I have been enjoying CFL football since 1965. In 1968; it was a big deal for us kids to be members of the Knothole gang in Edmonton. Before that, we would ride our bikes to "CLARK STADIUM" and then look for a hole underneath the fence. I would still do that except that I am in Calgary, and I'm too big to fit under any fence hole....lol .
I have had the pleasure of watching a lot of great and proud football players though the years, where the players became proud fixtures in our communities. Many of them were here for years and thoughout most, if not all, of their football career's and beyond.
Now, it's a different story. Many are here for a short time but not a long time. They move on through " free agency", through " trades" or from being accepted to the NFL or AFL where there are huge dollars to be had. Many make their homes elsewhere and the city that they are playing in serves basically as a pitstop in their lives, so; as a result, the fan doesn't ever acquire that strong bond or relationship that would normally forever exist.
To keep the league tighter and closer, I for one, and perhaps am the only one, would like to see all the games played in the dry monthes so that every fan, old, young, child or senior, has an equal opportunity to go out and enjoy the game while it's played on grass and there is plenty of daylight. To do this, the season would have to start in April and the Cup final played no later than the early to middle of October. To accomodate this, we may have to go to a largely Canadian talent base, just like the old days. To do this, we may have to lower the costs of salaries and season tickets...like the old days! To do this, we may have to come to the understanding the importance of developing stronger football programs for juniors in Canada and recognise once more that we can still have a strong league without any assistance from south of the border.
An alternative would be to have American athletes sign a contract that states that they must remain in the CFL for no less than 5 years if they catch on with a CFL team. They can't just come in and play a year or two and then pick up and leave!
Secondly; there should be a cap on how many free agents a team can only lose. If you have lost 3 players and the cap is 4 , then the most you can lose is 1 more player and that would include the coaching staffs as well. That way, you don't have players bouncing around and showing up everywhere. When the team that has drafted them and kept them for their 5 years; then they would reserve first right to resign them under the existing pay scale.
THIRD; before any rule changes are made, the fans should have a say on what they are. It's my opinion once again, that the league has become too much like flag football. Can't barely touch the reciever or the QB. It's becoming less like CFL and more like a childs game. Most of us, that have enjoyed this game for a lot of years, have enjoyed it because of its physicality. They have all but eliminated this crucial element to the game. FITH: instead of the command center being Toronto; I would like to see it move from one city to the next each year. That could easily be done, and it would help elliminate Eastern biases that seem to creep into the decison making on certain calls involving Eastern teams. It's not fair to other cities the way I see it.
Sixth - ellimate the sale of booze after the half time intermission. We don't need drunk drivers on our roads while navigating their way home in the dark.
That's it folks. I would like to see this league continue for many decades to come, but I can't see it continuing with large CFL salaries, expensive season tickets, players that don't stick around for more that a year or two, and people freezing in the stands .
Thank you and enjoy and celebrate this fine game of ours!