To me, "Canada's Team" should be reserved for a team that all fans across the country can get behind and take pride in. As much as I dislike hockey, I would think that the team Canada fields in the World Junior Hockey tournament or Olympic hockey (and any other Olympic sport for that matter, even though I have no interest in that either) would be an example of what "Canada's Team" should be. It's bigger than any one team in any one league. You have people from all across the country, who support different and often bitter rival teams at the league level, bonding together and wearing the same jersey and sharing beer and camaraderie at whatever crazy hour the game may be.
The Riders tend to polarize CFL fans and that's the biggest reason they can't be Canada's Team. With recent successes and exponential growth in the fanbase after countless years of struggling-not just in the standings but just to stay afloat- the Riders aren't the lovable losers and "everybody's second favourite team" anymore. You love 'em or you hate 'em.
Without pulling up specific quotes because I'm just not that ambitious here, anecdotally I can say that there's a lot of hostility, schadenfreude (sure can't wait to hear the next 13th man joke because those are always so fresh and funny), and negativity heaped upon the Riders and their fans on social media. Some of it is deserved, because as I said before I don't deny that we have some pretty obnoxious and arrogant fans. Some of it needs to be recognized as humour or simple trash-talking that almost all fans of all teams in all sports engage in - I do think a lot of Rider fans need to take themselves less seriously and play along with the more good-natured and tongue-in-cheek stuff. Pretty sure Edmonton doesn't think we are all horrible people. The Lions don't actually think the Riders suck because they guaranteed a win. Lighten up! That hypersensitivity is another issue that could spawn a blog post of its own.
The point is that calling ourselves Canada's Team doesn't help anything. The CFL is a fun league with a great and passionate community of fans. It's fun to engage fans (and sometimes even players) of other teams on Twitter and in my travels. I've met and conversed with several in person and on Twitter, and our passion for the sport and the league unites us all. We may cheer for different teams and give each other the gears, but I'd like to think at the end of the day we could share a beer, shake hands, and say, "Good game." Because the CFL IS a good game. But recognize that the CFL is made up of 9 teams, and needs all teams to be successful financially if not on the field, and no team is bigger than any other. It's a community and I hope it has a long and prosperous future.
Maybe instead of trying to be "Canada's Team" we should try to make the CFL "Canada's League".