That was this writer says in the NP, no idea what game he's looking at but the guys obviously doesn't have a clue about football in the first place. And of course he makes no mention that the CFL is all about winning our national championship Grey Cup regardless of the rules. I don't care if someone doesn't like Canada's version of football but when they don't get the whole picture of what it means to win the Grey Cup, well, I have little respect for the person as a football fan. Let me see, get an NFL team because there is too much offence, whatever dude, you da man. NFL is a dream in Toronto, yup, they were just flocking to watch the NFL in Toronto the last 2 years, all 8 games were sold-out at the beginning when they went on sale. If it's the dream, then all the tickets should have been gonzo on day 1 when they went on sale, instead of the them just selling around 8000 of the packages. Spin master extraordinaire, but whatever.
Toronto Needs It's Own NFL Team
[i]It's hard being a football fan in Toronto. Hard, that is, when the only games in town are the CFL's Toronto Argonauts (who went 3-15 this season) and the NFL's Buffalo Bills (who are currently 5-8).
Now, I've gone to Argos games and tried to acquire a mild interest in the team. I respect some of its past players, including Mike "Pinball" Clemons, Doug Flutie and Condredge Holloway. Heck, I even had a poster of the 1983 Grey Cup, in which Toronto beat the B.C. Lions 18-17.
But it hasn't worked. Try as I might, I'm always bored to tears with the Argos. The problem is that the Argos play in the CFL, an inferior product devoid of excitement, strategy, talent and great play.
In the CFL's three-down football, there are only four simplistic plays: pass-run-kick, run-pass-kick, run-run-kick and pass-pass-kick. High-powered offense is the key to success for a team like the Argos; defence plays a secondary role. While it's fun for fans to watch the scoreboard light up, a high score does not necessarily mean the game is high quality. If anything, it means exactly the opposite.
The CFL also has a curious system in place for scoring points. For instance, the league allows teams to score a single point (or rouge) in two ways: a team in its own goal area has possession of a dead ball, or when the ball crosses or touches the deadline or a sideline-in goal. Heaven knows how many CFL games have been decided by this stroke of brilliance.
Call me unpatriotic, but if that's the type of football game Canadians want, count me out.
So what about the Bills, some of you might be asking. A team whose best days are long behind them and are as dull as dishwater. And besides, they only come to town to play NFL games once a year. That's a great consolation prize, folks.
I have a much better idea for people who crave a true football team in a real professional league -- a full-time NFL franchise based in Toronto.
There have been attempts to bring the NFL to Toronto in the past. For example, a consortium explored this possibility in 1989. Its hope was that the CFL would fold, and Torontonians would flock to see an NFL game.
But to date, the CFL continues to flicker away and the NFL is still a dream.
There's a glimmer of hope, however. In 1998, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the league's "focus right now is on Los Angeles and Houston and Toronto." The Houston Texans are now in their eighth season, and are gradually improving. And while Los Angeles has been without an NFL team for 15 years and counting, Toronto's once-a-season experiment with the Bills could make them a more desirable choice. As the Bills' talented wide receiver, Terrell Owens, recently said, "I think once the team is established in Toronto, I'm sure the fans would gravitate to the team and support it."
He's right. The NFL's rugged style would attract football enthusiasts, including die-hard CFL fans. It's a four-down game, complete with tons of strategic coaching, powerful offensive and defensive maneouvres, and plenty of excitement. As well, there are no rouges to be found, thank goodness.
From a financial point of view, the NFL is a very profitable business.
The NFL's 32 teams are valued at more than US$32-billion. The NFL had an annual revenue of US$7.6-billion last season due to TV deals with CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN. Since two-thirds of that profit is subject to revenue-sharing, each NFL team earned US$94-million.
Although the initial cost of getting an NFL franchise would be staggering -- probably around US$1.3-billion -- there's money to be made. The new team would be able to sell many season tickets and box seats. Advertising revenue would be enormous. And when teams such as the Super Bowl champions Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys come to town, Canadians will be fighting for seats in the nosebleed sections.
Meanwhile, Canada's tourist industry would thrive. NFL fans from American cities like Buffalo and Detroit would stay at Toronto's hotels, visit shops and go to restaurants and bars. The influx of money would be huge and the job market to keep up with the demand would likely skyrocket. Plus, if U.S. tourists like what they see, they could be tempted to visit other Canadian cities and spread their international currency to other local markets.
Yes, there would be Canadians who refuse to go to NFL games because they view it as an American product. But I believe national pride would settle down once they realized the NFL is a wide-reaching international product, unlike the narrowly-based CFL.
Toronto and the NFL is a match made in heaven. It's time for the city to get an NFL franchise, and finally leave the weak sister CFL -- and the Bills -- behind.
- Michael Taube is a former speechwriter for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Angry CFL and Buffalo Bills fans can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.[/i]
National Post, Dec. 15/09