Hopefully it's done for good!
This is why I took a "wait-and-see" approach to these "talks about talks".
The sky did not fall, our rules have not changed, our ratio remains, and we can move on.
Much ado about nothing. Right up there with Johnny Manziel dominating the league
I don't think this the end of it, rather a move to redirect all fan attention. The XFL isn't going to play, again, until '23, at the earliest, and the CFL has to concern itself with this shortened season, an expiring CBA and, at least, another season on its own., all with concerns over retaining existing, and attracting new, sponsorships and fans. My guess is that the CFL has convinced the XFL that there is nothing, really, to be gained, by either of them, through promoting more public talk and speculation, at this time. However, I think they'll remain in touch, quietly and regularly. Nevertheless, I'm quite happy over seeing today's announcement.
There's probably a tonne of issues that we don't know about. One particular issue that I can think of is the fact that the XFL won't have a player's union (or at least hasn't had on in the past).
Also no players, coaches, teams, fans, schedule, etc.
I think you're correct, doubt we've seen the last of the XFL. We have to remember the issues that faced the CFL before, remain as issues, and are presumably worse post pandemic.
The CFL still needs to figure out a long term plan for its sustainability. That likely means growth. Unless they can figure out a way to 'tread water' for several decades.
In addition to the above mentioned issues, I'd add the ongoing border issues / unvaccinated players would have been one more issue for the xfl / cfl to figure out. At least right now all teams are in Canada, so the border doesn't play a factor other then right now with players arriving for camp.
Personally I don't have a major issue with a merger if it means ther survival of the CFL in a mostly recognizable form.
Tim Micallef of Sportsnet makes some good points as to why Canadians should support the CFL and Canadian football . However I do find it "ironical" that he works for the network that doesn't give a damn about Canadian football .
We live in strange times .
Pat Lynch (the old guy)
In hindsight, I’m of the mind that the XFL was two things for the CFL. One, it was a way to be in the news at a time that it was likely important to remind Canadians that the league still existed. Two it was a contingency plan if things became significantly worse than they were back around March 2021 (thereabouts) when these talks emerged in the news.
Fast forward to July 2021 and the league seems to see some daylight emerging from the dark clouds that have been for 15-18 months. It looks like games will be played and it looks like we’ll have many fans in the stands real soon.
In addition, the economics will be better across the league with the caches cap, a reset on the size and cost of admin staff (although there’s no regulator there so we have to hope they don’t bloat again). We have also seen the legalization of single game sports betting in Canada which is anticipated to drive $1-2M per team in revenues.
The timing of the CBA expiring after this season is also good for owners. First, they will likely leverage the financial losses from 2020 and 2021 to negotiate lower player salaries. Second, it will hopefully be timely enough that the owners continue to explore the rumoured revenue sharing talks.
Overall, the league already comes out of all this with a better economic model. Hopefully they continue to build on the progress they’ve made.
One thing I would like to see is the salary cap broken into three caps. One for QBs, one for Canadians, and a third for Americans. I believe there’s too much of a $ premium being paid to both Canadian starters and QBs. I have no issue with anyone getting paid, but scraping a little off the top of those guys (seriously, just a little) would do a ton towards finding $ to bump up league minimum a little more which I believe would be good for the game.
Here's a couple of articles from 3DN (one an opinion piece, but I pretty much agree with it):
I think the biggest thing we didn't know was what the CFL and XFL were discussing. Wade Miller mentioned that they were discussing marketing, business, and OFFICIATING. I honestly didn't predict any discussions about Officials, but it's an intriguing proposition.
One can hardly blame Sportsnet for TSN's exclusivity bid on CFL games. The only thing Sportsnet can legally do is report on the outcome of a game and write blogs, and that's what they do.
To Tim's credit, he's spent the last few years arguing in favour of increasing TV coverage of women's hockey and USports football in Canada and he's finally starting to win the debate with women's hockey. Sportsnet is increasing its women's hockey coverage and I actually found it easy to catch a game this year. Now with that victory in hand he can start redoubling his efforts on better TV coverage for USports football and the CFL and we might just get somewhere the next time TV rights go up for sale.
