2014... A Season to Remember For the Wrong Reasons.

The stage was set for the CFL to become a big boy league... The league had just negotiated a TV contract for it's exciting fast paced brand of football that would finally allow it to pay it's players a professional sports wage. The league had finally joined the 21st century and was ready to possibly even generate revenues from American television. Then something happened. Something happened that will effect the league for decades. What happened was very strange and difficult to explain. However it has happened and there is no going back now.
What happened was the moment the league decided to screw over it's players and not pay them what they were worth, the entire league fell apart. The biggest casualty has been the game itself. The games for decades were exciting on the edge of your seat football had declined in excitement in the previous decade, however no one could of foreseen the abomination that the 2014 season would be...... Forget about the competitive imbalance and the lopsided scores, but the game in 2014 isn't even professional.. Wide open receivers dropping passes, quarterbacks who could not hit the broad sides of barns.... offensive linemen who couldn't stop their two year olds from raiding a cookie jar... And thats before we even get to the PENALTIES!! What we are left with, is a nunwatchable brand of football that has in just one year given up it's title as the number one non-hockey property in Canada to being number 3. Over 200 000 people have tuned out this abomination as well as scores of fans in BC,Calgary,Montreal, and Toronto have stopped attending games.. Last time I checked, those were the four largest cities in the country.
Now getting back to what happened is the interesting part. The precise moment the CFL turned what should of been the greatest season ever into what must be it's worst since 1996 was when Mark Cohon (the leagues puppet commissioner) went on national TV and told everyone who would listen, what a joke the CFL is. His exact quote escapes me now, but goes along the line of,"we are not the NHL:, we are not the NFL, we are a small business.' What he said was true, but after years of telling everyone how great the league was doing to then turnaround and cry poor in a season where your revenues were projected to increase a whopping 15-20% really killed any and all momentum the league had going for it.
The decline in the quality of play is multifaceted. However,the two main contributors are caused by the same source. That source is the CFL's stict and very low SMS. The first problem is that CFL players average only 3 year careers. Yes.. their college careers are actually longer. What you get on a CFL field are not the best players available, but you get the cheapest available players. Players who are allstars are cut because they don't fit the salary cap. 2014 was especially a high turnover year whwerrte 40% of the players in the league being rookies this year. This was done on purpose to avoid paying an additional 3000 dollar bonus that was agreed apon in the CBA.What youi are left with is inferior players who do not even understand the rules of Canadian Football who only practice 4 hours a day because that was a concession to the players to continue to pay them 5 figure average salaries
The second major reason for a decline in play is that CFL teams despite paying their players 5 figure incomes are actually flush with cash and thus have to spend it somewhere. If the league does not spend the money on players then coaching is the next logical place to spend that money. What you have now is almost comical where teams like Montreal spend a several hundred thousand or so mid season to bring in 3 additional coaches. These coaches are very well paid and unlike the players average well into six figures and unlike the players work a heck of a lot longer then 4 hours a day. That time is spent dissecting every second of tape and figuring out ways to stifle every once of excitement out of the game. The offence coaches don't have enough time with their players to practice schemes and thus we are left with offences that are run oriented along with high percentage short throws with no risk that would be boring at best, but still effective if allowed to operate. However these offences are not allowed to operate because of all of the penalties. No matter how efficient your offence is, you can not drive the field when you are receiving 2-3 penalties on every drive. Deep throws that used to be a signature of the CFL have become less common because of vastly improved coaching. Iconic touchdowns like Tony Gabriels catch in the 1976 Grey Cup simply would never happen today.
Mark Cohon not renewing his contact today signals the captain abandoning the ship. The list of other failures this season are to multiple to talk about at length... Everything from the Hamilton football stadium situation to the Toronto football stadium situation.. To allowing David Braley to sit on the BC Lions and suffocate them ,to the lost opportunity to be on ESPN 1 (a blessing in disguise with the poor play this season) With the last 4 months undoing the last 15 years of hard work to further the CFL, one must wonder if Cohon isn't the smart one

First, your post is too long.

Second, I agree this year is a mess but I disagree why. The league has to change the rules to increase scoring and they have to do something about the penalties. Everything else will fall into place.

Last, the blip you saw with the Jays did not last. As the team has fallen, so have the T.V. ratings. The Jays are a team that bankrupted their future and then did not capitalize in a season where everyone in the AL East is horrible.

Wow, a lot of work typing all that.

While I agree with some points and disagree with others, I was struck by one point you made - that of the high percentage short passes which seem to have become the norm in the CFL of late.
Indeed, what happened to "airing it out"?
Are cornerbacks/safeties suddenly THAT much better?
Are quarterbacks less accurate than they used to be?
I don't get it, and don't like it.
The CFL used to excel with long passes.

I'll stop there, but has anyone besides Mr. Bungle and me noticed this disappointing trend?

I had never given it any thought. I will check it out going forward.

