The Canadian Football League may not be that well known to a lot of you reading this in a part of the world that isn’t Canada. For starters it’s not the proper kind of football. No, the CFL is that of the throwball variety, akin to the NFL in the States.
Don’t hold that against them though as they are one of the most forward thinking sporting leagues around, are very open to suggestions for improvement from the fans and have a few innovations and ideas that I would love to see brought into our kind of football.
This season the CFL have their second year of “Retro Week” games.
Retro Week is a chance for the League, the players and the fans to honour the CFL and their Club’s rich history and the achievements of past legendary players. To cap it all off, each team plays their game that weekend in a retro authentic throwback uniform. A uniform which can be purchased by fans, as obviously the moneymakers in the sport don’t want to miss a trick at making a quick buck!
Last season the 1950’s was the era that was celebrated. It was a huge success and proved very popular with the fans. This season the 1960’s was chosen and the idea has proved to be such a hit that there’s two weeks this season, so that each team can play a home game in their retro strips for their own fans. The second week of games was just held at the start of August.
I just love the whole concept and would love to see the Scottish Football League introduce a retro week into our game.
How exciting would it be to see an East Fife team run out in the 1938 Scottish Cup winning strip? Or how about any of our League Cup winning strips? Fans of other Clubs would no doubt love to see teams playing in the strips to honour their own achievements and periods of success.
The options and marketing potential could be endless. The SFL could set one weekend of action as their Retro Week. With so many Clubs having differing histories and a lot of newer clubs in the League, it would be better not to specify a particular decade to celebrate and just leave it up to the individual clubs to decide which era of their history they would like to honour each season.
There is also the potential cash windfall for the clubs too. They could bring out limited edition runs of the retro strip and I’m pretty sure they would be snapped up. After all, a company like Toffs has been making a good business of providing retro strips for years now. On this occasion I wouldn’t fault the Clubs for making money out of the fans for such an idea. At least we’d be buying something cool and different!
Considering so many of the top sides seem to want to sell anything branded to their often fleeced supporters these days, I can’t believe that no League has thought of doing something like this before now. The closest we’ve had is when Clubs bring out a special commemorative strip for an anniversary season.
In Vancouver, Whitecaps supporters group the Southsiders held their own retro day for the game against Miami on Sunday, as fans came decked out in NASL Whitecaps jerseys and Vancouver 86ers shirts, some replica, some original. Great fun was had by all.
East Fife have a proud history. So do other Clubs. Let’s honour this and not forget the players that gave us these good times all those years ago. So many of the big Clubs these days always appear to take their heritage for granted. An annual retro week (or weeks to allow each team a home game) would make sure that this doesn’t happen and give the fans something to brighten up their Saturday afternoons at least once in a season.