New CFL forum member from USA / thoughts on CFL

I am a CFL fan born and raised southern california. I have been a viewer/follower of the league since the '90s but the last decade been a fan and following the Calgary Stampeders quite a bit and even have been to Calgary twice since '09 to watch Flames/Stamps live, and travel to Banff - Edmonton - B.C for vacations.

I have decided to join CFL forums as I have been more active following the CFL across websites such as CFL.ca and other fan sites. During this time of change in the world and what the CFL has gone through and even though have responded strongly I have been thinking a lot about the future and possible changes the CFL can go through in coming years to make it even better.

Below are my thoughts on what I think is best for the future of CFL,

  • DO NOT EXPAND TO U.S.A

This is a must. U.S markets would dilute the product and also make it more minor league. No U.S city would be able to support a CFL franchise due to the capitalization of sports business in likely markets. Unless you want Boise, Tacoma, Fargo, Syracuse, Toledo then forget about it. Too many sports in the mid to large markets as it is and a CFL franchise wouldn't get the coverage it deserves. Plus to support a growing CFL ticket prices would have to be high and not sure if Canadians are aware but in the U.S.A inflation effects are still 3-4 years away and costs will be soaring. The existing pro-leagues like the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB are going to be suffering soon in many markets. There is a housing crisis about to happen in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and will trickle down to other communities.

IMPROVE THE CBA

Stop the 1 and dones. Increase salary. Maybe not minimum but star players should be getting more than $250. Yes, you must increase revenue and that brings me to next important issue

INCREASE REVENUE

I am not a Canadian and will not pretend to know the economics of the country but it seems you have such a strong corporate base in advertising across Canada/USA that the CFL isn't getting a very good share. Its time the CFL hires some help and begins to overvalue their product like the NFL/NBA does. Corporations overspend that creates a sort of inflated $ amount for advertising across the board. Networks basically use sports as a generic table for cost per game. The CFL clearly is just setting for x amount of dollars. Probably their executive team just isn't trying enough or something fishy is going on behind the scenes.

CHANGE RULES

4 downs? I think so. Why? CFL defenses have caught up and you can blame the CFL for that. A lot what NFL/NCAA teams do comes from the CFL. Believe it or not. There are lots of PAC-12 programs who are running offenses from coaches that learned their system from a tree that originates from a CFL personnel. 3 downs at times slows down the product of the game and even if you like punting, at times teams just cant get into rhythm which hurts the production value of the game.

Clock rules. CFL clock rules are dumb. I dont mind the 3 minute warning and the clock rules after but you basically have clock rules that run clock or stop clock for no particular reason. Why would a CFL team even want to run no huddle? The possessions per qtr is a clear indication the CFL has problem with the clock running rules. Almost every fan that watches with me (my uncle who watches every Saturday CFL game with me) complains about that. Its just dumb.

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I appreciate your passion and your insights, but advocating for the league to move to 4 downs is really a non-starter IMO. Three-down football is integral to the CFL game. There are peaks and valleys in scoring over the years, just like with any pro league. Doesn't mean we should move to four downs. Good CFL offenses that know how to maximize the wider field, yard off the ball, unlimited pre-snap motion, and shortened play clock will always be able to move the football and put points on the board.

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The CBA expires before next season. Hopefully the league can negotiate something better for themselves These one and done contracts have to go. I doubt most fans like their team roster drastically changing every year. If that's a non-starter for some players , then let them try showcasing their talents in the Arena leagues for 250 bucks a game to the NFL and see how that goes.
If some special talents want that 1 year /1 year option (w/t the NFL window) and they end up making it to the NFL's roster or practice squad, I believe the CFL should get a cut of their salary for the first year there . Let's call it a transfer fee.
CFL does pay a few key positions well but the average player salary has to be bumped up to at least surpass the NfL's practice squad salary. At a minimum.

Single game sports-betting will supposedly bring an extra 20 million/year in revenue for the league. I guess through sponsorship?! I don't understand that fully.

I much prefer 3 downs. I like the back and forth. However, this year , the offenses really blow making the defenses look a lot better. I think it has to do more with poor QB and receiver play. So many poor throws and drops. This is a very UN-CFL like season. Very low total points/per/game average. Low 40s vs the usual low 50s in total points per game in comparison to the last five seasons.

