keep the nfl out

Keep NFL out of T.O.

Lions president on a mission
By PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

If the NFL ever comes to Toronto, you could say goodbye to the Argonauts and the rest of the CFL, argues B.C. Lions president Bob Ackles. (Sun Media/Greg Henkenhaf)

Bobby Ackles has a cause, and wants your help, football fans.

The future of the CFL could be at stake.

The president of the B.C. Lions is one of the more respected figures in football, widely known on both sides of the border and with 55 years experience in the game.

What has him worried is the possibility of the NFL moving into Toronto. It's long been talked about, and nothing is imminent, but Ackles' fear is if and when it does happen, the CFL will be through.

"No question in my mind a team could be successful in Toronto," Ackles told Sun Media. "But it would take southern Ontario and immediately kill Toronto and Hamilton and therefore it would kill the Grey Cup and the CFL. I don't think there's any question about that."

Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey has been pursuing an NFL team for years, an effort that gained momentum when Jays owner Ted Rogers and Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, joined forces on the issue a year ago.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has also suggested Toronto could be in line for an expansion team, some day.

Nobody believes it'll happen anytime soon, but Ackles has taken it upon himself to begin marshaling opposition to the notion.

"I started talking to everybody I know," he said. "A couple of senators. I'm going to see the premier, soon. I don't know if anything can be done, but I know it's a concern to me. It's probably not ever going to affect me, because I'm 69 years old. But I'd hate if all of a sudden, at 95 or 97, the Grey Cup is no longer."


Beyond what he can do, Ackles says fans from the heartland of the CFL had better begin rallying to the cause, so when the day comes, there will be no doubt where the rest of Canada stands.

"It's the people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta should try to do something about it," Ackles said. "The ones that are going to have to get out there and knock on doors or do whatever they have to do are the prairie cities. Because I think they'll get a stronger lobby. Imagine the people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, especially. Are we going to be down to five teams?

"Because there will not be a Grey Cup game down the road if that happens."

Ackles' comments echo what he says in his new book, The Water Boy, where he relates calling Goodell about his concerns earlier this year.

Ackles was an NFL executive for 15 years before returning to B.C. in 2002, and knows Goodell and others in the NFL head office.

The commissioner assured him there are no plans to expand to Toronto, but NFL expansion fees of an expected $1 billion would be hard to turn down, regardless what country they come from.

But to have 70,000 people enjoy an NFL game in Toronto, you will murder eight CFL franchises, Ackles writes in his book. Other than for a few people and one city, what is the advantage of a franchise -- except, as I say, for a few greedy people to turn $1 billion into $6 billion, while screwing the rest of the country.

Forgive me, but I cannot word this any better: the NFL must stay out of Toronto. While it is completely understandable that the citizens of Toronto want an NFL team, they must realize that it will bring the death of one of the best leagues in the world. The CFL has already, and is currently making, huge strides in a positive direction (Reebok & RONA sponsorship deals, etc.). One team coming to Toronto could put all of that to an end. I think, or rather hope, that I speak for everyone on this forum: the NFL must stay out of Toronto. The CFL means too much to me to even think of the NFL coming to Toronto one day.

What a stupid article. An NFL team in Toronto would kill the CFL?

LIke, wasn't baseball in Toronto supposed to kill the CFL? Then basketball?

But look whats happened. The cFL is exploding, while basebgall and basketball are dying on the vine.

And if the CfL can survive going head to head with the NHL, how the hell would the NFL be a threat.

And after the novelty of the NFL in Toronto wears off, they'll be down there fighting with the Blue Jays, Raptors and Argos for the Leafs leftovers.

But this article is a prime example of people in this countyr getting sucked in by the media.

The NFL ain't no threat. The NHL coming here didn't kill the CHL. Baseball and basketball have done squat.

Bring on the NFL. After the first couple of years it'll be forgotten as well.

Then there'll be no more boogeymen around the corner to "threaten" the cFL. And we can get on with our lives.






What's funny is that while some people say, like some guy from Kingston on the TSN site about this article, that he doesn't care about the CFL and him and his buddies go to NFL games and college games in the States for real football fun and they would love NFL in Toronto, is that these people don't realize a lot of people in this country love the CFL and want to support our Canadian league because it is in our country and we want to help build up something Canadian here with our own money. They make it sound like they represent most Canadians and this just isn't the case at all.

I used to associate with some of these people and go to games in the US but I have purposely dropped them as friends as I don't want these sorts as my friends any longer if they can't see the value of supporting something as great as the CFL but will only spend money on NFL and US college.

As a big Rugby League fan we have seen all this kind of rubbish in Australia and the UK many big wigs start to shout about the other Rugby (Union) however League is still the peolples game everytime they try to put a Rugby Union franchise in a Rugby League city it falls on its a--e as its boring as s--t.

However youn should dtill fight to keep boring NFL out of Canada.



What bugs me is how people up here are so sure American football would kill the CFL.

It won't. Why would it? Why would cities outside Toronto quit on their teams to support a Toronto team? I mean most people outside Toronto HATE Toronto already!

LIke I said. Baseball and basketball have been busts. The NFL is the media's holy grail.

But interest ain't that great. I say bring em on. After the novelty wears off, few in cAnada will even notice Toronto's NFL team anymore.

The way we stopped noticing the Blue Jays, and never noticed the Raptors.