Aging quarterbacks I'd say. Burris and Ray don't seem to have the same strength that their younger second stringers. As such they have seemed less confident in doing so. Ray hasn't impressed me at all this year, and he doesn't have his usual receivers to make him look good. I think Burris has thrown maybe four spirals all season. Smith has failed as an experiment. Hamilton has played decent with their carousel(though not as effective as last year)
The average age is a lot lower out west among starters, though Glenn has done well to adapt tbc's offence.

Based on starters at the beginning of the season.
East avg age: 32
West avg age 29.4

Not to say that avg age is the only reason, there have been far too many missed catches and fumbles thus far in the season

How can you say the league screwed the players over. The great majority of the players agreed to it. I always have difficulty with the views some have the teams had to blow all of the tv increases. Expansion had a lot to do with the quality of the game.

Hate to say it, but, this is one I have to somewhat agree with Bugle Boy.

The point is that the CFL could of raised the average salary to 120K and then had a 6 hour work day... You would have the best players available and they would understand the rules of the game and not take ridiculous penalties games after game. If you paid the players more...you could also fine them more... I think players should take an immediate 1000 dollar fine for an unnecessary roughness penalty and a 500 dollar fine for non blatant late hits to the QB and objectional conduct (taunting) While we are at it... we need to give the refs to a grey flay... A ref should be able to put his flag away on a no yards call if the player was back peddling... or a ref should be able to warn a player verbally for minor infractions that have no bearing on the play... Obviously if they keep doing it then a flag will be warranted.

...could HAVE raised...

Why are you not getting that what you consistently type is NOT English?
This is about the fifth time I've pointed this out!

Because I don't care... My parents did not raise me to dwell on meaningless things... As lnog as you can usnatndersd waht I am wtirnig tehn it deos not meattr how I witre it.
Your decision to point out meaningless mistakes on my part says a whole lot more about you, then it says about me... Let me guess... Your house is clean enough that you could literally eat off the floor?... You wash your hands at least 3 times a day? You shower at the gym after a workout instead of at home because you don't want to stink up your car? You would never consider making love to your wife either ,if you had not showered during a camping trip?

Come on man. I could care less about his grammer, fact is he's making a solid point.

Let's see if you catch it!

Well, with all due respect, you should care. If we are going to use the English language, it seems to me we should at least make an effort to use it properly. I don’t know why folks get all upset and defensive when a spelling or grammar mistake is pointed out to them. When I make a mistake, and I surely do, if someone points it out to me I’ll say ‘thanks’ and try very hard not to make the same mistake again. A far better approach, I believe, than to revel in coming across as a functional illiterate.

As is well known here, my pet peeve is the mixing up of ‘then’ and ‘than’, like you do repeatedly; for example:

My problem there is not that it’s just a spelling mistake; they are two different words with two completely different meanings. It is not just a small thing because misusing them can obscure your meaning, and if we’re using the English language to communicate, do you really want folks to misunderstand your meaning?

For example, let’s say you type “Calvillo was a better quarterback than Ray.” The word ‘than’ is used properly, and your meaning is clear to all.

But, if you typed “Calvillo was a better quarterback then Ray”, because you have used the word ‘then’, your meaning is now unclear. . . because, literally, that statement indicates that you think Calvillo was the better qb, but ‘then’, at some later point in time, Ray became the better qb; and that may not be what you mean at all.

That's probably a good idea. I am sure TDB would not want his wife to get a UTI.

And suddenly this thread is becoming the thread to remember for all the wrong reasons.... urinary tract infections .... really? Aye carumba. Back to football please. :stuck_out_tongue:

Major part of the deterioration in game quality has to be the new PI challenge that's been implemented.
I swear players are now embellishing contact with receivers. I saw my home boy Spencer watt take one the other day.... so embarrassed.
It eats up time and it just looks bad when the refs can't distinguish between illegal contact and a dive

You may be right on that Bay. . . personally, I still am of the opinion that the dilution of the talent pool caused by adding an extra team is the main culprit.

It depends on which specific part of the bad season you're looking at. Dilution of the talent pool has weakened teams, for sure.

It's not responsible for the 92% increase in Unsportsmanlike Conduct flags. A lot of the increase in flags is the CFL telling the officials to call more things.

Ditto with the lengthy review times on PI challenges.

Couldn't agree more. Especially the Canadian talent pool. Turnover among teams seems higher, I also wonder in the labour dispute in the spring had an effect on the players.

Disagree. This is not the first time we have gone from 8 to 9 teams. Yes it is having an impact, that can't be denied, however, I don't recall in any other instance a huge increase in flags, increase in the length of games nor the actual quality of the games deteriorating to the point they have this season.

The addition of Ottawa has been a factor but it is far from the only factor, nor is it the most significant.

If you remember that veterans got a 4500 dollar bonus , but rookies only got a 1500 dollar bonus... Im sure that did not help.Teams ditched veterans to sign rookies.