LOOK WHO IS FLAMING NFL FIRE NOW? BRUNT OF THE G&M

Just when we heard that nosense last week from the anti CFL friendly media here in the self proclaimed Center of the Universe(COTU) and to include the suspected Toronto Star and Toronto Sun.
Well, look what I came upon tonight, our formerly solid and yes very good sports writer Steven Brunt. At one time this Hamilton born and still living there lad, couldn't say enough good things about the CFL. The last few years I have noticed his turn about face and more if not the vast majority of the CFL stories have a negative slant.
So, what does Steve do, read for yourself. More amo into the fire and I don't have to tell many of you not living in the COTU how this will be picked up tomorrow big time again here in the media and they will run with it and go nuts.

"A Canadian NFL team may not be such a long shot"
STEPHEN BRUNT

Globe and Mail Update

There are all kinds of good, rational reasons why the National Football League won't be coming to Canada anytime soon.

But if someone has a billion dollars burning a hole in their pocket, you can throw all of them out the window.

And that would appear to be the case.

Monday, in a story about the NFL's return to New Orleans, Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported that Saints' owner Tom Benson had been offered that princely sum of money by a "Canadian consortium", hoping to buy the franchise in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and presumably move it to Toronto.

In the context of King's story, it was a throwaway piece of information in a report detailing Benson's strong commitment to keeping the franchise in New Orleans despite the many obstacles that entailed. But here, the implications are clear and profound.

Already, the partnership of Larry Tanenbaum of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Ted Rogers of Rogers Communications — not identified as the "consortium" in the story, but it's hard to imagine it being anyone else - has gone public about their plans for bringing the NFL to the city.

In any expansion scenario, they'd be a distinct long shot. The league isn't desperate to grow right now beyond its 32 teams, its first priority is to place a franchise back in Los Angeles, and it really has nothing to gain economically by coming to Canada, a market that doesn't serve its main benefactor, U.S. network television, and which it can already exploit from afar.

Plus, at least under the recently-departed commissioner Paul Tagliabue, there was an understanding that the NFL had no interest in harming the Canadian Football League, and in fact believed the benefits of having some form of the game played in as many places as possible outweighed any theoretical payoff from a Canadian franchise.

So no, the NFL probably isn't coming here as part of some master plan for world domination.

But this is an entirely different scenario, one which the NFL on some level might frown upon — at least for public consumption - but which in the end, it would not have the legal power to prevent.

New Orleans was a borderline big league market even before the hurricane hit. Though the game Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons, and in fact, this entire season at the Superdome, is sold out, there remain questions about the Saints' long-term viability in a city that will never again be what it was. Benson, for his part, is making no promises.

What's telling is that the Canadian group was ready to move so quickly, was ready to leap into a situation that would have been politically charged (the NFL would have taken plenty of heat for allowing a team abandon New Orleans at this point), and was ready to write the largest check ever for a North American professional sports franchise. (Daniel Snyder paid $800-million in 1999 when he purchased the Washington Redskins from the state of Jack Kent Cooke.)

So our wealthy countrymen, whoever they might be, are clearly aggressive bordering on predatory, and aren't necessarily worried about NFL protocol if it gets in the way of their acquiring a team. Where they turn their attentions next will depend on where an opportunity presents itself.

Right now, there are no NFL teams on the market, though there are other motivated buyers waiting in the weeds. There are franchises that might be vulnerable in the long term (Jacksonville comes to mind), but only one other than New Orleans which might be in play sooner rather than later.

Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills, is 87-years-old. He is already on record as saying that inheritance taxes are going to make it nearly impossible for him to leave the team to his children. And Buffalo, for all of the passion of its fan base, is a shrinking industrial city with a tiny corporate base, at least compared to the other places that currently house NFL teams.

Just as Cooke's heirs couldn't dictate who bought the Redskins, the Bills, after Wilson, are destined to go to highest bidder.

The team isn't worth a billion dollars in Buffalo. But apparently it is worth at least that much if it could be moved somewhere else. Since Toronto is just up the road, after the grumbling subsided, the NFL could try and spin it as a shift within the same general marketplace, a short drive for all of those long-suffering fans.

That's all empty fantasy, as it has been for the past thirty years plus, if the money and the will aren't there.

But it's becoming clearer by the day that they are.

Yea..they discussed this on Sportsline tonight...just goes to prove the old saying that "some people have more money than Brains"! Can you imagine somebody pouring out 1 Billion dollars for a franchise that couldn't support a team in Toronto?

