Here is what I think is a GREAT ARTICLE that emphasises what the problems are with the "perception" of "OUR GAME"... particularly in the southern Ontario market!
Please don't turn this into a "ARGO hate thread" because it was done with an interview of Jim Barker. I LIKE WHAT HE HAD TO SAY and quite frankly it would be nice to have more American coaches come out and speak as well as he did about OUR GAME.
I think this is one of sports greatest mysteries. What makes a city fall in love with a team and support it in good times and bad? More and more I think it's some intangible thing that is hard to put a finger on. In our market, we recently lost our minor league hockey team after having it for 14 years. They won the Presidents cup one week, but couldn't sell season tickets the next. It's more than marketing, but I don't know what it is.
I think you are right when you say it's an intangible thing. I know that I can point to many friends who follow the Ticats and the CFL because of the friendships that have developed over the years, at the game, the tailgates etc. The product on the field for the most part has always been entertaining, and I know that the Ticats organisation has tried to improve the "game day experience" and bring in the younger fans and perhaps capture "fans for life". As a youngster, I grew up with the CFL so that's my story! I watch the NFL some times but it really isn't as exciting to me and too damn predictable. TOO MUCH about the "MONEY" to suit me! CFL players are "aproachable".
BTW...noticed your byline "Shreveport". I know some CFL fans, particularly Allouette fans from "LaPlace".
I think you're on to something by saying "that's my story." I grew up in Louisisana (still here), and have loved the Saints since 1967. Whether they were winning (which wasn't often until recent years) or loosing was not a factor in me trying to get to games, wearing the colors, and talking about them all the time. There's a connection, in this case, it's my home state. I was the same about the CFL Pirates. We knew in their first year it would be extremely fortunate to even win one game. It didn't matter to me. Put on the jersey and head to the stadium no matter what.
I don't know why that doesn't work in other cities. If I could figure it out, I would go into Sports Marketing!
Hamilton has so much history behind it.
My Father was a huge fan of the Cats, he took me to games right thru the 60's and into the 70's
In the 60's and 70's the Cats were very strong and very popular.
The Tiger-Cats were the talk of the town.
Right now Hamilton has a self image problem and when our Tiger-Cats win the Grey Cup this year you will see a massive number of Ti-Cat fans come out of the closet, proud to wear the Black and Gold and be from the great City of Hamilton.
The pride in Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats will be back as it has not really left,its just hiding from alot of people.
Of course the RTH people will find some fault with it like parades interfereing with bike lanes.
I love this forum post. The timing is perfect in so many ways. The only part of this comment quoted above that I don't like (sorry Grover), is the RTH dig because at their core, they are good people who care about this city and just want to see it grow. I know I have learned a lot from them about how to fight for what you believe in and how to be involved in your community. Sure, many likely wanted the stadium down there to clean up the harbor, but many more wanted the liveliness that the Tiger-Cats and it's fans bring to it's surrounding community. I am so glad that that energy will still live in the east end, but I think it still would have been a beautiful thing downtown.
Everyone is entitled to their own opion so you don't have to agree with everything that is said over there, but to generalize the ediors, writers, and community that chimes in on the debates in general, I don't believe to be fair, but I love everything else about your post.
What a great interview with Jim Barker. I would love to shake his hand for selling this game and beliving in it's value the way he does. An born-American selling this game. Beautiful! I watch the NFL and love the Pats, but this is literally, our game and it's a great one and my favorite hands down.
This article and this post, is the reason I started ABNFF. If you haven't read the Sun article linked above, please do. Not one line should be quickly glanced over because it's a brilliant piece. This has made me want to check out the Argos practice facility and thank Mr. Barker in person.
This is a big year for the CFL. Especially if there is no NFL season. Football fans are going to want to watch football and if they were watching the Lions/Stamps game last night, they got a GREAT show! We have a golden opportunity to shine and sell this game and not as a better product, but as a great product. It's different, but it's very entertaining. To us it's better because it's ours, like the NFL is better because that is theirs.
