CFL America Radio
By CFL America
CFL America RadioOct 19, 2023
The Magic of Howard Cosell
Howard Cosell candid and unplugged...
Gridiron Japan: Rise Up! With Colby Campbell of the Nojima Sagamihara Rise
In this episode, with BJ away at team practice, John and Greg sit down with Nojima Sagamihara Rise linebacker Colby Campbell to talk about his life and journey to Japan. From South Carolina to Finland to Germany and to Japan, Colby has had an interesting and varied journey during his young gridiron career! The three discuss not just his life on the field, but also his experiences off the field in Japan. Colby can be found online at his YouTube channel where he is presently publishing videos on his travels, as well as on X and Instagram.
Gridiron Japan! - Featuring John Gunning of Inside Sport Japan
From 2021, the Gridiron Japan podcast's inaugural episode with hosts Zach Keilman and Greg James on the lesser-known but still very competitive Japanese football scene! The two kick things off asking the question of what exactly the sport in Japan is like in terms of structure, culture, and more. They discuss all these points with Inside Sport Japan founder and content director John Gunning.
The Gridiron Japan podcast is now in its third season and features Greg, John, as well as retired Japanese professional football star BJ Beatty. You can find the Gridiron Japan podcast on podcast platforms everywhere, and follow them at www.gridironjapan.net, on X-Twitter @GridironJapan, Instagram @GridironJapan, as well as Facebook!
The XFL Infowars Show- A Look Back and Ahead For the Final Week
After a month away Greg and Dave return to give their honest assessments of how the league did as it heads toward the conclusion of what can be termed a mediocre debut for the first season. However, with the USFL in full swing, we hold out hope that Dany and Dwayne will learn from their unforced boardroom and off-field errors and improve what we both see as a great product on the field.
The XFL Infowars Show- In a Pickle as the League Continues to Lose Viewers
Dave and Greg are back after a week hiatus to compare and contrast how the league performed in the ratings between being broadcast on traditional over the air television and on cable/satellite. The guys also take the XFL media to task over their coverage of the league and continuing failure to ask the hard questions regarding the business of the XFL and how lip service seems to be paid to stories of the players as several print "news" outlets seem to want to instead continue to cater to the egos of the Rock and Dany. Lastly, Greg also acknowledges his error from the previous show regarding the number of people who are cutting the chord in America.
Gridiron America- The Football Learning Academy
On a morning where the cherry blossoms were blooming and Scott was watching his UAB Blazers lose a heart breaker at the NIT, Greg sat down with Ken Crippen, founder and executive director of The Football Learning Academy, to discuss the mission of the FLA and his thoughts on how the game has changed over the decades. The online academy is the first educational institution devoted to the instruction on the history of the gridiron game, with proceeds benefiting retired players. Ken is also the former president of the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA). He has been researching and writing about pro football history for over twenty years. In that time, he has published two books, including one about the original Buffalo Bills, and numerous articles. He has also won multiple writing awards, including the 2012 Professional Football Writers Association (PFWA) Dick Connor Writing Award for feature writing, and the 2011 Ralph Hay Award by the PFRA for lifetime achievement in pro football history.
The 2022 Grey Cup
The game was played on November 20, 2022, at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan. It marked the fourth Grey Cup game to be held in Regina, and the first to be held at the new Mosaic Stadium as opposed to Taylor Field. The game was played between the West Division champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the East Division champion Toronto Argonauts; the Argonauts won 24–23 and earned their league-leading 18th Grey Cup, preventing the Blue Bombers from becoming the first team to win three consecutive Grey Cups since 1980.
The 2021 Grey Cup
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season was cancelled and the start of the 2021 season was delayed, pushing the game to December 12, 2021. The 108th Grey Cup was a rematch of the 107th Grey Cup in 2019 between the defending Grey Cup and West Division champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the East Division champion Hamilton Tiger-Cats, at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario.
The XFL Infowars Show- Football is a Game, and Games Are Supposed to Be Fun
On the day in which Japan won the world championship of baseball over America, Greg and Dave talk about the tanking ratings of the XFL and frustrations over the league's seemingly deaf tone towards their fans and continued making of unforced errors off the field, particularly as it relates to marketing and fan engagement. The guys sit down and dissect the numbers and debate whether streaming matters at all and if the move to antenna TV will stop the bleeding of viewers. After the recording stopped, Greg went back to the internet to educate himself on how antenna usage in America is soaring, thus their hope for a ratings increase is now buoyed by the possibility the old way in which the guys watched TV as kids might actually be what saves the XFL from ratings ruin in the short term. Old technology rules!!
