Those of us who only vaguely understand the subtle differences in the rules between Canadian football and American football can be pleasantly surprised to watch CFL highlights like this one, which shows Calgary Stampeders receiver Larry Taylor doing something that no NFL player will ever do.
Taylor scored a touchdown on a 125-yard return on Saturday, an accomplishment impossible in American football. Taylor caught a missed field goal 15 yards deep in the end zone (CFL end zones are 20 yards deep) and ran it back 125 yards for a touchdown — the CFL field is 110 yards long, 10 yards longer than the NFL field from goal line to goal line. Long plays like that one are a specialty of Taylor’s; he had a 122-yard return last year that was the CFL’s longest play of 2011.
In Saturday’s game Taylor returned another missed field goal for 11 yards (those wacky CFL rules feature a lot of missed field goal returns), and had 222 yards on kickoff returns, 70 yards on punt returns and 13 yards receiving for a grand total of 441 yards on the day, passing Raghib “Rocket” Ismail’s 401-yard game in 1992 for the for the second-best single-game total in CFL history. (No. 1 all time is 474 yards in a game, set by Albert Johnson III in 2000.)
“The guys did a good job up front blocking for me to create some lanes, and I was able to capitalize on the opportunities. We put it together on the special teams unit,” Taylor told the Calgary Sun after the game. “It’s a good feeling, but I couldn’t do anything on the back end without the guys taking care of their blocks up front and giving me those lanes.”
Unfortunately, the Stampeders still lost 39-36 to the Toronto Argonauts.