in 40 yrs, our population has gone from 21 mil to 34 mil, yet we still have problems supporting 8 cfl teams.
We still have less people per team than the NFL does. Do we have to have the same ratio of people per team? Will that even do it. I suspect not.
I blame tv and the media. CFL was doing quite well before we let the NFL into our livingrooms and minds. Now, new generations and new canadians are bombarded with NHL, NFL, NBA, etc. Maybe we cfl die hards are fighting a losing battle.
The people of Hamilton are corrupt.I have to say just about everyone i've ever met or talked to here views the CFL as pee-wee or bush league and fully support the NFL to death.I doubt there will be much resistance should the Cats leave just because the majority of people in Hamilton just do not care.It's the sad truth that fans have come to realize and figured it would come back to bite us one of these days.Maybe when the Cats and Bulldogs and CFL hall of fame are gone and we're struggling to no avail to get some sort of franchise here, people will realize how good what we had was.As far as i'm concerned, they can choke on their 100M lawn ornament.
Overall, yes, but in some parts, things still continue to suck pointy balls. In particular, I'm not sure how long the team will last in Hamilton, given the events of today. It feels like it's on its last legs.
There's little, if anything to be positive about right now in the Hammer.BY is hiding and we've no clue whether he's staying, going, or turning 3 shades of purple.I seriously hope he does a press conference in the next day or so, we need to know where we're at although we probably already know..
I'm going to try for positive, but some people might not read it that way.
I look at things a little differently. I view the CFL as a very good, very entertaining, great value form of sport. But I don't view it as a "Major" league. I live in a city of 100,000 people. We can never support an NHL team. So I go and support the local Major Junior team. I've been a season ticket holder for years, and have seen at least one of my team's players on the World Junior stage every year since I've been here. Its great hockey, its not super expensive, and its fun. Just like the CFL.
Canada, relative to the US, is a very small market. We have 1/10th the people. Proportionally, that means we could support 3 teams at the NFL level. But we have 8 teams.
We do act as a "minor league" in practice, as several players a year get "called up" from the CFL ranks to play in the states. Just like what happens in Junior. Actually a better comparison would be the AHL, as they are high level professionals, just not the highest level.
AAA Baseball vs the Major Leagues would be another good analogy. There are some really talented players in AAA ( I know, I was once one of them), and the games are just as good to watch as the Majors, but at half the price. The player salaries relative to the Bigs are very close to the same ratio that we see when comparing CFL and NFL.
This isn't meant as a slag on the CFL, its just my perspective. This is how I see the reality of the situation. The CFL is the best game we can support, and its a great game. But I don't expect all the bells and whistles that come with the big-budget show. (better officiating would be nice, of course, but that's a whole different thread.)
I hope you see this as positive, because that's how it was meant.
Yes, I think it might be best in many ways for the CFL to get out of this city. It's not like Hamilton does any league any favours with it's smelly stinky toxic two bit small-time image anyways (remember, I'm talking image here what the rest of Canada thinks of the joint). A problem is that Buffalo is so close just down the road in an hour, Hamilton is basically a football suburb of the Bills where you can get cheap $20 tickets since Buffalo is economically hurting and they have to keep the prices low for tickets.
Hamilton is just not a good market for the CFL any longer IMHO and as I say, it's image does no league a favour. Combine that with council trying to shoehorn a stadium in a small piece of land near downtown which is not a happening place and if I'm Bob Young, I'm outta here as fast as a jackrabbit.
The CFL is doing great, Grey Cup in Edmonton sold out quickly at 60,000, Montreal's stadium expansion, Winnipeg a new stadium coming on board, BC Place reno, 100th Grey Cup in Toronto etc. It's an exciting time for the CFL and Grey Cup and if the league can rid themselves of this city, all that much the better.
I will give you the perspective of an American sports fan that has 3 NFL teams within a three-four hour drive (Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati) yet I choose to follow the CFL religiously (I'm on cfl.ca almost everyday) and I catch a game when ever I'm in Canada for business. You all don't seem to realize what a gem you have up there in the CFL. Here are a few things I love about the CFL that I hate about the NFL.
I love the size of most of the stadiums. In a 30,000 seat stadium, every seat has a great view of the game. Go watch the Redskins play in their 90,000 seat monster and you can barely see the field. The CFL has a better overall game experience for their fans than does the NFL.
The level of play is quite entertaining and overall more exciting than the NFL. Every week I see great catches and great plays. Sure, not every play is played to the extreme highest level every time, but it is still very exciting.
3.The CFL is very affordable entertainment. Decent seats don't cost me $500 and nosebleed seats aren't $100. The CFL does not require me to re-finance my mortgage just to go to a game.
