Player's Own Voice

Player's Own Voice podcast: Grey Cup state of mind with Damon Allen

The Player's Own Voice podcast talks about the Canadian game with an American who arguably played it better than anyone ever in Damon Allen.

CFL legend offers Canadians perspective in comparison to American game

Four-time Grey Cup champion Damon Allen is seen at his induction ceremony into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in Toronto on April 26, 2018. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

In the great Canadian conversation about sports and culture, hockey always elbows its way to the microphone. 

But if we want fresh insights about how this nation is wired, perhaps the CFL has lots to teach us about ourselves.

There's no better time to think about it than Grey Cup week.   

And no one better to help us mull it over than one of the greatest players in the history of professional football, Damon Allen. 

The American prodigy left San Diego, Calif., for Edmonton in March 1985 and stayed with the CFL for 23 record-shattering years.

Host Anastasia Bucsis and the legendary quarterback kick around some ideas: Canada has cooked up a beautiful game with its CFL rules. Canadian football has deep history, hometown teams and athletes whom locals can actually get to know and care about. Heck, if you're willing to pay the person who comes along to make sure you don't damage the thing, you can bring the physical Grey Cup to your next house party. But the CFL game has long suffered in financial and media comparison to the NFL.

There are a million ways to try to understand the Canadian-American mindset. Or, you could just settle in for just one smart CFL-NFL conversation with the remarkable Allen.


Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective. To listen to Damon Alllen and earlier guests this season, subscribe for free on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you get your other podcasts.


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