here is the rest of it:
1.) Variety is the spice of … football
Give me Halifax, Moncton, Ottawa, Quebec City ... or give me death.
Thankfully, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon is also a big fan of increasing membership to the current crazy eight, and it can't come a moment too soon.
Toronto vs. Hamilton, Saskatchewan vs. Winnipeg, Edmonton vs. Calgary … geographical rivalries that certainly make sense, but the schedule is getting older than Anthony Calvillo. Those defending the CFL's monotonous match-ups are the same grizzled vets who wax poetic about the NHL's Original Six. Sure, there was something special about Gordie Howe and Rocket Richard knocking heads a dozen times a year but citizens of today's fast-paced world demand more variety. After all, if Paris Hilton can enjoy multiple boy toys, there's no reason CFL fans can't demand a few more teams.
And what about taking our pigskin to Paris?
True, CFL expansion to the U.S. was a complete flop the first time around. I recall heading to California to cover a CFL tilt featuring the Sacramento Gold Miners, only to discover that nobody in the city even knew they existed. In fact, I was late getting to the game because I couldn't find a cab driver who knew the location of the temporary stadium that had been set up to house the team.
Still, I'm almost tempted to break out my vintage David Archer Gold Miners jersey to reminisce about a time when there were more than just a handful of starting quarterbacks in the CFL.
2.) Gridiron goons
Media-types would obviously never think of challenging CFLers to a grudge match on a football field.
But a hockey rink is neutral territory and I've been part of a few charity shinny contests against Canadian footballers that have taken a violent twist. A few years ago, for instance, I found myself in the middle of a "Media vs. Toronto Argos" game that the referee brought to a halt in the second period because things were getting out of hand. Football players, you see, are large men who tend to be fairly competitive and they certainly don't want to lose any sort of contest to a bunch of out-of-shape reporters.
Unfortunately, however, some CFLers bring that hockey mentality to the football field.
Last Saturday, the Argos took no less than seventeen penalties and ended up blowing a game against Saskatchewan. Adriano Belli was one of the biggest culprits and in the more disciplined world of the NFL, the big defensive tackle would be in danger of being cut loose by his team. But even though Bart Andrus berated Belli over his lack of discipline, the hands of the Argos coach are tied. Belli is a talented player when he keeps his emotions in check and because the CFL requires seven Canadians to be part of a squad's 24-man starting line-up, the Toronto native is virtually guaranteed job security.
What to do about that dirty little fact?
Read on, my friends.
3.) An open playing field
The Oilers are hanging their netminding hopes on a Bulin Wall from Russia; a set of Swedish twins are Vancouver's most popular hockey players; and Toronto hoops fans think it's terrific that the Raptors have signed a Big Turk.
But if you dare suggest that the CFL would be a more entertaining product by doing away with its Canadian quota and bringing in more Americans, you might as well set our flag on fire and get it over with. Rhetoric aside, however, there would always be a place in the CFL for talented native sons such as Kamau Peterson, Brent Johnson and (provided he doesn't flip out) Adriano Belli.
Some people say that a failure to protect CFL roster spots for home grown talent would do serious damage to university football in our country.
But since when did Canadians care about the CIS?
I've been to a number of college games -- including Vanier Cups -- that have been played in half-empty stadiums. Most of the kids playing university ball certainly aren't in it for the glory and the majority realize that, even with the CFL, their chances of a pro career are slim and none.
On the other hand, there are countless Americans with superior ability who need a job in pro football much more than their Canadian counterparts.
Graduating from a big time U.S. school with a phony degree, only to wind up flipping burgers definitely isn't a good thing.
But it's no less a crime than a Canadian kid taking up a $40,000 roster spot just because of his birth certificate, when he could be using his education to make a lot more money on Bay Street.
:o Certainly some controversial viewpoints.