Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-08-2020, 01:57 AM
russian heel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,111

How important to Canadian pride is the CFL?


Apparently the 70 year Canadian Football League has approached the Canada government with hat in hand, claiming they probably will have to cancel the 2020 season which will all but force them to fold the circuit for good.

From what I can gather, the loss of Edmonton Eskimos, Calgary Stampeders, Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (after winning their first Grey Cup since 1990) would be devastating to their fans. Toronto could care less about the Argos, and Montreal and Vancouver could take or leave their teams. It would be a shame for Ottawa to lose their franchise after their recent success. I don't know about Hamilton.

With this mixed fanbase loyalty, would it overall be an embarrassment for Canada to lose the CFL and the Grey Cup?

If the government refuses, could a new CFL reform after the crisis is over, I'm guessing with a handful of the teams? I have a feeling there would be enough of a sentiment from at least 4-5 of the team fanbases to try again.

Could the NFL step up as an angel investor, with the criteria that the NFL can build a stadium and place a team in Toronto, in oppositions of the NFL's "hands off CFL" policy?
  #2  
Old 05-08-2020, 02:32 AM
Leaffan's Avatar
Leaffan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 25,286
It's a good question. The CFL is very popular in western Canada. It's not too popular in Toronto because they also have NHL, MLB, and NBL teams.

There have been discussions about a new team in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but so far the east only goes as far as Montreal. I believe the Montreal Alouettes are doing fine.

Ottawa has lost franchises due to mismanagement and a shitty stadium, but both of those issues have been resolved and the latest incarnation, with the unfortunate name of the Redblacks, has also been doing fine.

There have been talks about an NFL franchise in Toronto, and Toronto would totally embrace the concept, but obviously the Toronto Argonauts CFL team opposes this, and Buffalo isn't too thrilled about the idea either. Although the Roger's Centre (Skydome) can be reconfigured for football, it's not the greatest venue.

Anyway....some Canadians are big on the CFL and some are luke warm. I don't really watch it, but I have friends in Ottawa who attended many games. Halifax would really embrace a new team. Apart from semi-pro hockey they have nothing else.

I would support a government bail out: too much tradition to walk away from.

Last edited by Leaffan; 05-08-2020 at 02:34 AM.
  #3  
Old 05-08-2020, 05:59 AM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 12,165
If the CFL went under NFL would very likely add teams up there. NFL games are shown there right and I assume the ratings are OK?
  #4  
Old 05-08-2020, 06:04 AM
kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 20,323
And here I thought this was about some affinity for the compact fluorescent lightbulb, perhaps something against switching to LED's. They have american football in Canada,who would have known.
  #5  
Old 05-08-2020, 06:56 AM
Acierocolotl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 70
My father-in-law, who lives in The West, is a great fan of his local team, can tell you all sorts of trivia about the various players, and happily accepts replica items from the team as gifts. He loves that stuff.

Leaffan covers the Ottawa situation. I'll say I've been aware of them, but haven't seen a game. On the other hand, the only use I've had for football in any form is appeasing my father-in-law or playing that old "QB1" trivia game--which basically turned watching a game into a game itself.

It wouldn't cause the same outrage as the NHL folding, I can say that much with certainty.

Ultimately, I'm pro-bailout. Not because I care so much, or even the tradition of it, but simply because it shouldn't be very spendy as such things go. Most of the teams turn a profit, and they don't cost anywhere near as much as an NHL or NFL team to run. So it wouldn't cost a great deal to keep the league afloat (and having football to watch would be good for the national morale right now), and were the bailout in the form of a loan, we actually have a good chance of seeing it paid off.

(Also as a point of trivia, kanicbird, the Canadian version of gridiron football has some subtle changes to its rules that makes for a more dynamic game, I'm told. Though as an NFL fan, you won't be really confused about what's going on.)
  #6  
Old 05-08-2020, 07:16 AM
hogarth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by russian heel View Post
With this mixed fanbase loyalty, would it overall be an embarrassment for Canada to lose the CFL and the Grey Cup?
Hand-wringing over the future of the CFL is a long-standing tradition. Considering that it's such a tiny league (8 or 9 teams, not counting the brief U.S. expansion in 1994-95), it doesn't take too many teams folding or threatening to fold to cause an existential crisis.

