Canadian game a big bore?

[url=http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/sports/story.html?id=eb3785b6-58a4-489e-9dca-1fea509e0abf&k=91447]http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/ ... bf&k=91447[/url]

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Bill Cosby's funny Street Football sketch sure captured the improvisational spirit of street or sandlot football. That spirit used to be a CFL trademark. Not this year. The technicians are winning and something must be done.

And that doesn't mean resorting to the bag of trick plays the Stampeders threw at the stumbling Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night. Stampeders head coach Tom Higgins, perhaps overcompensating for his bland personality, never met a trick play he didn't like. Tricks are fine, but the CFL's problem is too deeply rooted to be solved by flea flickers, fake punts and the like.

What's needed, league-wide, is a concerted commitment to simply "going for it." You watch a lot of CFL games these days and they're not going for 'it' at all. They're going side-to-side. Which is paint drying on the barn door to watch.

And sure, we get it: that sort of pass is what the defences are giving them, as the "schemers" say. Which may mean that, long-term, the CFL should look at tweaking its rules to loosen things up. Sort of like the NHL did, with great success last season. The NHL's theme was 'flow' -- keep the game moving. The CFL needs to find ways to redirect things north-south instead of the mind-numbingly dull side-to-side shenanigans.

For years, for instance, the NBA was strictly man-to-man defence. Zone defence was against the rules. They got away from that in recent years, but that doesn't mean something similar might not work for the CFL, awash as it is in cover two-, cover three-, cover four-man under and on and on until the passing game is utterly stifled.

Maybe the league should man up -- literally. No zone pass coverage. A team tries to deploy any kind of zone, however cleverly disguised, call it illegal defence and award the offence an automatic first down. Short-term, it seems basic that teams need to get the quarterbacks moving to give the defences more to think about than chasing down the man in the pocket and pancaking him like a tackling dummy.

It's curious that in a league in which the prototypical QB could hurt you as badly with his legs as with his arm or smarts, that type of player is in short supply. Was it really that long ago that a quick scan around the league found a young, frisky Damon Allen, Matt Dunigan, Tracy Ham, Doug Flutie and Danny Barrett, all runnin' and gunnin' for their teams to the great delight of the fans?

In today's CFL, Calgary's Henry Burris clearly is a descendant of that group, along with Kerry Joseph. But how many other quarterbacks strike fear with their ability to get out of the pocket and make mayhem? Dave Dickenson? Anthony Calvillo? Please.

A 43-year-old Allen can spin his once golden wheels from time to time for those Argonauts. He can't do it consistently, but he may do it often enough to keep defences honest. The Eskimos' Ricky Ray is deceptively effective as a runner, which he displayed in Edmonton's 30-28 loss to the Lions in B.C. on Aug. 18.

"A.J. Gass always tells me this every game: 'It's a heartbreaker when a quarterback can scramble out and pick up a first down,' " Ray said recently. "It just kills defences.

"They have great coverage downfield, they're doing well and all of a sudden the quarterback comes out and picks up a big first down."

So let's see more of that.

Speaking of using their legs, isn't it about time the CFL loosened the leash on the downfield blocking on kick returns? A good return isn't just exciting, it's like a faceoff win in hockey -- it sets a team up for a scoring drive.

But this year it has been painful to watch the league's truly superb return men cradle a punt, take fitful stutter-steps this way and that, looking for all the world like ailing chickens in a farmyard as they try to find a seam. With TDs on returns down nearly 90 per cent, is there any doubt they have choked off part of the league's special appeal?

Yes, quarterbacks out in space can get injured, just as cover men can if the blockers get over-zealous on kick returns. But that can be managed by careful officiating. What's tough to manage right now is the prospect of watching a CFL game from start to finish.

i am very suprised to see the recent bashing of the CFL in the media lately.

the only problem i've noticed were too many penalties ( which seems to be getting better every week ), and the punt return game ( which was pretty good this week ).

i don't get this.

I can't say i agree with that article. I've seen more nail-biter games this year then ever.

Think about how many games have been decided in the last 2 minutes.

