Excellent post slimjim.
I played soccer long ago when I was young in elementary school. It is an easy and inexpensive sport to participate in and size does not matter. It is still a "game" where individual on-field decisions and skill matters most. It is a player's game.
However, I find soccer boring as hell to watch....most of the time. There is nothing to compare with watching Brandon Banks returning a third down punt for a TD. Or a 40 yard pass into the endzone for a TD where the receiver catches the ball with one hand. Football has more scoring and more exciting moments for the fans.
I am not putting down the skills of the best soccer players but often-times some incredibly fancy ball-work results in nothing and then it's back to endless up and down the field passing and turning the ball over. The anticipation factor for the fans may be great but so is the disappointment factor. 90 minutes of soccer with a final score of 1-0 is common.
If the high schools in Hamilton drop their football programs, I sure hope there are viable alternatives available, such as the Northern Football Conference.
I lived in Northeastern Ontario for 30 + years and for the 1976 season ( ) was the Timekeeper for the (then) North Bay Tiger-Cats. The Northern Ontario Football Conference is still alive and well and has since expanded into southern Ontario and Ottawa...including Oshawa, Milton and the Kitchener areas.
Check out: http://nfcfootball.ca/about.
A team in Hamilton would provide all kinds of opportunities for high school and older players to keep the game alive and also develop to the CFL level.
What worries me is that if the Canadian player supply dries up because of the lack of high school football programs, the international player ratio will have to increase. We will be then on the road to the CFL being nothing more than a farm league for even more US players who see it as a stepping stone to the NFL.
If it comes to that, I would much prefer that the CFL go back to being a semi-pro league.....with Lord Grey's mug still being the big prize. Canadian football is too good a game to lose.