Gridiron America- The USFL Project
In the annals of professional football, aside from the American Football League, only one other league has truly challenged the dominance of the NFL, and that was the United States Football League of the 1980s. Unlike other spring leagues, all of which are small potatoes comparatively, the USFL forever changed how we look at professional football and how we not only watch the game, but also view upstart leagues. Unlike the XFL, which is small bug on the windshield of the NFL's largess, the USFL crashed into it and cracked the shield in many places as numerous high-profile players and draft choices decided to play in the spring. As a result, NFL salaries rose as players quickly had leverage, which many used to their advantage. Numerous NFL/CFL hall of famers and players began their careers in the USFL, such as Steve Young, Jim Kelley and Doug Flutie, and it is for them and the countless others who played in the league that The USFL Project was created.
In this episode, Greg speaks with Kyle Smith, the Executive Director of The USFL Project, which is a long-term project documenting and preserving the history and story of the fabled United States Football League, so as to leave a foundation of knowledge for future generations. They talk about not just about the history of the league, but also many of the key personalities aside from the former president, who were instrumental in the founding, success, and ultimate demise of the league. An award-winning journalist, Kyle has spent many years in the entertainment industry as well as being both a host and guest on numerous radio shows and podcasts. In recent years, his attention has been focused on The USFL Project with him and his team growing the group to over 4,000 members of Facebook. The USFL Project can also be found on Twitter.
The XFL Infowars Show- What It Was in XFL Week Four, Was Football
In a weekend where many expected the XFL to fall flat, and despite continuing to fall in the ratings, the league put on a great show in most of its venues, with the Battlehawks setting the all-time attendance record for spring football. Hold on. What a second... That's wrong, the first USFL set that record, back in the 1980s. However, despite The Rock's continued hyperbolic statements about the league, Battlehawks attendance, and lack of meaningful information coming out from the league, with the exception of spin, the XFL did not lose as many viewers on broadcast television than was expected with its continued issues with changing times and channels. However, dark clouds are on the horizon as the league enters week five and March madness begins.
Gridiron America- When the Cardinals Left Chicago
On March 13, 1960, the city of Chicago lost its original NFL team, the now Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were birthed on Chicago's southside and played most of their seasons at Comiskey Park; however, despite their being the city's original NFL team, they were not its flagship franchise, with that distinction going to their northside rivals, the Bears, who played their games at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. In this episode, Greg and noted Cardinal history researcher and author, Joe Ziemba, talk about the events and factors that led up to the team eventually moving to St. Louis. They also, for the first part, talk about Greg's life as a gridiron fan in the Land of the Rising Sun, after which they take a deep dive into the Cardinals Chicago history. Joe is the award-winning author of the books "When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL," "Cadets, Cannons and Legends: The Football History of Morgan Park Military Academy," and "Bears vs. Cardinals: The NFL's Oldest Rivalry."
Joe is a life-long resident of the south side of Chicago, Joe first became interested in the history of football after discovering that his father was a draft choice for the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League in the 1940s. He is now recognized nationally for his knowledge of the early days of the game and has been a resource for articles, photos, or reports in Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Arizona Republic, ESPN, the Daily Southtown, NBC Sunday Night Football, CBS Football, and many others. Joe has appeared on the WGN documentary “Football in Chicago,” a Comcast Sports special on the Chicago Bears, as well as on radio stations such as WBBM and WSCR in Chicago. He has spoken on the history of football throughout the country at schools, libraries, service clubs, and conferences, and shares the humor and challenges that football pioneers faced in the early days of the game. Joe is an instructor at the Football Learning Academy, and also the host of the podcast "When Football Was Football" on the Sports History Network which explores forgotten topics in the long history of football in the Chicago area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Facebook page “Chicago Cardinals.”
Gridiron America-Long Bomb, a Full Color 21st Century Cautionary Tale of Football Hubris
At the dawn of the 21st Century, in the winter of 2001, a new gridiron football league appeared on the sports scene. The brainchild of wrestling promotor Vince McMahon and television executive Dick Ebersol, the XFL sought to become the premier weekly sporting event in America during the NFL off season. As most football fans, the original XFL fell short and, as the name of the title suggests, failed spectacularly on television and most importantly, in the ratings. During the season, Brett was there with the league every step of the way as a young freelance writer. His book, Long Bomb, is a compelling tale of hubris and the lessons the league soon learned as ratings fell and America tuned out of a television product few had been clamoring for outside of the cult of spring football.
