Which is better, the Gray Cup or the Super Bowl?

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Prairie residents love their CFL teams, but that’s not the case across the country. Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

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This weekend is Super Bowl Sunday, which doesn’t raise many eyebrows on the Prairies.

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A new poll from the Angus Reid Institute has found that 70% of residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba would only watch the Gray Cup if given the choice between the Super Bowl or the Canadian Championship game.

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This year’s Super Bowl has a long way to go to top the classic we saw last fall between the Bombers and Argos – although Winnipeg ended up on the losing side.

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I must also congratulate our friends from Alberta since the majority (58%) prefer the Gray Cup to the Super Bowl.

For the record, polls confusing Manitoba with Saskatchewan are a thorn in my side. I don’t like being associated with those bowler hats — it’s a nod to the Roughriders, in case you’re offended — but agreeing on a shared love for the CFL is fine.

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It makes sense that the best rivalry in the Canadian Football League is between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders because the people who live in the Prairies live and breathe the Canadian game.

Angus Reid’s poll found that 41% of “Saskatchewan” residents closely follow the CFL, throwing the rest of the country out of the water. Alberta comes closest with 26%.

Eastern folks, but those unpatriotic city dwellers don’t seem to like the bigger ball, the longer field game. People in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada are more likely to follow the NFL than the CFL, which I think is good.

Interestingly – or not so interestingly – people over 55 are more likely to follow the CFL closely. NFL marketing gurus have infiltrated the 49th parallel and infected the younger generation with their smaller-ball football game.

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But seriously: I don’t like to compare the two leagues. It’s a different game. You can like both – it’s actually quite easy considering how the seasons are laid out.

The eccentricity of the CFL, with its reds and the ability for receivers to run to the line of scrimmage, makes them entertaining in themselves. Sure, the NFL has the money, the superstar talent and everything else, but that shouldn’t hurt the CFL.

If you want to pretend to be on your high horse and pretend to only watch the NFL, good for you, but don’t bump into the Canadian game in the process.

The CFL has always been a league close to my family, my uncle Bob Bronk played for the Argos in the 1980s and won the Gray Cup there. My Grandpa Arie is a huge CFL fan and I still enjoy chatting with him about the game whenever I get the chance.

Even if you watch the “big game” on Sunday, that’s fine, no one will take your Canadian passport away.

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Twitter: @steltsy94

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Source: winnipegsun.com

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