Video: “Riders Rambo” shows a quirky side of CFL advertising that’s much-missed

Like most sports leagues, the CFL's changed a lot since the 1980s. The league faced a cash crunch early in the 1990s, went through American expansion for a few years, saw numerous questionable owners and odd promotional schemes, and even had two separate Ottawa franchises fold before finding its current streak of stability and its new lucrative TV deal. It's hard to say the CFL isn't in a better place overall now than it was then. However, not all change is necessarily good, and there are things from the league's earlier days perhaps worth another look. Here's one. TSN's Matthew Scianitti dug up a 1986 game promo video that features three Saskatchewan Roughriders (Nick Hebeler, Rick Goltz and Al Johns) "trying out" for the new Rambo movie (which would have been 1988's Rambo III):

The Roughriders in particular have done some fun things with advertising over the years. Just a couple of years after this in 1988, they recorded the famed "Eleven, That's Enough!" music video about the team's playoff drought, which featured legendary receiver Don Narcisse and current TSN analyst Glen Suitor, amongst others:

Sadly, a lot of the quirky CFL videos seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur. Fun videos like these and the "Our Balls Are Bigger" ones of the 1990s (a few examples in that vein can be seen here and here) don't seem to pop up as much now. Granted, there are still funny videos out there (the Fantuz Flakes one from a few years back stands out), and we've seen amusing ones lately such as Hamilton lineman Tim O'Neill's participation in a music video, but many of the videos today seem to be too serious. Even when there are attempts at a campy vibe, they often fall short and aren't particularly funny. While the CFL as a whole doesn't want to go back to the 1980s, it might not be a bad idea to try and recreate some of the humour of that time. Videos like this don't have to replace the serious ads, but they can be a nice complement. At the very least, they'd certainly provide some quality CFL buzz around the Internet...