I am including in this post.....what I think is one of the most intelligent comments on the CFL I have seen in a long time. It comes from the comments after the National Post story on the Blue team that is linked on this thread.
It addresses not only the sad state of the Blue team but also the effect of sports ownership in Toronto, the CFL and in other sports. It was written by "Saxum" and well worth a read:
" As football, like several other 'sports', has gone from being an athletic contest on the playing field, to being just a convenient partner to sell stuff, my interest has waned exponentially as the distance between an athletic contest, and being a partner to sell stuff, got closer and closer and closer. Now sports and selling stuff are 'siamese twins'. And my active participation is close to zero.
It has all been brought about by the big bucks that television contracts have given to the various sports leagues. Initially, the TV producers were happy to be included as being partners with the sports. At that time, decades ago, media columnists predicted that the TV tail would eventually wag the dog. It came to pass. Long ago.
TV now dictates that their commercials take precedence over the sport being played on the field of competition. And so, whenever the TV moguls decide that they want to insert a commercial, as previously arranged with the contracts which the leagues accepted, then the game draws to a halt.
And so, at football games, athletes who are (arguably) more conditioned and skilled than ever before, stand around with their hands on their hips. To distract the 'crowd' from growing increasingly restive, balls are bounced around or thrown into the stands, cheerleaders mimicking strippers strut their stuff, and noise in the form of somebody's idea of music, whose decibels are just short of rupturing the eardrums of those in attendance, is blasted over the speakers.
That people still are willing to leave their homes in all sorts of weather and get themselves to the stadium, often fighting traffic conditions, and then being milked in order that they can find a place to park their vehicles, and then, when they get into the stadium, the fans who have made the effort to support the team franchise financially by buying tickets, those fans are then made to languish in their seats while the team management and their 'partners', the TV moguls, ignore the fans at the stadium so that they can sell 'stuff' to the TV audience.
And so Canadian football games, which used to be almost non-top affairs on the field, except for when an injured player had to be tended to, those games now drag on, and on, and on.
Canadian football used to be a superior game for the entertainment of fans compared with the American game. That was because the rules were different. And those rules then offered opportunities for creative plays on the field which are now rarely, if ever seen.
About the 1950s, Americans started coming into Canadian football in the forms of players and coaches. Like the camel driving the residents out of their tent, the Americans gradually had the Canadian rules morph more closely to the U.S. model. That changed the play on the field. Canadian athletes, whose skills were potentially equal to those of the Americans, those young Canadians were sidelined. American coaches, and team finances, did not permit young Canadians to be kept to develop as backups for a few years. The American university football factories grind out thousands of players each year. So, why would American coaches 'waste time' developing Canadians when they could get a 'finished product' by simply making a telephone call to their American football friends in the U.S.?
There are several angles to this - including how TV has changed their presentation of the game and has made it an abomination to attempt to watch in full. (But, that will not be gone into here.)
I used to go to several CFL games each year. The last season that Doug Flutie was with the Argos, I went to every home game. And, at those games, with hot dogs being thrown into the stands, and the mindless distractions as noted, assaulting those of us in the stands, I increasingly asked myself why I was making the effort to get to the Skydome to be exposed to dreck in exchange for the money I had forked out.
Increasingly, the irrationality of my behaviour finally twigged on me and I stopped going. I haven't been back since. And my interest in sports is now limited to reading news such as which 'athlete' has assaulted his girlfriend or robbed a convenience store, and which team owner is trying to blackmail the city where the franchise is located in order to extort a new stadium; otherwise the team will move. And so on. And while most of the foregoing applies to U.S. football, we have our own Canadian soap operas going on here as to which CFL team might fold. and whether or not the stadium in Hamilton should have had a roof and when will it finally be finished? And will the CFL ever expand beyond the fluctuating numbers of eight or nine teams?
But, given the crowds that attend these events (except for the Argos which is a unique problem), every year, millions of people are willing to be taken to the cleaners for tickets and parking and pay outrageous prices for snacks in the stadium and for the purchase of team merchandise. And they are willing to sit on their hands for the numerous TV commercial breaks, and the never-ending timeouts in variety on the field of play.
So, I wish them well in their enjoyment of their teams. I've got other stuff to do.``
Food for thought.