I'm sorry but some monumental shift has to happen here.
I've been to probably 2 dozen Argo games at Rogers Centre. More often than not, I've been there in support of my hometown Tiger-Cats. I live in Toronto, I have been there for the better part of 8 years.
Tonight I had free tickets to Argos/Riders. I sat in the south-east corner. This is the corner where the Argos come out and contains what should be the most ardent fans of the club. Well even in this corner, there were as many Rider fans as Argo fans amongst the attendance tonight. Furthermore, there were as many passers-by as there were fans of either team. These are peiople who seemed to be looking for the Jays and happened to come across a football game. While this is good that newbies are afforded exposure to the CFL, the sentiment was far from positive for the majority of casuals in attendance.
All I could hear around me was:
-"Why are the Argos winning 8-0? Did they go for 2?"
-"Is it 3 downs?"
-"Why are the flags red? That's so silly, they're supposed to be orange"
-"The challenge flag is yellow? Why is it opposite?"
-"Why does the ref wear a black hat?"
-"That endzone is so big"
-"The endzone is so big its so 'easy' to score!" to which I replied, "Its also hard to defend!" to which I was rebutted, "Yeah, exactly.. its easy to score!"... %^&^&! Its arbitrary as to which is the more desirable attribute: 'ease-of-score' or 'ease-of-defence'... regardless of the argument at hand, to these Hogtown casuals, the answer was always whichever is the norm in the NFL.
While there are those as oblivious to the game in all corners of the country, the sheer number in attendance at this game in Toronto was disturbing. Toronto is a city sufficiently large enough that even when drawing sub 20,000 crowds, rest assured 11,000 have never been to a game before.
To the general population in Toronto.. the CFL is NOTHING!!! There is no presence in the community... no significance what so ever... There is a general presumption that American football is the standard to which the differences in Canadian football are to be ridiculed regardless if both games came about through their own natural and legitimate processes and evolutions. There is no appreciation for the history of the Argos or the validity of Canadian football...
I don't know what needs to happen to change this but these were my observations... The league is in deep trouble in Toronto. There are next to no youngsters to really take the tradition of this team forward in the community.