how to make Thanksgiving weekend games more important?

i was just brainstorming ways this league could really improve itself. one, being to elevate the importance and status of Thanksgiving weekend games.

sure, they refer to some of the games as 'thanksgiving day classic', but really, they are just games that happen to be played the same weekend as thanksgiving. that's it. there isn't any real emphasis put on these games, with different matchups every year and no real rivalries to be had ( with the exception of the cats and argos as a one-off this year ).

i would suggest one way the league could go about doing this, is, scheduling the same matchups on thanksgiving weekend every season. it would become a staple/highlight of the football season, much like the Labourday classic.
of course, you wouldn't want the same match-ups as the LDCs, as you don't want to take the shine off that weekend ( which is a reason i hate the labour-day rematches ). one way to do this, is schedule secondary rivalries during thanksgiving weekend.

example:
Labourday weekend:
Argos @ Hamilton
Blue Bombers @ Saskatchewan
Stampeders @ Edmonton
Alouettes @ Ottawa

Thanksgiving weekend:
Argos @ Montreal
Roughriders @ Calgary
Tiger-cats @ Ottawa
Eskimos @ BC

if these same rivalries were to fall on the calander the same weekend every year, it could grow to be as important a weekend as labourday is to this league - and possibly generate as much revenues, too.

i figure i'll explain some of my rationale for the above now, as i'm sure some eyebrows were raised with the matchups in italics:

-with there being an odd number of teams, 1 team will have to sit out every week, so you wouldn't want the same team - Lions - to miss out on BOTH weekends, which is why i have them hosting ( and thus, getting revenues not afforded to them during labour-day weekend ) the Eskimos during the thanksgiving weekend, as they will not play labour-day weekends going forward.
-i'd also like to see the Eskimos hosting labour-day from now on. the Eskimos would probably want to host one of the two marquee weekends of a CFL season, but i wouldn't want to take from the Lions chance of hosting their only big match up on thanksgiving. as Calgary would be hosting the Riders on Thanksgiving weekend, the eskimos could then host the stamps on labourday
-i don't have the Argos hosting a matchup either weekend because the Rogers Centre would probably put the screws to them anyway and not allow them either of those dates.

  • i believe the Als will be playing in Ottawa on all labour-day weekends going forward.
  • i have Ottawa hosting both weekends, because i can't pretend the Tiger-cats @ Winnipeg would be as compelling a rivalry on thanksgiving as the Tiger-cats @ Ottawa would be. that, and Ottawa probably needs as many marquee matchups as they can in an effort to give local media and fans a reason to fall back in love with the CFL.

anyone else's thoughts?

I like where you are going with this... But I don't think it's fully fair that the Argos, and BB's do not get to host. That is why the Labor Day classic rematches generally take place.

I also agree that this will be more difficult with a 9 team league.. Maybe there could be a scenario to add Canada Day or the August long weekend in there as well... All to give teams an equal opportunity for revenue potential in these classic games..

As I mentioned before though, this is a good idea.. I like it. :thup: :thup:

until the argos get their own stadium, there isn't anything the argos can do about an inability to host either of those weekends.
we know they couldn't even host hamilton on labour-day because rogers won't give them that date ( as seen this year ).
there isn't much doubt in my mind, rogers would tell the argo they can't accommodate them on thanksgiving weekend in case the bluejays ever made the playoffs.

i also can't think of a way the bombers would get to host a marquee match-up on one of these weekends;
if the league would give the bombers a thanksgiving day game in my previous scenario, who would they host? anyone you mention isn't a real rivalry unless you use edmonton - which leaves the lions without an opponent either of those weekends - or the lions - which means the lions get no revenue from hosting a game either of those weekends.
if you allow the bombers to host labour-day, you kill the banjo-bowl and the revenues that come with that, and that leaves the riders without hosting either weekend.
the only one that could fit is the bombers hosting hamilton. ottawa already hosted the als on labour-day and thus sitting out thanksgiving weekend doesn't hurt them. but is the tabbies at winnipeg really a rivalry? wouldn't the tabbies at ottawa be a more compelling matchup? 2 divisional and provincial rivals doing battle on thanksgiving seems better than 2 teams from different divisions where fans of the visiting team won't travel to see the game?

a league with an odd number of teams really complicated things.
had halifax had a team, that would solve the problem, as you could have atlantic vs pacific on labourday.
until then, the bombers are the odd team out on thanksgiving, and the lions the odd team out on labourday.