Sure the CFL has had some bad games this year, but what league doesn't?

What bugs me though about the Canadian media is how they only run down our popular Canadian sports. LIke hockey, curling and the CFL.

Buts when's the last time you read any of them put down baseball? Or basketball? Or the NFL?

I mean nobody in Canada cares about basketball. Yet never is said a negative word about that sport.

Baseball is becoming an extinct sport up here, yet baseball still dominates the headlines? In fact I keep hearing how "exciting" the Blue Jays are? To me the words "baseball" and "exciting" never belong in the same sentence.

Problem the CFL has is it has no fans in the media like these American sports do. So the bashing will continue, while we in the silent majority have to sit there and take it.

the last time i read a putdown of the NBA was yesterday:

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Strachan/2006/08/25/1775590-sun.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/St ... 0-sun.html[/url]
Dump that money-losing aggregation known as the Toronto Raptors.

For starters, the Leafs could lower their ticket prices by about 10% because they would no longer have to cover the Raptors' annual losses.

Furthermore, the United States is full of self-centred idiots with money. It is a virtual certainty that someone with deep pockets and a lust for media attention would buy the team and move it to his home town.

That would put at least another $200 million into the MLSE coffers, enough to satisfy the corporation's lust for profit yet keep Leafs' tickets at a reasonable price for years to come.

And think how happy hockey fans would be. Everyone who whined during the National Hockey League lockout that no one should earn a million dollars a year for playing a sport can wave goodbye to the people who truly are overpaid.

Curiously enough, while hockey fans were complaining about million-dollar players, the Raptors were coughing up $12 million a year for Jalen Rose. And no one spoke out.

The Raptors spend more on defunct coaches and acquisitions who never played a minute than the Leafs have ever paid a player in their history.

And to make it worse, none of that money stays in Canada. Most hockey players live in Canada and pay taxes here. The basketball players get out of the country as fast as they can and pay American taxes.

Instead of listening to a bunch of American hosts drone on about things like small forwards (apparently anyone under eight feet), zone presses and other esoteria, we could listen to hockey talk like the rest of the country.

Once you're outside the Toronto environs, no one cares about basketball.

In fact, other than radio hosts, there aren't that many people in Toronto who care. The building is usually half-empty, even though tickets are so easily acquired they are given away with pizza.

The people of Vancouver had the good sense to ignore their team to the point that it went somewhere else.


i found this article to be very funny.

Don't remind me.

This kind of stuff is really pi$$ing me off.

This artcle is on the CFL front page on that site, as well as the football home page, so lots of people will see it.

The CFL definately doesn’t deserve this. These people are saying the CFL is a bore, if that’s the case, then the NFL is enough to make one’s mind explode.[/b]

I have an idea for a rule change that would force teams to "go for it" more often: go from three downs to two!

Think about it: every play would have to gain at least ten yards, or at least close enough to allow them to gamble. Of course there'd be a lot more punting (a LOT more punting), but if we revert to our old blocking rules that would also mean a lot more big punt returns.

Or, instead of 10 yards needed for a first down, we could require 20.

Or shorten the field to 50 yards like arena ball. Keep the same width, making the distance from sideline to sideline greater than the distance between the goal lines. Keep the dead ball lines where they are, too, increasing the depth of the end zones to 50 yards. And keep the goal posts where they are -- thirty yards deep into the end zone. Eliminate those long field goal tries, and force teams to "go for it" more.

I'm kidding, of course. I don't believe in fiddling with the rules in an attempt to turn football into something different. Most teams are getting good attendance, and we're getting good TV ratings, watching the game we love. Let's not wreck it to try and satisfy a few people with short attention spans.

Canadian teams probably "go for it" on 3rd down in a game more then most nfl teams go on 4th in a season...Who does this yahoo think he is anyway??

ya no doubt..

the NFL has way more boring games then the CFL ever has in 5 seasons!!

the only thing that makes the NFL game so much interesting :roll: to watch is the big HYPE and dramatics the network uses to pump up the game!

the CFL is going through a phase, like they have in the past..

