CFL VS NFL

1950-1961

 

The Preseason Exhibition Games Between the Canadian Football League and the National Football League, 1950-1961

 

Unknown to most sports fans is that the Canadian Football League and the National Football League have met in head-to-head games on the field on seven different occasions. Starting in 1950, teams from the NFL traveled north to take on a representative from the CFL in exhibition games. Actually, the first games pre-date the existence of the CFL, which was formed in 1958 . Due to the fact that the rules of Canadian and American football are different, a special set of rules which combined the rulebooks of the two were usually employed for these contests (For the rules of the Canadian Football League, click HERE).
 

There are some significant differences that had to be accounted for in these contests. The size of the field is different in the two leagues and there are scoring differences. Until 1956, the Canadian touchdown counted for 5 points, unlike the American 6. In Canadian football, the end zones are 20 yards deep. On a missed field goal which does not hit the uprights, kickoffs and punts, the ball must be returned out of the end zone. If it is not because it either goes out the side or back of the end zone or the returner is unable (or elects not to return by taking a knee) to get the ball out of the end zone, the kicking team receives a single point or a "rouge". After a single is scored, the team that has been scored against takes possession at its own 35-yard line, or (in the case of a missed field goal) can elect to take possession at the previous line of scrimmage.

 

Note: Please forgive some of the picture quality in the game photos.  These are very old and hard to come by, pulled from Canadian newspapers.
 

Click on the final score below to read a summary of each contest           

 

Date

Site

Opponent & Score

Aug. 12, 1950

Ottawa

N.Y. Giants 20, Ottawa Rough Riders (CFL) 6

Aug. 11, 1951

Ottawa

N.Y. Giants 41, Ottawa Rough Riders (CFL) 18

Aug. 5, 1959

Toronto

Chicago Cardinals 53, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 26

Aug. 3, 1960

Toronto

Pittsburgh Steelers 43, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 16

Aug. 2, 1961

Toronto

St. Louis Cardinals 36, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 7

Aug. 5, 1961

Montreal

Chicago Bears 34, Montreal Alouettes (CFL) 16

Aug. 8, 1961

Hamilton

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL) 38, Buffalo Bills 21

 

There was also a classic preseason exhibition game played between the All-America Football Conference and the predecessors of the Canadian Football League.

 

Date

Site

Opponent & Score

Aug. 19, 1948

Montreal

Brooklyn Dodgers (AAFC) 27, Montreal Alouettes (IRFU) 1

 

And, how about this ancient classic from both pre-NFL and pre-CFL days?

 

Date

Site

Opponent & Score

Nov. 3, 1923

New York

Third Army Corps Area Team 55, Toronto Argonauts (IRFU) 7

 

 

 

 

- Canadian Football League History

National Football League History

 

 

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