CFL players play for the love of the game and they reach out to their fans. They are very accessible for young fans to get autographs or pose for pictures. They are very much part of the community. NFL players are for the most part overpaid a**holes that whine and complain after they have just signed a $100 million contract extension. All their millions and millions in upfront guaranteed money really separates them from the average fan. When you read about NFL players, the stories involve their agents as much as the players. CFL players just seem to appreciate the fact that they are getting paid to play a sport that they love.
The fans at CFL games are better than the fans at NFL games. The NFL (which by the way should be called the CFL because it is the Corporate Football League) has made it so expensive to go to games that most of the real fans stay home and watch it on TV. What you get at most games are corporate people, lawyers, businessmen and others that are there to entertain clients instead of really root for the home team. The NFL has all the passion of a Leafs game while the CFL has the crazy, wild fans you would see at any major juniors hockey game. There is a reason they call the NFL the "No Fun League", it is boring to watch on TV and boring to watch in person. The NFL is spending billions on new stadiums to entertain their fans because they know that on-field product is just slow, boring crap. When was the last time you saw a 10-3 CFL game?
I think the CFL is doing just fine. It is doing way better than what was going on in the 1990's. I think the league has a very bright future and has developed a strong base of core fans. The CFL is strong in it's basic principles (exciting, low cost, fan friendly, family/fan entertainment) that will sustain the league through trying times. My only complaint at the league is that they suck at marketing any league/team merchandise. Except for the Riders, the rest of the league is really missing the boat on this issue. Hopefully the Hamilton situation is just another BSD competition and that they will eventually resolve their issues. The whole Hamilton thing sounds more like the of fighting between city and owner that you would expect in the NFL than the CFL, and that is a shame. Long live the CFL.
I know you're not slagging the CFL, but I have to respectfully disagree with your comparison of the CFL and NFL to that of the AHL and NHL, or AAA ball and MLB. Of course, most Americans coming up here to play football do so with the hopes of using it as a stepping stone to the NFL (and some do), but the CFL is not its farm league, largely because the two leagues are so different. The players who play in the CFL are world-class, top-level athletes, just like those in the NFL. However, they're more suited to play the Canadian game - speed over brute force, wide-open movement instead of running through a dense crowd of players, etc. Considering American football and Canadian football are two different games, we have the best in the world up here. IMO, it's not just the best we can get - it's the best there IS for our game. No offense, but I think comparing CFL players to minor-league players does them a bit of a disservice.
It's hard to call the CFL "major league" without it having a huge, massive hype machine behind it. But by the same criteria, I think you'd be hard-pressed to call the NHL major league, at least down in the States. The CFL is a niche league, and it fills its niche more than adequately (as I'm sure you'll agree). Considering the relatively small size of its fan base, and the fact that it's right up against the NFL (probably the most hyped league in the world), the CFL excels. Yes, the NHL gets more press and more die-hard fans than the CFL, but other than that I don't think there are many differences between the two leagues in Canada. (But maybe it's different out east?)
Anyway, I don't expect the bells and whistles that come with the NFL (or similar), either, and I'm fine with that. I don't need massive hype and over-the-top volume to enjoy football.
This latest issue with Hamilton is not a CFL problem - it's a Hamilton problem. The CFL is doing excellent, and IMO, is strong enough to get over this issue without losing a team. This scenario happens all the time in sports. For a football example, consider the Vikings, Saints, Cardinals, Raiders, Colts, and (I think) original Browns. These are all teams that either moved or threatened to move if they didn't get the stadium they wanted. For a Canadian example, consider the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques.
In the Niagara Region where I live, most fans are avid Bills fans- in particular the young where there is a huge NFL folowing. When we have family parties all of the sports talk is about the Bills this season and the Leafs [ Montreal second ] get all the attention in the winter months followed by Buffalo. The Bills have huge tailgate parties which are part of the NFL picture. As an x Montrealer, however, I appear to be the only Als fan in the region.
Sorry to parse your words, but our two posts together were pretty long, CanuckKev.
I think, in essence, that we agree. I know you don't like my analogy, and I admit, it wasn't perfect, but it was the best I could do to get the idea across. I do agree that the CFL and NFL are different products. How many NFL stars have bombed out in the Canadian league? I can think of more than a couple.
The idea I was trying to present was one of scale, which I think does apply. But as far as the product itself, I think you stated my own point actually better than I did myself. :oops: Thanks (There...man-crush moment over. Riders rule. Stamps suck. Growls and shoulder punches :cowboy: )
I'm not here to do research for you Chicken Little, but I will give you some positive thinking anyway.
After all this posturing and one-upmanship, the city will make Young a sweetheart deal that ensures he can make money and the Cats will stay in Hamilton.
As for what happened in the league business-wise 40 years ago, I really don't care, but I wouldn't be surprised if league attendance follows the ups and downs of the economy. Which means things will improve as the recession slowly ends.
Not sure if this depressing or discouraging but the Eskimo's have released Joe McGrath.The move was made because of the quality and continued development of our young Canadian offensive lineman. Sounds like a positive for the Eskimo ball club?