Local ref retires from ‘second life’

Local teacher Richard Berezowski called 100 games in the CFL

Local ref retires from ‘second life’By David McIver of The Crossroads After nine years, local teacher Richard Berezowski has retired as a referee for the Canadian Football League. Aug. 2 was his 100th game, Berezowski said. He had experienced highs and lows in what daughter Chantal called his “second life.” Along the way, he’s had interesting experiences and met some…

Edmonton Eskimos are being forced to play the name game

The CFL team has carried the name for a long time and it’s not racist or demeaning in any way

Edmonton Eskimos are being forced to play the name gameThe Edmonton Eskimos are legendary. From the time of Jackie Parker and Normie Kwong, they’ve been one of the toughest contenders in the Canadian Football League. Now they face demands to change their name. Some Inuit and other Indigenous groups say the name is racist and demeaning, and ‘Eskimos’ must go. According to critics, the…

Why the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign falls short

Diversity separated from unity is generally not a good thing. We need unity of purpose, on the field and in life

Why the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign falls shortDiversity concerns have been front and centre in recent days. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau characterized a woman’s view as “racist” after she heckled him; Maxime Bernier criticized “extreme multiculturalism” before he left the Conservative Party to set up his own. Rhetoric about diversity can be both heated and so routine as to be boilerplate, obscuring…

Is the CFL kicking off a new sports era with live on-field audio?

For as long as the lens has followed sports, broadcasters have denied fans the language, noise and strategy of the game – until now

Is the CFL kicking off a new sports era with live on-field audio?It’s the next frontier of TV sports broadcasting. Naturally, the Canadian Football League is leading the way. What? The CFL schooling all the big boys on cutting-edge audio technology? Yup. The final frontier of live broadcasting is going inside the audio of the game. Since TSN and the league gave it the go-ahead, we’ve had…

Should young people even be playing football?

CTE isn’t just a pro football Issue; college and high school players are also at risk, and the damage can be life-altering

Should young people even be playing football?Most people associate chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain disease caused by repetitive brain trauma, with professional football – specifically retired Canadian Football League and National Football League players.  But CTE is more than a pro football issue. While the Boston University CTE Center has discovered CTE in the brains of 110 of 111…

There’s no such thing as a concussion-safe football helmet

The only way to significantly reduce brain trauma is greatly reducing the number of full-contact practices and scrimmages

There’s no such thing as a concussion-safe football helmetHelmet makers, along with some coaches, athletic directors and youth sports administrators would like you to believe that there are football helmets available that will greatly reduce the risk of brain trauma and concussions. To put it nicely, they’re misleading you. The reality is there’s very little a helmet can do to prevent brain trauma and…

Luck plays a big part in creating a winning athlete

Fire the coach. Yell at the players to motivate them. Or accept that luck plays a significant role in the outcome, no matter how valiant your efforts

Luck plays a big part in creating a winning athleteNow is the winter of sports discontent. National Football League coaches are being primed for the chop. National Hockey League and National Basketball Association coaches, too, are trying to stay one step ahead of the grim reaper as their teams’ rosy prospects dim. In the NFL, we hear that longtime Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis…

How I finally made peace with the CFL

I still prefer the NFL to the CFL. But I’ve gained a brand-new appreciation for the Canadian game

How I finally made peace with the CFLFor years, I’ve written columns and op-eds declaring my preference for the National Football League over the Canadian Football League. The former was described as a superior organization in terms of teams, players, skills and quality of game, while the latter was depicted as either a weak sister or mediocre by comparison. In March, I…

The brutal truth about football’s waning popularity

As devastating hits and debilitating injuries rise, football faces a diminished audience. Can the sport curb its most violent tendencies and survive?

The brutal truth about football’s waning popularityThe news that the National Football League's TV ratings are dropping – down 11 per cent from the previous season – has been greeted with all sorts of interpretations. Many attribute the drop to the recent spate of social justice protests by players and some coaches in the NFL. A lot of people (68 per…

Hamilton’s desperate third-down gamble

What were the Ticats thinking? Hiring someone who looked the other way as his stars engaged in sordid behaviour would never get a generous hearing

Hamilton’s desperate third-down gambleWhen people you know do curious things, it’s always hard to reconcile the act with the person. I was thinking of that recently as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats publicly lost touch with their senses, hiring a toxic former Baylor University coach to repair their imploding Canadian Football League team. Art Briles had been ensnarled in a…