Here's your chance to re-live one of the most unusual and intriguing chapters ever chronicled in professional sports: the 1995 Pro Season for COLD SNAP Canadian Pro Football Game lets you once again play Canadian pro football on American turf! Available November 13.
In 1993, the established Canadian pro football league decided to experiment with expansion into the United States. This decision was fueled partly by what was going on in the U.S. pro league in the late '80s and early '90s, where the league's owners ratcheted up the value of their franchises by refusing to expand into new cities. Cities were "held hostage" by owners, who threatened (and, in many cases followed through on those threats) to relocate to other cities if their demands for new stadiums, tax breaks, or other perks were not met. Under these circumstances, the Houston franchise relocated to Tennessee, the St. Louis team bolted for Phoenix and both Los Angeles franchises left town for new venues (St. Louis and Oakland).
At the same time, the Canadian pro league was experiencing plummeting attendance and revenues, and negative publicity thanks to financial issues (and in a couple cases, wrong-doing) of its ownership.
With these twin factors at play, expanding the Canadian league to American soil seemed to be a "win" for everyone: fans in football-deprived U.S. cities got pro teams, while the existing Canadian clubs got a cash infusion in the form of expansion fees to bolster their finances.
The experiment lasted three seasons. You can read the entire history here, it's a fascinating story that culminated with an American franchise—Baltimore—winning the league championship at the end of the '95 season. Ironically, the beginning of the end was when the U.S. pro league announced that its Cleveland team would re-locate to Baltimore, thanks largely to the fan base interest demonstrated by the Canadian league champs. Shortly after the announcement, the league pulled the plug on all five US teams and Canadian pro football again became an exclusively Canadian enterprise.
With the 1995 Pro Season for COLD SNAP, though, the days of American teams playing the Canadian game are back! All novelty aside, first and foremost, it's pro league football. And in the 1995 Canadian league, some very good football was played. The league was divided north-south in '95 (the only time in its 100+ year history to have such an alignment), and because the American teams didn't have to observe the league's traditional quota of Canadian players on their rosters, they were extremely competitive. Many very recognizable American pro players found roster spots with U.S. based Canadian league teams (some of them would later migrate to and find stardom in the U.S. pro league), and the opportunity to coach in the pros brought a number of well-known coaching names back to the sidelines, including Jack Pardee (Birmingham), Pepper Rodgers(Memphis) and Forrest Gregg(Shreveport).
There were also some memorable individual performances in '95, each of which you can experience on your tabletop with this card set: Baltimore's potent backfield piled up over 6000 yards of offence in its successful run for the league title. San Antonio's tireless kicker booted an astonishing 56 field goals (in 65 attempts!). Memphis' hard-charging edge rusher sacked opposing quarterbacks 24 times. Calgary's diminutive signal-caller shook off what was supposed to be a season-ending tendon injury and led his team to the championship game. Those are just a few of the stories that played out in the 1995 Canadian pro season: you can re-live them all, with this exciting new vintage season release for COLD SNAP!
You get team cards for all thirteen of the league's teams, with each player individually rated based on his real-life '95 performance—over 400 players in all! The team cards are printed in our classic black and white double-sided format, and include finder columns for runners, pass receivers, return men and defenders. Plus you get a league summary and Instant Results matrix, all for just $19 postage-paid! Or, get the PDF edition for $14, presented in team colors, print and play the same day! Available November 13!