 year NFL career||161||775||4928||6.4||35||0|
|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.