2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

John Valentine

MacEwan University
The NFL’s invasion of Canada: Growth and Resistance.

From the first cross-border game in 1874, American football has rarely been hampered by the 49th parallel.  Consequently, Canada was the obvious first national boundary to be breeched when the NFL’s international growth started after the Second World War. The process accelerated with the growth of television in the 1960s when the NFL gained access to the Canadian market through CBC television. Many researchers suggest the media play an important role in the globalizing process (Rowe, 1996; Maguire, 1999; Miller et al., 2001) and this certainly was the case for the NFL’s growth in Canada. What followed was a concerted effort on the part of the NFL to grow the game north of the border. Globalization often faces resistance and two entities identified in the literature that often offer resistance to the process are nationalism (Bairner, 2001) and the state (Miller et al., 2001). In the case of Canada, both forces responded to what was perceived as a threat to Canadian culture.