better watch what you ask for

many cfl fans seem tickled by the idea of the NFL starting to look more like the CFL. This in fact is the worse thing that could happen for the CFL. I hope they dont expand their field and I hope we dont see very many flutie like QBs in the NFL.

Throughout the years, the disparities of the CFL have helped define the sport and retain/attract talented players that are not necessarily suited for the American game, yet ideal for ours. (i.e. Doug Flutie, Damon Allen, Tracy Ham, Tom Clements, Chris Williams, Garney Henley, Russ Jackson, Pinball Clemons, Gizmo Williams, Chad Owens, etc etc etc etc)

The list is long.

Further NFL alterations and congruence towards the Canadian game, both structural and/or rules, may impede future talent who would otherwise trek to the CFL due to anatomical/physical constraints, standard across the border.
These changes could negatively affect the overall landscape and influence scouting future prospects.

If the American game mimics the Canadian game too closely, a cultural shift/interest in the CFL in this country could ultimately wane in favor of the NFL.

Not a chance that the majority of teams agree to lose seating to make the field wider any more than you would see the NFL adopt international sized ice surfaces.

I dunno... they are looking at it as a safety thing... there will still be quite a few differences in our game than theirs... and eventually the NHL just might have to change the size of ice surface for the same reason... I doubt wether either will happen in the near future, but somewhere down the line, changes could be made in both leagues.

I have to disagree with this point because I can see BOTH games enhanced by this change and neither game becoming "less Canadian" or "less American" as is to me an absurd fear though of course I understand some (definitely far from all) of the inhibitions and concerns about other areas of our cultures as are perceived to be tainted by mutual or one-way influence(s).

Much of the rhetoric about Toronto I have read on here comes to mind with regard to those concerns, and down here much of the rhetoric in angry opposition to the new national health insurance comes to mind for those concerns as well.

From a sporting perspective, a rising tide raises all ships I say. Both the NFL and CFL ships are quite seaworthy too despite the legal challenges mounting for the NFL and TV ratings down from record highs.

In the end for the NFL politics will weight in to preserve football, because the NFL IS most of what us still know as television programming in the US because without it millions fewer will even bother with TV including especially from September through the Super Bowl. Year in year out of the top 20 rated shows, I hear that 18 or 19 are NFL games.

It's no accident that presidential speeches are scheduled around NFL games let alone all the obnoxious and annoying cross-promotion of dumb sitcoms and such by CBS, Fox, and NBC during the games.

I believe:

  • it would increase viewership of the CFL in the US
  • The CFL would see a lot more players going to the NFL...making almost a farm team league
  • if it is essentially made more similar some CFL fans will watch a lot more NFL, and perhaps back away from the CFL somewhat.

I think the first thing the NFL should try is the one yard between OL and DL

Size of the field was looked at strictly from a safety aspect and there is nothing that points that it would reduce injuries. The more space, the more speed, the more force.

Its already happening. With more NFL teams moving towards offenses which use more passing they are studying the way CFL offenses and defenses. Look at the young QBs that have flourished in the NFL over the last couple of years - Kaepernick, Luck, Wilson, RG3 - these are all QBs that have tools more traditional for a CFL QB than a prototypical NFL QB. There was an article written not too long ago how the way the NFL game is played on the field by some teams is starting to mirror CFL teams, minus the 12th man. More and more NFL teams are sending scouts up here and its not just players they are scouting.

WRT the field size, the NFL I dont think will ever expand to a full CFL size field, nor will they adopt other key CFL rules such as 12 men, presnap motion. You wont ever see the 5 yard rule on kicks/punt returns either as the NFL is so concerned about player safety on kickoffs that they have made rule changes to try reduce the number of returned kicks. And there was some talk this last NFL season about ideas to get rid of punting. Frankly doing so takes away from some of the excitement from the game IMO and continues the NFL's rep as the No Fun League.

I think the biggest issue for the CFL at the moment is player movement between the leagues. They got rid of the option window for players in order to retain players for an extra year. Earlier there was an article on how CFL GMs wanted to get that window back in order to help them sign some more talented players who have balked at coming up here because of the fixed 1 yr plus option deals. Now in order to circumvent the current contract structure you have some GMs who cut players early to allow them to jump to the NFL (eg. Barker cutting Armstead to go to the Pats), which puts other GMs in the position of having to either follow suit or look bad making players wait it out all the way to the end of the their contract (eg. Mack with Jason Vega, Buono with Elimimian). I think figuring out the whole contract issue, getting players up here, whether its the 2 year deals or allow them to sign one and done deals that allow them to go to NFL tryouts, those are the issues the CFL will need to figure out and enforce across the board, otherwise it may start to look more and more like a feeder league for the NFL.

In fact, if US football moves to a wider field, it may enhance CFL football as there will be more QBs trained from an earlier age in the US to play on a field closer to CFL size, improving the QB pool.