My parents and my brother live in Saskatchewan (by far the most active CFL fanbase) and they actively follow CFL football. My dad also watches NFL and college football, but my mother and brother have no interest in the NFL.
  #7  
Old 05-08-2020, 07:52 AM
Ike Witt's Avatar
Ike Witt is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 15,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
Although the Roger's Centre (Skydome) can be reconfigured for football, it's not the greatest venue.
It has literally half the capacity that an NFL stadium needs.
  #8  
Old 05-08-2020, 07:57 AM
elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14,605
Where will municipal, provincial or federal governments find the millions required to subsidize an NFL stadium? I can’t see many folks happy to have their tax dollars go to the NFL. That'd be an awful big ask, for any politician to advocate for, during the difficult financial times that likely lie ahead. I think that’s more likely to drive the outcome than pride in the CFL.
  #9  
Old 05-08-2020, 10:31 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 88,732
kanicbird, if you're not interested in the topic of a thread, nobody is forcing you to participate.
  #10  
Old 05-08-2020, 10:36 AM
dalej42 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 16,491
Anyone know the demographics of their fan base? If it’s mainly 50+ who have fond memories and team loyalty because it harkens back to a time before the NFL was omnipresent, then keeping it afloat may not make sense.

I don’t think the NFL has much interest in expansion, but they’ll have leverage when current NFL teams threaten to move to Canada. It’s pretty easy to poke endless holes in the move to London arguments, not as much for Canada. Toronto could become the next Los Angeles.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42 He/Him/His
  #11  
Old 05-08-2020, 12:10 PM
hogarth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
There have been talks about an NFL franchise in Toronto, and Toronto would totally embrace the concept, but obviously the Toronto Argonauts CFL team opposes this, and Buffalo isn't too thrilled about the idea either.
I don't claim to have my finger on the pulse of Toronto sports fans, but among the people I know there is a healthy amount of skepticism about NFL prospects in Toronto, considering the lack of CFL interest and the probable need to build a multi-billion dollar stadium.

The Buffalo Bills had an agreement to play a regular-season game each year in Toronto, but they couldn't fill the Skydome.

https://sportswire.usatoday.com/2013...rest-in-bills/
  #12  
Old 05-08-2020, 01:48 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 12,165
I guess the NFL could try to run CFL as a sort of farm system for the NFL, they did that with NFL Europe from `1991 to 2007. Fans may not like the CFL being a farm system but now it is clearly not at the NFL level. NBA has the G league and some of the best BB kids are now skipping 1 year in college to go to the G league.
  #13  
Old 05-08-2020, 02:05 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 17,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
I guess the NFL could try to run CFL as a sort of farm system for the NFL, they did that with NFL Europe from `1991 to 2007. Fans may not like the CFL being a farm system but now it is clearly not at the NFL level. NBA has the G league and some of the best BB kids are now skipping 1 year in college to go to the G league.
It should also be remembered that Canadian football is a similar, but not identical, game to American football, with the bigger field, three downs, an extra eligible receiver, more offensive motion allowed, etc. Many of the skills certainly do translate, but CFL football, these days, bears more of a resemblance to the "spread" offenses that many NCAA teams run, than NFL offenses.
  #14  
Old 05-08-2020, 02:25 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 12,165
If the NFL were to use CFL as a farm system they would likely want the CFL to use NFL rules. Just like minor league baseball uses major league rules. NCAA FB has some differences in rules from the NFL such as 1 foot down vs 2 for the NFL to be inbounds. NFL uses radios to send in the offense/defense play calls , NCAA has not used that yet.
  #15  
Old 05-08-2020, 03:36 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 17,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
If the NFL were to use CFL as a farm system they would likely want the CFL to use NFL rules.
Logically, that makes sense; if the NFL were to have its own a minor league, they'd want it to really prep players for how the NFL game is played.

The CFL, as it stands today, is a different (if allied) sport, and (by rule) the majority of players on CFL rosters are Canadians. Reshaping the CFL into a developmental league for the NFL (though changing over to American football rules, and primarily using American players) would fundamentally destroy the innate "Canadian-ness" of that league. I would have to believe that many CFL fans would be deeply angered by that, and would refuse to follow that sort of "new" CFL.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 05-08-2020 at 03:38 PM.
  #16  
Old 05-08-2020, 04:31 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 17,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Reshaping the CFL into a developmental league for the NFL (though changing over to American football rules, and primarily using American players)
That should have been "through changing over," not "though changing over"


Last edited by kenobi 65; 05-08-2020 at 04:31 PM.
  #17  
Old 05-08-2020, 04:33 PM
Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 17,553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
If the CFL went under NFL would very likely add teams up there. NFL games are shown there right and I assume the ratings are OK?
I doubt it. The NFL is perfectly structured right now with eight divisions of four teams each for a total of 32. There may never be true expansion again.