Just another example of our know nothing American worshipping media showing their stupidity.

Interesting info anglais.

Agree berezin, you know sometimes I think that an NFL team in Toronto might spur on more people in other CFL cities to support their teams as a backlash to Toronto ie. you can fill your stadium all you want for the NFL but we will continue to support our CFL team because we don't give a rats arse about you and your NFL team, type of thing.

OF course that will happen Earl.CFL fans would rally to support their league.

And somebody explain to me why an NFL team in Toronto would make people in Montreal or Vancovuer quit supporting their CFL teams?

The NFL is not that big in Toronto. Its the media that loves the NFL.

Look at the baseball Tv ratings. Pathetic. Yet the media gives them the front page. Why?
Just because its a big American sport. Thats all it takes. But it doesn't mean we care.

And as an aside. IF the impossible happened and somehow the CFL folded. Add that to the way hockey has been totally destroyed by the Americans, and I would be through with team sports. And that would really tick me off!

berezin, hellova point about turning off of team sports, pro I think you mean, with that scenario. I'm starting to edge that way to be honest the more I see Godfrey say "NFL, NFL, NFL to Toronto, it's great..." sort of thing. And then watching the Leafs on TV with all that corporate crap and that and the NHL saying "who cares about Winnipeg, Hamilton or whatever else Canadian city." Really, I'm getting turned off about pro sports and corporate ties and that, it's like us joe blow fans who are still paying our mortgage don't count for anything. I'm having a bad feeling about all of this and yes, this does tick me off because I want to like pro sports but seem to be turning the other way maybe.
One reason I have to have the CFL in my life as it is more at my level of living.

Too much American controlled stuff in our lives here as Canadians, it's turning me off.

Berezin, I have to disagree with you and say that I hope we never have to go down that road.

If there is a way for government to keep the NFL out, that would be great. I’m not sure if that is plausable because even if the government passed a law, (like the Canadian Football Act that they were working on back in the 70s), would it stand up in court?

BC LION MANAGEMENT IS RIGHT, COME cANADIANS PROTEST AGAINST THE NFL. Don`t allow them to take our own game away from us and our Grey Cup away from us.

      Stand of as proud Candians and lets us all boycott against the NFL coming ever to Canada.

            Keep our tradition alive and our game and our Grey Cup.

                     CFL FAN IN HALIFAX

I say forget any laws, just have Goodell tell Godfrey he has to pay millions and millions above the NFL franchise fee to the Argos/CFL and a certain percentage of NFL TV money goes to the Argos/CFL. That should be enough to turn off Godfrey and his buds from pursuing the NFL thing.

Did the Arena football league kill the cFL? Did the VAncouver Grizzlies kill the CFL? Did the Expos kill the CFL? Did the XFL kill the CFL? Did the European NFL kill the CFL? Did the Blue Jays kill the CFL? Did the Raptors kill the CFL?

The answer? Most of the above died due to a lack of interest. And the last two only survive because they have deep pocketed owners.

The NFL? Explain to me how the NFL is going to kill the CFL again? Whats the scenario where a whole country will give up on their teams and sit around the TV on Sundays listening to Foster Hewitt's great grandson calling Toronto NFL games?

And like I say. If the CFL can coexist with the NHL and prosper, it will have no difficulty coexisting with the NFL and prospering.

Enough of the chicken little routine. We've already lost hockey to the bloody Americans. We gotta stop running scared from those people.

Bobby is also starting to talk to politicians and wants the people out west to do so.
Although it will never happen with the NFL, like you said r4, if there is any thought maybe the federal government will step in again like the Liberals did way back when to stop the new USFL from coming by passing legislation. It was the minister Marc Lalonde from the Liberals back in the late seventies I believe.

Um, I don't know why that article appeared again, but it looks so familiar to a similar article last season.

Ackles is just being pro-active. I trust his judgement, and opinion of the ramifications to the league than some of the pro expansion zealots!

Guys don't get too bent out of shape. This is a recirculated article, I'm 95% sure of it. I've read that before!

Berezin and others-
Part of the equation is TV. If the CFL failed in T.O. (where its presence is still tenuous) then you lose the biggest TV market and the league loses both revenue and exposure.

I wouldn't see an immediate death but 10-15 years down the line the game would likely go semi-pro.

Or perhaps to say, if Toronto failed the CFL, this might be more accurate. :wink:

And semi-pro, whatever exactly that means since some people say that now the CFL is semi-pro, might not be so bad if it allowed cities with 10,000 seaters to be in the league. Not that I want it to go that way necessarily, but...

Why would TV ratings die if the NFl came to Hogtown?

Winnipeg Saskatchewan did almost 500,000 viewers on TSN a few weeks back. Montreal Hamilton did 400,000.

You're tellin' me all those viewers come from Toronto?

None of your arguements make one iota of sense. Its Chicken Little.

2 things:

  1. Buffalo and Detroit do not want another NFL team in their backyards.

  2. Which would give the NFL more money? A team in Toronto or a team in LA? The NFL and it's owners will go the money and the money is in LA.

The NFL does not have much room to grow here in Canada because most die-hard followers are already supporters and have access to all the NFL they want. The Blue Jays were different because baseball was not widely available to most Canadians in an extensive manner. Once they came in, MLB was able to get complete access to the full Canadian market for TV revenues, etc.