It's an argument that's as old as the Super Bowl itself: Which is better? The Grey Cup or the Super Bowl?

That one question divides Canadian football fans more than just about any other.

The Super Bowl is the championship of the biggest professional football league on the planet.

There are 32 teams that make up the NFL, while eight - not counting Ottawa - make up the CFL. The NFL stadiums, franchises and wages are astronomical compared to what one finds north of the border.

And the staggering scale of the Super Bowl doesn't end there either. The biggest acts in the world - Madonna, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones, among many others - have all played the big day's half-time show, while those corporations willing to advertise have to be prepared to dish out close to $4 million for 30 seconds of on-air presence.

By comparison, Canada's own Grey Cup is positively quirky.

But it's in its quirkiness that the plucky little league claims it's place as the best football tournament in the world, claim its supporters.

It's the fact that the Grey Cup brings with it century-old traditions, green-wearing fans with watermelons for hats, and the fact that you can find a horse from Calgary drinking at a local pub the days leading up to the big game - which is always held in the dead of the Canadian winter - that sets the governor general's contest above the marketing machine masquerading as a football game south of the border.

If the Super Bowl is a Las Vegas show in excess and flash, the Grey Cup is a kitchen party in Cape Breton. Sure the Vegas show will drop jaws and singe your hair but that little kitchen party that kicked you in the liver and left you singing until the sun came up is what you will still be talking about when you get your third replacement hearing aid.

So, for those, and the many reasons below, is why the Grey Cup is better than the Super Bowl.

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  • <em><strong>11 ways the Grey Cup is better than the Super Bowl!</strong></em>

  • 1. It's the oldest sports trophy in the continent

    The Grey Cup turns 101 years young on Sunday. The Super Bowl is still a petulant child of 47.

  • 1. It's the oldest sports trophy in the continent

    Yes, there are much more comfortable and beautiful arenas than Maple Leaf Gardens and almost every stadium in the world is in better shape than Rome's Coliseum but nothing compares to the feeling of setting foot in one of those storied shrines to sport. It's the same with the Grey Cup trophy. There is so much history and human experienced carved into that cup that hoisting it is almost like hoisting the history of a nation. -Photo: 1956 Grey Cup victory

  • 2. It's about the game, not the spectacle surrounding it

  • 2. It's about the game, not the spectacle surrounding it

    <strong><em>Yes, the Grey Cup has had its fair share of interesting half-time shows but the talk before, and after, the show is not about who will be performing, about the possible or confirmed nip slip or that really cool VW commercial. When it comes to the Grey Cup, talk centres around the game... or maybe the weather.</em></strong>

  • 3. It's a REALLY good looking cup!

  • 3. It's a REALLY good looking cup!

    While the designers of the Super Bowl's Vince Lombardi Trophy didn't have to go past the image of a football for their , ahem, football trophy, the Grey Cup is truly a thing of beauty that holds its own, in terms of esthetic magnificence, against any other trophy in professional sports.

  • 4. Fans tune in for the plays, not the commercials

  • 4. Fans tune in for the plays, not the commercials

    The Super Bowl really has taken on an air that the big game, and even the half-time acts, are all just vehicles to sell the most expensive on-air spots in the world. The Grey Cup, however, has really become a vehicle for a big a party, a week of lead-up shenanigans and some nail-biting action on the grid iron. Nothing is written in stone going into the Grey Cup. The Canadian game is too unpredictable to call, as are the off-field shenanigans before and during the game.

  • 5. The Grey Cup is played all across the country and in any CFL city willing to host it

  • 5. The Grey Cup is played all across the country and in any CFL city willing to host it

    The Super Bowl, on the other hand, is normally held in <a href="http://thegatewayonline.ca/article/view/2861" target="_blank">warm climes or in cities with large capacity domed stadiums</a>. Seems like cuddling those who are supposed to be the toughest athletes in professional sports. In the end, the harshness of the weather lends as much a character to the contest as fans' willingness to endure it for the love of the game.

  • 6. The Grey Cup celebrates a league that, unlike the NFL, was never 'overtly and institutionally racist'

  • 6. The Grey Cup celebrates a league that, unlike the NFL, was never 'overtly and institutionally racist'

    <blockquote>And one of the things (The CFL) was not, at least in its public actions, was overtly and institutionally racist. So black quarterbacks and “skilled position” players got a chance here long before they did in the U.S. pro leagues, where the unspoken, but very real, prejudice was that they didn’t have the required cultural background or, frankly, mental tool set.</blockquote> -<a href="http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/2262268-grey-cup-symbolizes-differences-between-canada-and-our-neighbour-to-th/" target="_blank">thespec.com</a>

  • 7. Canadian rules

    They really do make for a faster, more unpredictable game.

  • 7. Canadian rules

    Ever wondered why there's so many mentions of miracles in the Super Bowl? Every time a team overcomes a substantial deficit, they call it a miracle. And they are right. It's so hard to do, due to American rules, that it does almost require a miracle to push ahead again. Much less so in Canadian rules, where teams have to work hard to keep determined opponents from making up lost ground. Anything can and does happen, right to the last minute. And that brings us to...

  • 8. The 13th man

    Let's talk unpredictable and nail-biting to the bitter end.

  • 8. The 13th man

    This finish is now lore in the CFL, a marquis moment of the Grey Cup and has engrained itself in Canadian sports history, reaching iconic sports status. The 13th man has become as interwined with our sport as the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijOjRTqPICk" target="_blank">Rumble in the Jungle </a>or the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentina_v_England_%281986_FIFA_World_Cup%29" target="_blank">Hand of God</a>, have become within their respective sports.

  • 9. Melon Heads

    'Nuff said

  • 10. Grey Cup fans

  • 10. Grey Cup fans

    From their willingness to expose themselves to the kinds of cold that could literally kill lesser human beings, to their crazy antics (Rider Nations' watermelon hats, or the crazy horse antics of Stampeders fans) CFL fans will travel long distances, clear entire days off their calendars and wear the most ridiculous outfits while taking part in the most ridiculous acts because that is what a good Grey Cup festival demands.

  • 10. Grey Cup fans

    ...and then there's this guy.

  • 10. Grey Cup fans

    ...And this guy

  • 10. Grey Cup fans

    And this ... guy?

  • 10. Grey Cup fans

    ...and these guys.

  • 10. Grey Cup fans

    ...and these guys...

  • 11. It's all ours!