The only way a Canadian city would get a team might be if some team wanted to move - there's been occasional talk of the Bills moving to Toronto, for instance.
  #18  
Old 05-09-2020, 07:26 AM
manjulaagarwal1955 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Chandighar
Posts: 5
NFL Games ratings are Ok, i usually notice their ratings and it seems OK every time and currently NFL is structured very well.
  #19  
Old 05-09-2020, 08:19 AM
hogarth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
I guess the NFL could try to run CFL as a sort of farm system for the NFL, they did that with NFL Europe from `1991 to 2007. Fans may not like the CFL being a farm system but now it is clearly not at the NFL level.
You may be aware of this, but there is a long history of players moving from the CFL to the NFL already. Doug Flutie and Warren Moon had some success in the NFL after playing the CFL, for instance.
  #20  
Old 05-09-2020, 08:28 AM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 43,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
It has literally half the capacity that an NFL stadium needs.
No NFL stadium is that big. Rogers Centre seats a max of about 54,000 for NFL football. That's below NFL capacity, but not by THAT much.

The CFL is important regionally, but unfortunately it's not at all important in the most populous places in Canada. There are far more NFL fans in the Toronto area than CFL fans, and the Montreal Alouettes have fallen on hard times recently too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogarth
I don't claim to have my finger on the pulse of Toronto sports fans, but among the people I know there is a healthy amount of skepticism about NFL prospects in Toronto, considering the lack of CFL interest and the probable need to build a multi-billion dollar stadium.

The Buffalo Bills had an agreement to play a regular-season game each year in Toronto, but they couldn't fill the Skydome.
The NFL would do gangbusters in Toronto. It would be hugely successful.

1. The failure of the Bills series was because if was some other city's team. They weren't the Toronto Whatevers. They were another city's team, playing in an inadequate stadium. (It didn't help that the series coincided with the Bills sucking.)

2. The NFL is nonetheless huge around here. Sports bars fill up on Sundays.

3. Well, yeah, you'd need a new stadium, but that's how it goes anywhere.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #21  
Old 05-09-2020, 10:55 AM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 17,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
No NFL stadium is that big. Rogers Centre seats a max of about 54,000 for NFL football. That's below NFL capacity, but not by THAT much.
Exactly. While Rogers Centre has a smaller capacity than every current NFL stadium, it's not a huge gap. As this list on Wikipedia shows, the smallest NFL stadium is Soldier Field (61,500), and most stadiums have a capacity in the 60s; only seven stadiums hold more than 75,000 people, and the biggest is MetLife Stadium (home of the Giants and Jets), at 82,500.

There are some *college* stadiums that are substantially bigger, like Michigan Stadium (University of Michigan, 107,601 capacity).

Last edited by kenobi 65; 05-09-2020 at 10:59 AM.
  #22  
Old 05-09-2020, 12:44 PM
Ike Witt's Avatar
Ike Witt is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 15,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
No NFL stadium is that big. Rogers Centre seats a max of about 54,000 for NFL football.
My mistake. For some reason I thought the capacity was 40-45,000 for football.
  #23  
Old 05-09-2020, 01:46 PM
Horatius is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 1,464
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Anyone know the demographics of their fan base? If itís mainly 50+ who have fond memories and team loyalty because it harkens back to a time before the NFL was omnipresent, then keeping it afloat may not make sense.


I'm not sure about the league overall, but the Ottawa games seem to be a pretty diverse crowd, age-wise. I'm in the slightly 50+ category, but I only really got into football when the RedBlacks started playing, and have been to most of their home games.

At least for Ottawa, most memories of the "old days" that I've heard have been very negative. The last couple of owners of Ottawa teams were quite bad, and widely reviled by the fan base. In comparison, the RedBlacks fan base has been quite positive and supporting, even in the seasons where they sucked. They only won 2 games their first season, but sold out almost every home game.

Losing the season sucks, losing the whole league would be worse. There's been some discussion about possible refunds for season ticket holders, and I've advocated that those of us who can afford it should let them keep the money this year, in hopes it will keep them alive. I've gotten some likes on Facebook for that opinion, so at least a few others agree. It's a gamble, but it's a gamble I can afford, and am willing to take.
__________________
Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?
  #24  
Old 05-09-2020, 02:24 PM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 43,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
My mistake. For some reason I thought the capacity was 40-45,000 for football.
While Rogers Centre is not suitable long term, it'd work short term while you were building another stadium.

The NFL has long had a nonaggression understanding with the CFL. If the CFL dies it's only a matter of time before the Toronto market is just too attractive not to expand or move into.

Once upon a time I would imagine the difference of the Canadian market might have been disconcerting but the Blue Jays and Raptors make piles of money so that's not a concern anymore.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!