As for larger field, more speed, more force HfxTc, not necessarily true. The more room the players have the more room there is to miss your hit and put yourself out of position. It will be much more important to have proper tackling techinque and guys who keep going for the big hit will quickly find themselves out of a job if they start getting burned. Look at hockey for instance - NHL surface vs larger european surface. There's a reason why there's less hitting on the larger ice surface. It won't entirely take away the big hits though as any time a receiver goes thru the middle that risk will always be there.

No question that a bigger field will improve safety. I hope the NFL does that.
If performance enhancing drugs are truly curtailed, the field is made bigger we will see a smaller player evolve.

If safety is not improved then football will die. Like boxing. Like gladiator sports.
Its not about protecting the CFL brand.

talk to young parents. ask them if they will encourage their kids to play football. Resounding no.

That's a handful of teams in a 28 team league. Could be a trend. Look at RG3, he's already damaged goods. Vick,McNabb, Caulpepper,Cunningham...It will be very difficult for a QB who likes to get out of the pocket to survive in the NFL or be consistently effective no matter what size the field is.

the majority of the fields could be changed without losing ANY seats...

I doubt that very much. There are hundreds of people plus all the gear on the sidelines already, cameras have to whell around, cheerleaders and such if you widen the field something will get shrunk. There is more to it than that.

The bottom line is you need the entire package.
Sure a bigger field will help, but the American rules still suck.

They'll switch to more overhead cameras or other techniques if they have too. Nothing breeds ingenuity like demand. Any move like that will be done with their broadcast partners who pay them billions for TV rights and something will be worked out. Cheerleaders don't require a lot of space and if space becomes limited I'm sure they can adapt and spread out or split the team into groups in different areas. Fewer sideline passes to decrease any further congestion. These are all minor issues easily resolved. Certainly none of those are significant enough for the NFL owners to look like they are not taking player safety seriously.

Regarding the QBs, yes of course its only a handful of teams but only a handful of those guys are currently available, but the point is the trend towards is seemingly on the uptick. Certainly CFL style QBs are having success in the NFL quicker than the prototypical NFL style QB. Most of those traditional NFL QBs that have taken over their respective teams #1 spot are on the bubble of losing them just a couple years later. Now the answer on how long guys like RGIII, Luck, and company last is a question for another day but your point about them getting injured early on in their careers is well taken.

Now to be clear, I'm not advocating for the NFL to adopt a CFL field or CFL rules. I like our game. Is it perfect? No. But over the years the CFL and NFL have and will continue to adopt certain things from each other, whether it be technology like headset earpieces or the way things play out on the field. I also realize that the NFL is facing a massive lawsuit that could cripple them as a league if its successful. That lawsuit could take years to resolve, but in the interim it would make them look better in court if they appear to be taking player safety, head trauma and concussions seriously and adopting additional rule changes. In the era of bigger faster stronger players, its not unreasonable for them to think today's player has outgrown the field size that worked for players in the 60's, 70's, 80's and to make a case for expanding the playing surface in the name of safety. The NFL is a multibillion dollar industry facing the challenge of a massive lawsuit and current and former players and public figures questioning its safety and publicly stating their own children will not play the sport because of the damage it inflicts on the body. Its anyone's guess how and to what lengths the NFL will go to to respond to this challenge to preserve itself and the money at stake.

And then you have the factor of tradition. Americans are as tied to theirs as we are. There would be an uproar and the hundreds of college teams and thousands of High school teams who would then have to change their field to reflect the NFl. I don't see it happening. I think they threw it out there as a bullet on a powerpoint but I don't think it made it any further than that.

These moves won't happen over night and thier fan base will be a very tough sell for this. But as one guy here said, the 1 yrd factor is a good idea to start with.

HfxTC, maybe you're right and its just a bullet point, maybe it turns into something more. The flip side of the argument though is that if the NFL does in fact study the matter and concludes that a larger field is better for player safety, it bodes well for the CFL and any potential lawsuit from former players like the NFL is facing now. Again its a pretty significant issue because if it brain trauma stays at the forefront of football discussion and more and more parents pull their kids out of football for other sports, lawsuit and its implications aside, it could have a significant long term impact as well in terms of the quantity and quality of players available down the road. Anyways, if they do make any changes like field expansion, that is most certainly at least 3 years away from becoming a reality.

If the NFL does widen the field a little bit I do not think that H.S. or even college teams would have to follow suit. The NBA regulating size court is is 94 feet in length were HS is at 84 feet. The NCAA has gone with the longer court to mimic the NBA's 94 feet but that may have happend over time as new Arenas were being built or where there was most likely with 5 feet of space already there behind each basket. NCAA DI football fields could most likely expand the width of their fileds if it is only a small adjustment which seems to be where the NFL is leading through all of the media. HS fields and below would stay the same with NFL and DI NCAA widening the width to the end of the end of the big white line on the sidelines which is only about 2 yards on each size.
Many HS playoff basketball games are moved to College or even NBA arenas where they just play the games on the longer court.

But the more room to avoid, parry, dodge, or elude as many hits too ...totally disagree!

I'd rather have more kick returns for sure, but here are two American rules that are better than the Canadian rules:

  1. NFL Overtime 2) Determination of Possession when a loose/fumbled/dribbled ball goes out of bounds.