Brett is currently a national security investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He was formerly a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, where he reported on sports and crime and was a member of the staff that won the National Magazine Award for general excellence. His last film was the ESPN/ABC true-crime documentary, Pin Kings, an Emmy finalist. He is the author of The Big Fix, an international crime bestseller in development as a feature film at Netflix, as well as Long Bomb. Brett’s international-affairs reporting has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Time, Foreign Policy, and Playboy. For a decade, he worked in Russia, Ukraine, and Brazil. He has reported from 50 countries, and his articles have been syndicated in more than 30 languages. His work has appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing.
In addition to this podcast, Brett also appeared recently on the X Fan Show videocast.
The XFL Infowars Show- The Ratings Slide Continues in Week Three
For week three Dave and Greg look at the game both on and off the field as week three provided plenty of excitement as fan attendance increased, but ratings continued to nosedive. Also talked about is why San Antonio and not St. Louis was granted the XFL championship game and the unionization of the players, as well as the perceived move of desperation from FX to ABC.
The 2019 Grey Cup
The 107th Grey Cup game was played on November 24, 2019, before 35,440 fans at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
The 2018 Grey Cup
The 2017 Grey Cup
The XFL Infowars Show- Looking Past the Hype of Weeks One and Two
The second episode of the season finds Greg James joined by former sports executive Dave Cieslinski for a candid look as to how the XFL performed in weeks one and two. Dave provides a perspective that you won't find on other XFL podcasts. He knows what it takes to put bottoms in the seats and to get fans interested so that they return. The two discuss ticket sales, attendance and ratings, and Dave explains why streaming numbers will likely remain a mystery to the public. They discuss not just the current incarnation of the XFL, but also the past attempts at spring gridiron, as well as the sloppy speculation by the XFL media hubs of the Toronto Argonauts moving to the XFL.
Gridiron America- From the 55 Yard Line, Good Seats Are Still Available!
In the world of sports history podcasting, there is a curious little one that has carved out a niche covering the world of defunct leagues and teams from yesteryear. "Good Seats Still Available" has its roots in Tim Hanlon's youth, when he fell in love with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, who unfortunately, like the league itself departed us to soon, and thus began for him an obsession for the stories of the teams and leagues of yesteryear. His pioneering podcast, which is soon approaching its 300th episode, has covered defunct leagues and teams from all sports, and Tim has interviewed many gridiron legends and icons, including Larry Csonka, Upton Bell, and Dave Meggyesy, all of whom helped shape the world of professional football in America. During this episode, Tim and Greg talk about his podcast and the challenges facing start up leagues in the 21st Century in the midst of a changing media and technological landscape.
Gridiron America- The Third Down Gamble
For this third episode we move up to the Great White North as Greg sits down with Don and Heath of the Third Down Gamble podcast, where they go team by team through the Canadian Football League and review last year's performance and review all that has happened in the off season. The three also talk about the ownership struggles within the league and the challenges presently faced by the teams in an ever-changing media landscape.
The 2016 Grey Cup
The 104th Grey Cup game was played on November 27, 2016, before 33,421 fans at BMO Field in Toronto.
The XFL Infowars Show- Preview
In the inaugural episode of his new XFL podcast, Greg James adds his laid-back historical approach to the crowded XFL field. Unlike the other XFL shows, he does not mince words as to what he believes was an under-performing week one. Specifically, he calls out the league for catering to the white male wrestling crowd and talks about how the marketing sucks. He also discusses what he believes were poor ratings when compared to the 2020 edition of the league and how the attendance numbers were nothing to brag about.
Gridiron America- The World of Football
It is XFL kickoff eve in America! In this episode Greg sits down with the elder half of The World of Football podcast dynamic duo, Randy Snow. Randy is the Adam West to his own son Adam's Burt Ward, both of whom who broadcast weekly from the Man Cave news and history lessons that encompass the gridiron game around the world, including where Greg is, in Japan. Greg and Randy review the news out of the CFL of the Alouettes being placed in receivership by the league, look ahead to the upcoming XFL and USFL seasons, and discuss the state of indoor arena football in America. In addition, Greg and Randy reminisce about their summer road trips to visit the resting places of American gridiron legends.
From the 55 Yard Line, it's Dr. Frank Cosentino- Canadian Football History Scribe, Scholar, and Hall of Famer
In this episode, Greg sits down with Canadian football historian and scholar, Dr. Frank Cosentino, to talk about his playing career and the CFL as a cultural institution in the 20th Century, especially during the time he played. They also discuss how the CFL dealt with the threat of the WFL in the 1970s, during which John Bassett planned on placing a franchise in Toronto. Lastly, they discuss the American expansion, changing sports landscape and the prospects of a successful CFL/XFL merger, should one ever be pursued again.