You know. I wish Toronto would once and for all get their NFL team. Then after the novelty wears off, it'll end up like baseball and basketball. Down there fighting for the Maple Leafs leftovers. And when this happens, there won't be anymore American sports for the Toronto media to pine over. Then they can go back to supporting our popular Canadian sports again. Like the majority of CAnadians already do. Until this happens, the NFL will be the holy grail for the Hogtown media. They're a joke.

I can see it now, Buffalo Bills---- Toronto Bills---- Buffalo Bills, just like the Raiders.

I think the 1 billion dollars from an unnamed Canadian bidder is a lie.

I think the owner of the Saints was using that information to get government money for improvements to the Superdome.

Well, Toronto really blew it big time going after an MLB team and not an NFL team way back when the Blue Jays came into existence, NFL teams all make money, even small market ones like Buffalo, whereas some MLB teams, like the Blue Jays, lose money. But that is history.

I personally don't take this as Brunt bashing the CFL and being pro NFL, I think the story is a good one for a story's sake, not inflammatory and really stating some facts. And the fact is the NFL would rather be in Toronto right now rather than Buffalo, Toronto is much larger, much larger corporate base and has a much higher profile among Americans I think than Buffalo, they have a big International Film Festival and are building a big thing for this festival, it will only get bigger. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say the NFL needs Toronto, no they don't, but they wouldn't mind at all being there instead of lowly Buffalo, that's all I'm saying. And also, to defend Ted Rogers and Larry Tanenbaum, if they don't go after an NFL franchise, someone else will and these sports franchise guru's do not want that to happen, they really have no choice but to be in the hunt, even if they don't really want to.

We may bash Toronto but I've been to Buffalo - nice city but it sure ain't no Toronto, really small time compared to Toronto, which isn't a good or bad thing, just an observation for me.

I agree.
If anything, it paints the "Canadian consortium" with an unflattering brush for trying to take advantage of the New Orleans situation.

Good take on that JFL, didn't think of it that way.

I don't believe the NFL will expand at all as it would cut into each owners share of their largest revenue source : television. Unfortunately, some small market team, and the Bills are a good bet, will end up in Los Angeles and the NFL will then be in all of the markets they perceive they need. It was only 1999 when the NFL tried to return to LA, but settled for the only other large market out there: Houston. Toronto wasn't even invited to try for the expansion franchise. There was no interest in Toronto then, and there is no interest in Toronto now.

since when does a sportswriter ever been accused of knowing anything about sports anyways ??? they just try to stir up the pot and get readers. I will eat my shorts if Toronto gets an NFL team .....NOT GONNA HAPPEN

If I was Ted Rogers, I would convert the Rogers Centre completely towards an NFL team and make it seat 70,000 with all the bells and whistles the NFL demands and try and sell his Blue Jays as fast as he can. Problem is he won't get a buyer for the Blue Jays because they don't revenue share much in MLB so he is stuck with them, like it or lump it.

No way gotta keep it Canadian!

Toronto RoughRiders! :roll:

Why bother?.. sheesh! WAT A WASTE!

Can't you just imagine how well this story will go over in the CITY of NEW ORLEANS? Like a , LED ZEPPELIN.

It is just more proof that most of TORONTO's sports mogals and some of our media have 0 class!

WORLD CLASS CITY , my butt!

and everyone isn't talking about the football game it's self, their talking about why they fixed the stadium and buissness up frist before most of the homes (which you could see were still in disaray), bacially debating why they should have had the game in NO in the frist place, good argument IMO, but back on topic, and the U2/Green Day concert at the game! :roll:

Roger Goodell should listen to Rupert Murdoch from News Corporation and Summer Redstone from Viacom and if they say that Toronto should never ever have a team in the NFL then the NFL should clearly state that no bid cannot come from Toronto. Hopefully this will stop any bid from Toronto. Toronto should not have a team in the NFL. The NFL should stop any bid from Toronto.

Of course there won't be a CFL to support anymore, if the NFL came up here.

You know Berezin99, I might have laughed at that argument months ago, but you know, you just might be on to something.

Same thing happened out here with the NBA, after the novelty wore off Basketball soon disappeared.

If by some really, really long shot that would happen, I bet Toronto would sell out for the first three years. The pro NFL'ers will be on here dailly saying..."I old you so I told you so." But then the novelty will wear off, and they'll be down to drawing maybe 30,000 fans.

Oh and by the way, um, who is going to fund building an NFL stadium? I understand Sky dome doesn't meet NFL Standards for seating.

good old Rupert the Aussie said this? GOOD ON HIM!

The NFL will not stop any bid from Toronto or anywhere else because they want to see, rightly so, what someone would offer, just makes business sense. Doesn't mean Toronto would get a team though.

Yeah, they just want to see what Toronto can call out, and then laugh at it, and then reject it. such is life :lol: