If you want to know what makes the CFL special, spend the next few days in Regina meeting the league’s star players and its power-brokers.
You will find them approachable, engaging and proud to be a part of the Canadian Football League. Not many leagues have such accessibility. There are opportunities to meet Bo Levi Mitchell, Ricky Ray, Darian Durant, Simoni Lawrence, Solomon Elimimian and Zach Collaros. Marc Trestman, Wally Buono and Kavis Reed will be in town.
Can you imagine the NFL setting up an informal meet-and-greet for Tom Brady and Richard Sherman? Or the NBA making Gregg Popovich and Lebron James available to the public? MLB players like Jose Bautista and Mike Trout don’t mingle in crowds. Even the NHL, whose athletes are more down-to-earth than most pro leagues, don’t exactly put Sidney Crosby or Mike Babcock into a public Q-and-A.
Some teams are starting to restrict access to their players, but whenever the CFL oversees an event such as CFL Week or the Grey Cup, it makes sure that the people who represent the league are available to the people who support the league.