Scott was slated to join the conversation; however, just minutes before recording tornado warnings were issued for Birmingham and power went out. We are happy to report that eventually the weather cleared and power was restored.
Grey Cup champion, Vanier Cup champion, hall of famer, scholar, teacher, and professor emeritus are just a few of the ways one describes the greatest Canadian sports historian who has authored 18 books, and not just only on football. Drafted by the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1960, Dr. Cosentino was in five consecutive Grey Cup games, 1961-65, including the first overtime Grey Cup game in 1961, the “fog bowl” in 1962 and the “wind bowl” of 1965. The team’s two Grey Cup wins were in 1963 and 1965. As a Tiger Cat he also played in the last of the CFL vs NFL exhibition games against the Buffalo Bills, in which Hamilton prevailed and he passed for the team's final touchdown.
In 1967, Dr. Cosentino was traded to Edmonton in 1967, led the team to a 9-6-1, and was named Edmonton’s nominee for the Best Canadian Schenley Award, after which he was traded to Toronto for the 1969 season. He finished his career after the 1969 season, playing in 141 regular season games and starting in 41, posting 20 wins, 19 losses, and two ties. He completed 482 passes out of 996 attempts for 7,678 passing yards with 53 touchdowns.
While playing in the CFL, Dr. Cosentino continued his education, earning both a master's and doctor of philosophy degree. After his playing days ended, in 1970, he was named head football coach at the University of Western Ontario and assistant professor. In 1976 he moved to York University where he was professor and chairman of physical education and athletics for a five-year term. As a professor, he taught courses in sport history, and as a coach, won two Vanier Cups at Western in 1971 and 1974. He is a member of Halls of Fame at McMaster, York, Western, and Ontario University Athletics; and in 2018, was named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Though retired, Dr. Cosentino continues to write and all of his wonderful books, which are required reading for students of Canadian football, are available at his website- www.valleyoldtimers.com.
Kickoff- XFL America Radio Is On the Air!
From Japan, it's Greg James of CFL America Radio and the Sports History Network with a new show filled with commentary and observations about the XFL, as well as analysis of league news, and those important items that affect the business of gridiron football.
Gridiron America- A Football Odyssey
Welcome to the first episode of "Gridiron America," where Japan based Greg James (co-host of the "From the 55 Yard Line" and "Gridiron Japan" podcasts) sits down with fellow podcasters and gridiron experts to talk about the game outside of the lines. In this inaugural episode ("the beta episode") Greg sits down with fellow Sports History Network member, Aron Harris of "The Football Odyssey" to review the Super Bowl, and talk about the business of football, including the upcoming XFL season and the challenges to grow the game beyond North American shores.
The Football Odyssey is an eclectic show that features Aron's dulcet NFL Filmsesque voice (with an excellent accompanying companion website) covering topics that touch on the cultural impact of the sport. On air Aron provides reviews of classic books and movies, and also has in-depth conversations with authors and contributors to the game, as well as the gridiron heroes of our youth, including Dan Fouts and Phil Villapiano. The Football Odyssey podcast is available via Spotify, Apple, and all other podcast platforms.
The 2015 Grey Cup
The 103rd Grey Cup game was played on November 29, 2015, before 36,634 fans at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
From the 55 Yard Line- More Than Just a Game, With Howie Mooney
When one thinks of Howie Mooney, their first thought is about sports and sports history. Currently, he is the host of the Sports Lunatics Show, a sports history podcast, on the FiredUp Network, a Toronto website. He also writes a sports history column there. Indeed, his first venture into the world of sports history came when he began researching his first Canadian sports history calendar back in 1986. His success with that venture led to Howie becoming the host of "The Ultimate Sports Quiz," an interactive call-in sports trivia program, on local television in Ottawa, Canada in 1991, which he hosted through the decade of the ’90s.
Howie soon found himself covering the CFL’s Ottawa Rough Riders and the OHL’s Ottawa 67s for television. He was also selected out of many who auditioned to be the color commentator for Triple-A Ottawa Lynx baseball broadcasts and also covered the NHL’s Ottawa Senators for the magazine show "Overtime." Howie is also the co-author of "Third and Long: The Proud History of Football in Ottawa," which is available to read for free at www.archive.org. Howie’s new book, "Crazy Days & Wild Nights," is a collection of incredible and true stories taken from the pages of sports history. The audio book will be available on his website this year, with the book out for purchase in the summer.
In this episode, Howie recounts a number of stories from the book, including tales from the Toronto Argonauts sidelines, and the legend of Taro Tsujimoto. In addition, Greg and Howie talk about the upcoming spring football season in America and the CFL, including where the league is headed into 2023.
