For many of the American players who come to the CFL, it can be quite an adjustment. There are plenty of differences north of the border, including the three-down game, the bigger fields and the 12-a-side action—and that's just on the gridiron. General life in Canada also carries its own set of changes from life stateside, and one of those is hearing a different national anthem at games and other public functions. Sizeable numbers of the Americans who come north for the CFL adapt well, though, and some of the Calgary Stampeders showed that off ahead of an intrasquad game Sunday, with many of the imports on the team playing critical roles in this enthusiastic version of O Canada:
Prominent figures there include receivers Maurice Price (17), Nik Lewis (82) and Tim Hawthorne (78), Americans all. Of course, they had a little help from the locals: Canadian players like Johnny Forzani (80), Justin Phillips (44) and Brett Jones (69) can be seen chipping in as well. Still, it's the imports leading the charge here, and they deliver a very impressive version, certainly much better than Alexis Normand's attempt at The Star-Spangled Banner during this year's Memorial Cup. It's too bad these players weren't around in 1994 during the CFL USA days in Las Vegas, when lounge singer Dennis K.C. Parks infamously delivered a much, much worse version of O Canada:
There you have it, event organizers: when attempting to find someone to perform O Canada, it's clear that CFL players should be selected over Vegas lounge singers. Heck, Lewis and Price might have a second career ahead of them as anthem performers once football's done. They know the words and the tune, and that's more than you can say about many.