I agree it is a tough call regarding the BB's. other than SSK, there hasn't been a team for them to get a real rivalry against.. They are always the swing team going back and forth between the East and West division.. Ideally it would be fantastic to get an Atlantic team, and have stability in a 10 team league... A ten team league would make your suggestion that much easier to figure out

I agree totally. We need to make this weekend more important. I like the line up as well

"We" ?? It should be up to the marketing guys that the CFL teams employ, that's their job. They have to market it the way they do for Labour Day. The NFL has their Thanksgiving tradition with Detroit and Dallas always getting the home game.
I was hoping that they would also make Canada Day a tradition and a special game but this year there were no games on Canada Day but two on July 4th!!
They have to do a better marketing job.

Better send a letter with your résumé. Your clearly exactly what the CFL needs!!!

They did try to start a thanksgiving tradition with Saskatchewan vs Edmonton every year, however the league failed to keep that going.. :roll:

With two fixed weekends in the CFL (Labour Day and the following rematches), it makes it difficult to schedule another one. With that being said, Montreal has hosted a game on Thanksgiving every year since 2006, so that could stay. I would also like to see Winnipeg host a game on Thanksgiving, preferably against BC. That was a huge rivalry back in the day and with their return to the west division, it could go right back to it. My structure would be almost the same:

Roughriders @ Calgary (Fri)
Tiger-Cats @ Ottawa (Sat)
Argos @ Montreal (Mon)
Lions @ Winnipeg (Mon)

As for Labour Day, Calgary should always host that game.

A Calgary sask game is a pretty big deal now a days. It's heated. That would be a great thanksgiving game

We like our traditional Labour Day games, but we always complain about the rest of the schedule. More traditional matchups is a great idea in itself, but when there are only 9 teams, every time you add a traditional matchup to a specific date, you handcuff the rest of the schedule even more. If you like seeing your team play 4 and 5 back-to-back-game sets go ahead and schedule set in stone Thanksgiving matchups. While you’re at it, Montreal at Ottawa week 1 Canada Day every year too. Soon you will have the exact same schedule mapped out every year because all the set dates will leave no room to wiggle all the rest of the games.

I doubt booking the same match ups for Thanksgiving and Labour day weekends will make it more difficult to plan the schedule...unless you're a chimp.
We're talking 2 weeks out of 18.

But one team gets to sit out Labour Day or Thanksgiving. How fair would it be to the other teams to have Toronto and Hamilton guaranteed to play both Holidays? Why are they a priority? I think every year one team would have to take turns not to play, for instance next year Montreal sits out Labour Day but the year after Hamilton or Toronto sits out. It would be the only fair way when there is a 9 team league.

Toronto and Hamilton have a big game today and a I'm surprised they're so many tickets available for the game in Guelph. Perfect day to go to a football game !

It's on at 4:30, right when a lot of people would having family over for a thanksgiving dinner. I might have gone to this game if it wasn't for the kickoff time...

I'd have gone if it were not in Guelph.
I don't know why exactly, but I have no desire to go there for a CFL game.
Had it been in hamilton or toronto, I would have gone.
One of the reasons I can't wait for THF to be finished.

I would adjust the schedule so that the playoffs start on this weekend. we would need to start the season a month earlier but ask most fans sitting in commonwealth late November and they might be for that as well.

Rarely a worry in Edmonton now days :wink:

I guess you've never tried making a schedule.

And the preemptive answer to your rebuttal is: yes I have several times in many sports for sim leagues and football is by far the hardest.

I should've seen that coming. Lol