Full Color Football, From the 55 Yard Line- The Gridiron Cup, a Cold War What If?
One of the most popular genres of science fiction literature is that of alternate history, and in sports one of the most common questions asked among fans of all sports is, "what if?" For instance, what if Bo Jackson did not get hurt in that playoff game against the Bengals? What if Bartman had not interfered with that foul ball in Wrigley Field during the NLCS in 2003? What if Babe Ruth played his entire career in Boston? What if Muhammad Ali had lost or quit in his first fight against Sonny Liston? What if the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants had never moved to the West Coast? What if Vince Lombardi had become head coach of his hometown Giants instead of heading to Green Bay? What if Browns had not moved to Baltimore and displaced the CFL's Stallions? How would sports history, and our perception of it, be different today? The questions are of course endless...
In his book, "Gridiron Cup, 1982," Keegan Dresow asks two important questions... What if Bert Bell had been successful in getting war torn Europe to embrace the spectacle of gridiron football? And, what if Joseph Stalin had decided the Soviet Union would learn the sport and use it to wage a proxy war against the west on the gridiron. For fans of the TV show, "For All Mankind," in which the question of what if the Soviets had landed on the moon first is explored, readers will not be disappointed. "Gridiron Cup, 1982," is available exclusively on Amazon Kindle. His book imagines a world where it is gridiron football and not soccer football that is the most dominate team sport on the planet, and expertly weaves facts with fiction to present a look at a sports world that gridiron football fans can only dream about.
Keegan Dresow previously served as the head coach of the Avedøre Monarchs, in Denmark, and is the author of "Offensive Football Systems," which is also available on Amazon. Presently, Keegan, a 2010 graduate from the UC Davis School of Law, is an attorney and is also a 2006 graduate of Pomona College, where he played four years of gridiron football for the Sagehens. His website is TotalAmericanFootball.com
The 2014 Grey Cup
The 102nd Grey Cup was played on November 30, 2014, before 52,056 fans at BC Place in Vancouver.
The 2013 Grey Cup
The 101st Grey Cup was played on November 24, 2013, before 44,710 fans at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field in Regina.
The 2012 Grey Cup
The 100th Grey Cup was played on November 25, 2012, before 53,208 fans at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The 2011 Grey Cup
The 99th Grey Cup was played on November 27, 2011, before 54,313 fans at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
The 2010 Grey Cup
The 98th Grey Cup was played on November 28, 2010, before 63,317 fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
The 2009 Grey Cup
The 97th Grey Cup game was played on November 29, 2009, before 46,020 fans at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
The 2008 Grey Cup
The 96th Grey Cup game was played on November 23, 2008, before 66,308 fans at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
The 2007 Grey Cup
The 95th Grey Cup game was played on November 25, 2007, before 52,230 fans at Rogers Centre in Toronto. It was the first Grey Cup meeting between the two teams.
The 2006 Grey Cup
The 94th Grey Cup game was played on November 19, 2006, before 44,786 fans at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg.
The 2005 Grey Cup
The 93rd Grey Cup game was played on November 27, 2005, before 59,157 fans at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
The 2004 Grey Cup
The 92nd Grey Cup was played on November 21, 2004, before 51,242 fans at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa.
The 2003 Grey Cup
The 91st Grey Cup was played on November 16, 2003, before 50,909 fans at Taylor Field in Regina.
The 2002 Grey Cup
The 90th Grey Cup was played on November 24, 2002, before 62,531 fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
The 2001 Grey Cup
The 89th Grey Cup was played on November 25, 2001, before 65,255 fans at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
The 2000 Grey Cup
The 88th Grey Cup was played on November 26, 2000, before 43,822 fans at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
The 1999 Grey Cup
The 87th Grey Cup game was played on November 28, 1999, before 45,118 fans at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
The 1998 Grey Cup
The 86th Grey Cup game was played on November 22, 1998, before 34,157 fans at Winnipeg Stadium in Winnipeg.
The 1997 Grey Cup
The 85th Grey Cup game was played on November 16, 1997, before 60,431 fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
The 1996 Grey Cup
The 84th Grey Cup game was played on November 24, 1996, before 38,595 fans at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton.
The 1995 Grey Cup
The 83rd Grey Cup game was played on November 19, 1995, before 52,064 fans at Taylor Field in Regina. This was the first Grey Cup to be played in the province of Saskatchewan, and again featured a U.S.-vs-Canada match up.
The 1994 Grey Cup
The 82nd Grey Cup was played on November 27, 1994, before 55,097 fans at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. It was the first championship in professional football history to feature a U.S.-vs-Canada match up.