I had a bit of a problem with some of the things he said. First off he makes a clear distinction in saying he LOVES the NFL and "likes" the CFL . Also he lumped Calgary as a team that is struggling but does admit that they are not as "dire" as the 3 biggest markets. Calgary was 3rd in League attendance in 2019. Also , I guarantee the people taking the time to complain about the XFL merger on social media were already CFL fans that do buy tickets to the games. The casual fan would not really have an opinion.
I also do not buy into this notion that it is our Canadian obligation to buy tickets. The CFL has to spend the time and the money to market their star players in a way that makes them recognizable names in each market. It is the leagues responsibility to get more fans excited to buy tickets. That , "it is our duty" type of thinking is the same old fashion thinking that led to blackouts in the 70's and 80's and a huge decline of potential fan bases.
I love his enthusiasm but I think he needs to put more responsibly on the league itself.
Agreed on the above.
Most of people who were vocal about potential rule changes, schedules etc....we're existing fans. So it didn't seem this venture was going to create nearly enough new revenue to justify these potential changes, it was still good to have the talks to get them there.
But yes, they need to continue to look at ways to change the business model so they're not so dependent on ticket sales. Baseball has an older fan base with attendance issues too, no one is making pleas to support 'America's pastime', MLB has grown business well outside of game day sales and revenue sharing to make that possible.
Attendance isn't the only thing. McMahon Stadium has been falling apart for years, and there's no Municipal desire to put any tax money towards one. In fact, the (retiring) mayor gave the finger to the FFlames/Stamps ownership group for a full-on replacement of the SaddleDome and McMahon in one location. Now that he's gone, you never know what can happen, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
The Ticats make it easy to recognize our players everywhere. Guys like Simoni, Speedy, Filer, Masoli, etc are marketed up the wazoo. Unfortunately, the only two blew team guys I can recognize are Stubler and Pinball.
Good point. That fanbase deserves a nice modern 25,000 seat stadium , in a perfect world, with a roof.
When they have attendance in the 30K-area, it would make more sense FOR FANS to have a stadium capable of that seating. Unless you want to gouge fans by creating a scarcity in the market and therefore can artificially drive up prices...
I don't know who it was on this forum, but I remember he made a prophetic statement about Ambrosie's parting words that was very close to this actual statement as copied below.
This was when that arrogant XFL bunch was in here assuming they would get a deal done, or that they had all the clout because they could throw money at the situation, as well.
Let's wish them all an overdue farewell as otherwise another league has already started in the spring so they can now deal with that too. Heh.
Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive.
While we remain open to finding new ways to work together in the future, we and our XFL counterparts have jointly decided to not pursue any formal arrangements at this time.
Oh indeed the issues have not gone away, but I don't see how the solution lies with the likes of the XFL (or their fans for that matter) and am happy to see them finally on their way back to their foolhardy mission to succeed at spring football here in the US. Heh.
So keep in mind he is in the Toronto market and that's the demographic he's focusing on. There are at least 20x as many people who are fans of the Argos or of CFL football or of the concept of a domestic football league in the area than actually attend games regularly.
It is a very real thing that there are people who would HATE to see the death of the cultural icon of the CFL, but are not doing anything personally about it. Good of him to call those people out so they see themselves.
Ok, but let's put this in a Toronto context for a second. For an entire generation, there have been passionate owners in the Toronto market who have invested in marketing -- event marketing, game day marketing, player marketing. (yes, there have been duds -- Braley and Schwartz, I'm looking at you). We know there are CFL fans in the Toronto market. But attendance still struggles.
Really, attendance and mindshare in the Toronto market is a complex one, but it is absolutely fair to lay some blame on those taking shots from the sidelines. I.e. claiming all the things others are doing wrong, claiming to be supportive of the CFL but at the end of the day sitting on the sidelines and not going out to support their team.
I'll paraphrase what Mr. Wonderful might say to the XFL pitch:
"So let's review here. You have no media partner. No set schedule. Not taking on the NFL, so spring football. When has that ever worked out well? And you have capital. Why are you here?"
XFL, The Rock:
"Well we are looking for more exposure with your help to tie in Hollywood too so we can get a media partner."
"Well who would that be? Fox? No. NBC? I don't think so. Disney/ESPN? Not a chance. So CBS? Where are they? Who else now?"
"We know a lot of people in Hollywood! I know you've seen my movies!"
"I forbid you to destroy any more of your precious and ample capital on this hare-brained spring football idea of yours. It's time you take this idea behind the barn and put it out of its misery for good."