LMAO, what you describe is exactly the situation we want to avoid and the partnering up with the XFL is the way to do that. Obviously preserving the league as is and likely adding Halifax is a red line for us, don't see why the XFL would have an issue, it may mean us making other compromises like downs and or other aspects.
Though I feel many if not most of our rules are safe, they make for a faster pace more offensive game, exactly what the XFL is gunning for, but yes changing to 4 downs and moving schedule up will likely be musts for the XFL. In exchange we'll want and get a lot, saving all current markets and adding one will be high on that list. I am not worried about that in the slightest and it is what will protect our top markets from the NFL, since our top three media markets are also our worst performing markets (that should be a big warning to us that changes are needed).
Have no doubt that if we were go bankrupt the NFL would basically see that as invitation to move in. Now that they are moving to a 17 game season they would start hosting games in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal like they do London, build a base and market test, then have at least one if not three potential markets for expansion or relocation new stadium whipping stick threats toward American cities.
Partnership at this point protects us, it means we would be in better position to form an arrangement with the NFL. One in which our players our protected, owners compensated if a player is recruited by the NFL and potentially even player loan options. Tom Brady the greatest QB ever pretty much was a 6th round pick, am sure many a coach has wondered have many super star players have missed or overlooked since then.
Most males don't hit physical peak till mid 20s yet NFL recruits right after or during college, early 20's, potentially several years before a potential player could develop into a serious play maker. It was clear the XFL was going to angle for that and it was going to cost the CFL in terms of caliber of talent in some aspects.
If we didnt want to become the player dev league we should have acted when were strong, now we have to do what we have to to jsut survive. I too would like to give CFL credit for being willing to partner up with the XFL, could not have been easy, certainly McMahon not being in the picture helped.
The financial stability of the league was never that great and rather than making bold moves in the years of plenty we sat on our hands. Now back in leans years and right back into the same crisis that led us to the doomed US expansion of the early 90's where we would give away franchises on credit and do absolutely no due diligence on owners, or back to the sucking up to the NFL for a life line loan and basically having to sign whatever player agreement they want to shove down our throats.
At least with a XFL deal we still have some control of our fate, not as much as we would have had had we acted earlier, or we can do nothing again and let the vultures pick over our corpse in another year or two.
I want CFL to survive, if that means big changes then so be it. If that is our only option vs death I'll take it, though I know you and others are more than happy it seems to go commit ritual suicide out on the field then accept any change that ensures we continue to live.