Last edited by RickJay; 05-09-2020 at 02:26 PM.
  #25  
Old 05-09-2020, 05:49 PM
Spoons is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 22,124
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogarth View Post
You may be aware of this, but there is a long history of players moving from the CFL to the NFL already. Doug Flutie and Warren Moon had some success in the NFL after playing the CFL, for instance.
Joe Theismann also. I remember him playing for the Toronto Argonauts in the early 1970s, before he went to the Washington Redskins.
  #26  
Old 05-09-2020, 07:13 PM
dalej42 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 16,491
Let’s keep in mind that all those players were before the NFL was at 32 teams. Also, scouting is different now. It’s easy to get film of just about any QB regardless of what college they went to. Even the Kurt Warner arena league to Super Bowl story is over 20 years old.

Not saying some CFL QB won’t make it in the NFL in the future, god knows scouts mess up the draft all the time. Or, a knucklehead may finally grow up after spending a year in Edmonton.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42 He/Him/His
  #27  
Old 05-09-2020, 07:30 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 17,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Let’s keep in mind that all those players were before the NFL was at 32 teams. Also, scouting is different now. It’s easy to get film of just about any QB regardless of what college they went to. Even the Kurt Warner arena league to Super Bowl story is over 20 years old.

Not saying some CFL QB won’t make it in the NFL in the future, god knows scouts mess up the draft all the time. Or, a knucklehead may finally grow up after spending a year in Edmonton.
And, in addition, in the cases of Flutie and Moon, they went to the CFL because they were having trouble getting roles in the NFL. In Flutie's case, it was at least in part due to his height, while Moon came out of the University of Washington in an era in which it was still widely believed that black quarterbacks weren't likely to succeed in the NFL. Theismann, despite finishing second in Heisman Trophy voting as a senior, wasn't drafted until the fourth round, and went to Canada after he didn't reach a contract agreement with the Dolphins.

In all three cases, they were initially seen as marginal prospects by NFL teams, but proved themselves in the CFL, and then went on to some level of success in the NFL. (I say "some level" only because Flutie was really only a starter for four seasons after returning to the NFL, but he did have that magical season with the Bills in '98.)

But, yes, I think it's much less likely now, just due to more exhaustive scouting. There are still a few players who jump to the NFL after being successful in the CFL (Cameron Wake comes to mind), but it's still a very small number.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 05-09-2020 at 07:30 PM.
  #28  
Old 05-09-2020, 09:09 PM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 43,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
And, in addition, in the cases of Flutie and Moon, they went to the CFL because they were having trouble getting roles in the NFL. In Flutie's case, it was at least in part due to his height, while Moon came out of the University of Washington in an era in which it was still widely believed that black quarterbacks weren't likely to succeed in the NFL.
We will never really know whether Flutie was going to get a shot at the NFL right out of college because he signed with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL before the NFL draft happened. He was drafted ater in the drat anyway but as the Generals had thrown a giant truck of money at him, the NFL had no chance at getting him.

Flutie didn't play well for the Generals, and then he crossed the NFL picket line, and then he didn't play well for the Patriots, either. He went to the CFL because he just wasn't playing well.

Conversely, his return to the NFL and four seasons as a regular are pretty impressive when you consider the fact he was 36 years old when he went back.

At one point Flutie's backup Calgary was Jeff Garcia, who was also a guy that did the CFL first and then had success in the NFL.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #29  
Old 05-12-2020, 05:45 PM
Sam Stone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,696
How soon before we allow 50,000 people into a stadium again? If outdoors vs indoors matters, what if the NHL doesn't come back next year?

I don't want to subsidize a sport that has no chance of surviving, even with the subsidy. For things like pro sports teams, concert halls, theaters, and other businesses that require crowds, I'd wait until we know the parameters of this disease.

If Covid is with us indefinitely, I think we will see a shift to sports that can be played with social distancing, like auto racing, tennis, golf, e-sports, etc. And they would all have to rebalance revenues to account for much smaller live audiences. Maybe the era of the $100 million player is over.

Otherwise, you could make a Canadian division for the NFL with four teams. Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan. Call it the prairie division.
  #30  
Old 05-12-2020, 06:08 PM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 43,075
If COVID-19 is with us indefinitely and you cannot become immune, there will be no sports at all because everyone's going to die.

But people almost certainly do gain immunity, so it's not, or it'll slow burn like most things. People will accept the risk and go to sporting events.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #31  
Old 05-12-2020, 06:32 PM
Sam Stone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,696
Changes happen on the margin. If Covid turns out to be like the flu, where herd immunity and/or vaccines offer societal protection from pandemics but you can still catch it if a different strain emerges, then many people who were on the bubble about pro sports events will drop out. Especially older people.

Not everyone will, but some percentage would. And that might be enough.

The cruise industry is another example. Hard-core cruisers will still cruise, but a lot of people who are marginal cruise customers will choose other options. If there's enough of those, the cruise industry is in big trouble, even if half or three quarters of their customers come back.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017