I know it sounds far fetched, but considering the Saskatchewan born talent in the CFL, what would it be like if all our Non-import talent was either Saskatchewan born, or attended Saskatchewan universities? That would be utterly incredible!! There is definitely enough players in the league right now!!
There are many advantages to using local talent. In terms of effort, they’ll generally give you more when they’re playing for their hometown team than if they’re playing for the money on another team. It is easier to get them to buy into the system and do whatever they can to help the team. They are also more likely to hacve friends and family attending the games, and they are going to want to play well for them. They don’t have to spend the whole season away from their families, and spending a few days at home on your day off is a lot easier. As for fans, they can go to games to watch their classmate play professional football. The fans from Saskatchewan also can really take ownership of this team, because it’s showcasing the best talent in Saskatchewan playing professionally for Saskatchewan. It also lets kids in the junior program know that if they want to play professional sports in thier hometown, they have to play football, and not hockey.
It gives us another chance to see how the front office is looking at their market. They have been working tirelessly these past few years to build really strong rivalries. You could argue that the top 3 rivalries in the CFL right now are Sask-BC, Sask-Wpg, and Sask-Calgary. Other teams are charging a “rider premium” on their tickets, and still getting record crowds / sellouts. Now they’re turned their attention inwards, to looking at solidifying their homefront, and expanding it. They’re now looking at North Dakota as part of their market, and are showcasing players from there, in hopes of expanding their market footprint.
I really like the local talent model they’ve built. If they can prove they can be successful using a high content of local players, it could open up the league to expansion. I think that if they can make it successful, the league can look at expanding to the US again, using a local-talent rule in place of the ratio.
But as for an all-Sask non-import contingent, I don’t see it happening. It would mean trading away guys like Fantuz, Congi, Boreham, St. Pierre for guys like Flory, LaBatte, Hoffart, and Ryan. But … you never know.
If what we are doing will result in expansion to the USA, then I really hope we stop doing it soon!! Can't say I care for that notion even a little bit. Give me 10 teams in Canada and then I hope to never hear the word "expansion" again.
As for the rest, much of what you say has some validity, but if a player really will play harder for the "home team" than he would elsewhere, honestly, I'd question the guys character. We do want guys that will be a part of the community and raise their families here. But I think a guy like Matt Dominguez is just as valuable in that regard as Jordan Rempel. But it is great to see the hometown boys playing for the hometown. As long as they are also the best players, it is all good. And you are definitely right about the benefits for amateur football. Though I think if a kid sees Jason Clermont playing for BC that effect is nearly the same.....
It’s not really that much out of the norm. If you look at the Lions roster right now, you see:
Angus Reid - Richmond - Simon Fraser
Justin Shaw - Victoria
Dean Valli - North Vancouver - Simon Fraser
Andrew Harris - Vancouver Island Raiders
Paul McCallum - Vancouver - Surrey Rams
Javier Glatt - UBC
Bret Anderson - Coquitlam - Simon Fraser
Sean White - White Rock
Paris Jackson - Vancouver
They’ve got 9 BC players on their roster.
Edmonton only have 5 – Lumsden, Ciezki, Inglis, LaRose, and Cooper.
Calgary 6 – Ralph, Lysack, Cote, Ternovatsky, O’Neill, Tsoumpas
Sask just went from being an average local content to one of the top.