It's an important year to talk about this game. What we like, don't like, our ideas, concerns. As I posted on the SIWS site, I think one of the problems for Toronto in particular, is that the Argos need a new home. http://saveivorwynnestadium.com/blog/?p=461 I also think BC might be getting it wrong by going back to BC Place. What a beautiful open-sky view from Empire Stadium. But that's me.
As for the Cats organization more specifally, I think we need more of that Eye of the Tiger. http://www.shakingthetree.ca/abnff/blog/2011/a-beautiful-night-for-thinking-football/ I want us to win the Grey Cup too as Grover pointed out, but I'd rather see IWS sold out regardless of whether we are Grey Cup champions/contenders or not. How do we do that? There are 500,000 to pull from just in our city. Why can't we pack the house every single of the posible 11 home games a season?
I also love that season ticket holders post on this fourm as well started by OpenHamilton. Love the responses so far. Please add to the conversation if you can. 5 minutes of your time can help make this game better. That's all you have to do to do your part in selling this great Canadian tradition. Here is the link: http://forums.ticats.ca/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=66965
“All the things about that league are very similar to what that country is about and why I choose to be here. The people here, they work to live, they don’t live to work. In the U.S. it’s about how much can I accumulate. It’s almost a money grab.
“Up here people truly want to head to the cottage. It’s more family oriented. They want to spend time together. The restaurants are packed on the weekend. That’s what people do in Canada. (In the U.S.) you hoard. How much money can I get. How big a house can I get. That’s what the NFL is — it’s all about getting more, getting bigger ... money. To me the CFL is about everything that I love about Canada.?
I now love this man. So if you want people to go to a football game on Canada day or on a long weekend, it would seem to me the league and more specifically the individual organizations, really need to look at these two paragraphs long and hard and remember that in their marketing and the product they offer for those games.
"People truly want to head to the cottage." Hmmmm...how about teams take over spots like Valens Conservation Area for the long weekends and friends and family can camp, and head back into town for the tailgate and the game, with busses back to the campsite after? Imagine an entire conservation area full of football fans. Players and team personnel could set up trailors and be a part of the weeknds festivities and truly bond and interact with the fans all weekend long.
It can't just be about a team ready to raise the cup. Sometimes our teams will suck and maybe for a few years in a row. We still need to find ways to pack the stands and be worth of our fans support. It's not something we can expect. It's something we have to constantly work at. The fact that Caretaker frequents these forums is a great step and an important aspect of the game in this day and age. We know he is listening (watching). That he cares and wants to know what he thinks.
How about a 'coaches corner' on each forum? What about our own 'Hockey Night in Canada' brand for the CFL. 'A Beautiful Night for Football'. Hint, hint...nudge nudge. It's yours. Take it if it's worth something. All I want to do is sell this game. Thow in a theme song (song competition like CBC did for the new Hockey Night in Canada theme. That was brilliant and so many great songs came out of that. I love that we didn't pay that kind of money for a song from a money grabbing individual. I actually don't like that TSN paid that money for it. THat song means nothing to so many Canadians now. I'd even personally like to see CBC do some CFL games again and the new CFL branding in particular. I do enjoy TSN and so many of the personalities there, but I find it a bit Americanized to be honest. But once again, maybe that is just me.
Larry, The raise the hammer dig that I made was in jest, (hence the winky face) if anyone complains about our Grey Cup parade this year I would certainly dismiss them.
I realize that RTH forum there are some posters that have the best interests of the City at heart.
I have great respect for the Captain and yourself who post there.
However I found it puzzling when IWS2 won out over WH that ALOT of their posters would rather have no Stadium if it was not going to be WH.
They cared only for WH and could care less if the Tiger-Cats existed in Hamilton, Some actually wanted them to leave!
It was not in the City's best interest.
It is something I have had trouble letting go of.
Hi, my name is Grover, I'm a Ti-Cataholic.