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Why I Am Boycotting the Grey Cup

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This Sunday, Canadians are supposed to huddle en masse in front of TVs and watch our home-grown version of Super Bowl Lite, a.k.a., the Grey Cup.

I shan't be among them.

Indeed, I'm actually calling for a boycott of the Canadian Football League's big game -- and for the CFL in general.

This has nothing to do with the Argonauts missing the playoffs or my desire for Toronto to acquire an NFL franchise.

My beef is this: The CFL is an illegal sports league.

Oh, it's true.

Why is that we must report temperature in Celsius; sell bananas by the kilo; measure speed and distance by the kilometre; and purchase petro by the litre?

And yet, when it comes to the CFL, the field isn't marked out in Systeme Internationale-approved metres.

Even in 2011, the CFL clings to defunct old Imperial yards. And without repercussions to boot! It's a double standard.

If your friendly neighbourhood Imperial Oil station sold gas imperially by the gallon, there'd be hell to pay via Ottawa's measurement mandarins.

So how is it that football clubs don't have to play by the same set of rules as everyone else?

When I first contacted the CFL about this many moons ago, a spokesman said sticking with yards is all about "tradition" and the fact that all of the league's records have always been measured in Imperial increments as opposed to metres and centimetres.

What's more, he said if the government ever forced the league to go metric, the CFL would simply mark off the field in 110 increments measuring exactly 91.44 centimetres (in other words, 36 inches.) And each 91.44-centimetre increment would officially be known as something called a "yard."

Isn't that special?

If anything, the CFL has a perfectly legit reason to go metric. After all, a CFL field between the end zones is 110 yards. Think about that -- 110. What a dumb number. Yet, by happy coincidence, 100 metres fits almost perfectly into a 110-yard footprint.

But no. The CFL continues to illegally flaunt metrication.

That's not right. After all, Canadians -- that is to say, those who aren't professional football players -- have suffered enough. Used to be that if a car got 28 miles to the gallon, that was a fuel-efficient vehicle. But now we must contend with litres per 100 kilometres. Really, does anyone say their car consumes 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres? (There was a solution to this, by the way: we could've measured fuel consumption by adopting a system of kilometres-per-litre. But that was way too logical for Ottawa's measurement minions.)

And let's be honest: Does anyone measure their tire pressure in kilopascals as opposed to pounds per square inch?

By the way, what was the point in going metric in the first place given that our largest trading partner, the U.S., is still firmly rooted in Imperial?

Either we have one measurement standard for everyone or we have complete measurement freedom of choice. The fact remains, the CFL enjoys privileged status in this land for no valid reason. Put another way: if you operated a grocery store and sold fruit exclusively by the pound, you'd be fined or even shut down.

Even though I love the Grey Cup, come Sunday, my TV set will be a CFL-free zone. And it will remain CFL-free until measurement liberty finally returns to our grand Dominion.

Won't you please join me in this endeavour for measurement justice?

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