North American football was born in Canada in the 1860s. For decades, though,the growth of Canadian football was slow to change from its rugby traditions. In recent decades, it has been in the shadow of its largest competitor, the National Football League. Although hockey is held up as Canada's number one sport, the CFL has enjoyed as rich and storied a tradition in Canadian sports history. This book is not the usual general history detailing on-field accomplishments, Grey Cup winners etc. Instead, it combines an historical look through 2003 with discussion of continuous themes which have shaped the League. These include the role of the Canadian player, competition from other pro sports, the media's role in creating an image of the CFL, Canadians' attitudes towards pro sports, and how the CFL continually struggles to survive - often in spite of itself.