One More Thought on Canadian Football

This week’s blog comes in response to last week’s2018-12-20 Canadian Football Logo II post about my trip to Canada.  Frank Francisco, long-time friend, colleague, avid olineskills blog reader, and author provides his feedback:

Coach Alercio,

To get an idea of the true impact that Canada had on the growth of our American football,  I would refer you to an excellent history of the game (he (the author) said with tongue in cheek),  Evolution of the Game. Page 5, the Boston Game mentions the influence the Canadians had on Harvard as they began to formulate their version of the game.   Page 7, Harvard- McGill speaks to the first Canadian-US games between Harvard and McGill.  

In all seriousness after doing the research for my book, I came to the conclusion that the Canadian/Harvard version of the game (often called The Boston Game) is much closer to our present game of football than was the Rutgers-Princeton contests of 1869, widely considered to be the birth of college football.   We often hear coaches refer to Canadian football as “a version of the American game”.  The Canadians, if they wished may have just as strong a statement in referring to our game as being “a version of the Canadian game.” 

Thanks for the perspective and insights Frank! Whichever game one considers the birth of football as we know it today, I’m thankful for my association with the game, the people I’ve encountered and the lessons I’ve learned since I first put on the cleats and helmet four decades ago. Teambuilding brings out the best in us regardless which side of the border the game originated.

One last thought this week as the Christmas Holiday will pass before I post the next installment: Whatever Holiday, event, or sentiment you celebrate this time of year, please take the time to share your thoughts, feelings, appreciation for the many gifts you’ve received this season, this year, and over a lifetime. Savor time with family and friends… and consider your intentions for 2019; a new season for us all.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!

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