Saturday, 15 January 2011

World Championship

I have a lot of pet peeves in the world of sports. I hate the DH rule in the American League; I abhor shootouts in hockey and soccer; the last two minutes of an NBA game can be excruciatingly long. But all those pale in comparison to this one:

"The [insert NFL team here] are the World Champions."

No, no, no, no and no. Last year the New Orleans Saints did not win the world championship. No team in the history of the NFL has ever won a world championship. There is no World Championship in football.

I bring this up because when watching the Saints-Seahawks game last week I heard NBC's Mike Mayock and Tom Hammond repeatedly refer to the New Orleans Saints as "the defending World Champions."

Obviously, being a CFL fan, I take exception to the use of the term "World Champion" to describe the Super Bowl champions. You don't hear the Grey Cup champions being called "World Champions." Doesn't happen. In the CFL, a Grey Cup champion is crowned. Similarly, in the NFL a Super Bowl champion is crowned.

I have sent countless unanswered e-mails to many American writers who cover the NFL asking them to refrain from perpetuating this myth that the NFL in fact crowns a World Champion. They don't, or at least they don't crown one any more than the CFL does.

Aside from the hubris of it all, there is one other thing about this that really makes me scratch my head. The NFL is so image and marketing conscious that I do not understand why they would want the name of their championship game to be pushed aside in some silly attempt to brand their champions as World Champions. Doesn't it behoove the NFL to have the name "Super Bowl" said as much as possible? Wouldn't it make more sense to have that be repeated over and over to increase the connection between "football champions" and "Super Bowl"?

I have tried my best to get the writers and talking heads to stop using the term "World Champions" but to no avail. If you follow all forms of football like I do, I implore you to fill the inboxes of NFL writers to try and get this message out there.

Claiming that the Super Bowl champions are World Champions not only smacks of arrogance, but it is an insult to the CFL, its teams, its players and its fans. There is more than one championship game in football, and no league, on either side of the border, has the right to claim that their champion is world champion.

1 comment:

  1. You're fighting a battle you cannot win Josh. Same idea goes for the World Series... I'd say the little league version crowns the true world champ since that tournament really does include teams from all over as opposed to 29 in the U.S. and one in Canada.

    Blame the U.S. hype machine and the sheep who buy into and perpetuate it. I'm not surprised you never get answers, because there really isn't one (and it's not likely they care anyway)