The Defense get's better and the Offense struggles.. then the Offense starts to pick it up and the defense starts to weaken.. and the scoring rises! and then it recycles itself!

give it a season or two and you'll see the scoring go up again!

I'm a huge fan of basketball. Yes, players are overpaid but I think nothing is more exciting then Kobe Bryant hitting a game winning 3 over 2 defenders.

Just like the CFL, except the players are underpaid. Jesus.. how many Eskimo games have come down to the final couple seconds this year? I don't even want to remember.

No zone coverage? Seriously, I don't think a football game that the score is 75-60 to be very exciting.

The only thing I would like the CFL to change is the blocking on punt/kick returns. Jock Climie said they're probably going to change it.

I really miss the big hits on special teams. Remember Mookie Mitchell's hit on Paul McCallum a couple years ago? That was deadly, and exciting.

I somewhat agree with the article in that alot of games have been endding like NFL/NCAA games, and we have had only 5 games I would consider close. I think the new rule about returns needs to go back to the old rule, as there was nothing wrong with the way it was before.

I have no idea what this whole no zone thing is about, so I will not good there, but whatever he is saying sounds stupid to me.

As for my rules, I want what I want, it's on my blog, nothing more to say.

What I hate is the punter taking the safety in the end zone. Back in the good ole days, (60's 70's and even the 80's) you NEVER gave your opponant any points.

but in a Grey Cup game, I think the last one that they were in untill 1984, Winnipeg gave up 3 sfaetys to get better feild posistion and lost becase of it.

Unless the word “NOT” is in front of the word “exciting”.

:)

Basketball is even more boring than baseball (though not by much). I'd rather watch golf than baseball or basketball(and watching golf puts me to sleep!)

If you ask me, the CFL needs to make these chages in the off season.

  1. bring back the old way to block a retuner to encourage TDs on the returns like before.

  2. I really don't see why they have league challenges on plays after the 3 minutes in the 2nd half and OT and not in the 1st half? they should do the same with the frist IMO.

  3. all my other chages, see blog

and finally, what the heck is this no zone thing that is meationed in the article?

Here is a link to another topic of discussion.Maybe the boring game is on purpose. By slowing down the game, the flow would resemble the NFL more. More commercials, instant replay delays, all are done to attract the NFL lover, cfl hater fans. The CFL just wants these people to feel at home. :twisted:

Remember everyone, Canada.com is owned by CanWest which is Global and which doesn't carry CFL games, just NFL games - in short, they don't want any success to happen for this league.

Love this line in the article:

"The NHL's theme was 'flow' -- keep the game moving."

Man, if they want flow in football, the CFL is about the best you can get with a 20 sec clock compared with a 40 sec clock down south. CanWest is too funny! Pure jealousy all the way, they don't like the CFL at all.

From the CanWest Global Communications site:

"CanWest Global Communications Corp. is Canada’s leading international media company. The Company’s diversified holdings include CanWest MediaWorks, which in turn owns Global Television, a coast-to-coast Canadian broadcasting network that reaches more than 94% of English - speaking Canada; CH, a second station group that broadcasts in Montreal, Hamilton and Victoria; eight specialty channels that offer niche programming including Prime TV; radio stations in Winnipeg, Kitchener, and Halifax in 2006, and the National Post newspaper. CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc., Canada’s largest newspaper publisher which owners of 10 major metro dailies and 23 smaller daily, weekly, and community papers and also operates a growing interactive media business which includes online sites canada.com and working.com. CanWest MediaWorks International has a significant international television and radio broadcasting presence in New Zealand through CanWest MediaWorks NZ, Network TEN in Australia, and TV3 in the Republic of Ireland.

MISSION STATEMENT

To inform, enlighten and entertain people everywhere so as to improve the quality of their lives

CORE VALUES

Serve the customer
Strive for quality and excellence
Win, but win fairly, with integrity and honesty
Empower citizens with knowledge
Give back to the community"

http://www.canwestglobal.com/aboutus.html

This company is a joke IMHO.