36. Sleeping With an Elephant: The early years of football in Canada
Canada is like its football. Similarities to the USA are only to be expected, but exact imitations are best avoided.
Canada was stuck between being a British dominion on the one hand and living on the United States’ doorstep on the other, and its football was Americanised along with so many other aspects of its culture.
Rugby arrived in North America via Canada, but what happened next is a difficult story to tell. There was division between the teams preferring to play it the British way and those wanting to introduce changes. There were also differences between the college and city teams, and between the clubs in Ontario and those in Quebec.
The result was a disjointed affair, with no standard Canadian game as such. Instead there was a variety of different interpretations, with the potential for unity further exasperated by the arrival of new ideas from south of the border.
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