I'm not opposed to rule changes though if it will make the game move quick and increase scoring. They could always experiment with 4 downs in a couple of preseason games.
Some die-hards don't want anything changed. They'll have to deal with it if the league continues with the low attendance numbers and waining interest. Change is inevitable in one form or another. Some might call it evolving.

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The heart and soul of what makes Canadian football Canadian (and to me, more exciting that the NFL) is the three downs and the larger field.

Any CFL fan will tell you this.

It is really nice that you are interested and even better that you make suggestions for the game but really, the three down issue is a non-starter for any true CFL fan.

You might look at it as a factor that slows the game but on the contrary, it makes the game more exciting because an offence only has two plays to really make a decisive step to a new first down.

This is why there is so much passing and almost what would call 'desperation' plays. There is no nibbling away at the ten yards with running plays for two or three yards each – that is simply not good enough.

The three down game is more dynamic and allows for a lot of creativity out there. This is also why a QB needs to be able to scramble here and be able to adapt quickly to a fluid game situation. Oh, yes, and it also explains why we have so many more exciting finishes to our games.

Not to be chauvinistic but if we changed to four downs you likely would lose interest in the game.

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Lots of injuries this year and some rust from the year off has made the games pretty low scoring.

You will likely see this fade as we near season's end and the playoffs. And next year I would guess things will return to normal.

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I do want to thank you for your input, though, it is always nice to hear different viewpoints on the CFL, its players and rules.

You will notice there are quite a few differing views among even the CFL diehard fans, even for those who cheer the same team.

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Always like to hear from American fans of the CFL. Three down football makes our game unique. Changing that would make it just like any other league.

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Play is down of course, we missed a yr and have to catch up. Teams could be hitting their stride come playoffs. Could be some good ball.

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IMO, 3 downs, field size, rouge, kicking, 20 second clock really is very unique don't want to lose a thing, I do however understand some alterations will occur over time.

NEVER expand to the USA again!!!

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I’m pretty sure that will be the case.

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Wider field, shorter play clock, and yard off the ball mean defensive players aren't behemoths and actually have cardio, because they have to play sideline to wide sideline. Not coincidence that CFL linemen usually wind up playing linebacker if they make it in the NFL. The Canadian game favors lighter bodies on both sides of the ball and discourages hyper-specialization, which I love. No "third-down specialists," no situational players. Your average NFL defensive lineman would be gassed within 3-5 plays up here.

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What happened to your avatar? It look like you spilled bleach on it

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Heh. It's just how the image is supposed to look. A piece of Stanley Donwood artwork from an old Radiohead album.

Ok, not as daunting as your other avatar. That one looked like you could arrange a hit if necessary. Lol :skull:

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No to 4 downs and no to changing the clock rules.

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Have to agree on the clock rules.

Why do they completely change under 3 minutes to artificially jam more plays into the end of the 2nd and 4th quarters?

It works from a marketing point of view. Most CFL fans just see a small amount of time on the clock and relish the finish it produces. But for the other 54 minutes of the game the time is wasted with the game clock running with the play clock even after incomplete passes and runs out of bounds. The game clock even runs off during the convert during the 54 minutes of "normal time".

It must harken to a time when stadiums didn't even have a clock displaying the game time. It was a secret of the official time keeper until he raised his flag for the 3 minute warning and started actually watching the clock.

If we want exciting finishes and good pace, I'd advocate we time the entire 60 minutes consistently. We could use a 30 second clock from the end of the previous play instead of the 20 second clock blown in when the ref feels ready (burning an arbitrary amount of game clock, usually 35 to 40 seconds).

We keep this throughout the entire game and maintain the present convention of having the game expire on a live ball (thus preventing the game ending with time on the clock like the NFL).

In this way we get exciting finishes and good pace with clock rules that are consistent.

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if I had my way, clock would stop at end of every play and not start again until play whistled in

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Every fan you watch with has seen many American rules football games. People don’t like change. It’s natural to think it’s “dumb” from an American point of view. Some Canadians think running the last two minutes off the clock in victory formation is “dumb” as well. Neither is true. Every game has different rules. Soccer has injury time which is fairly unique and some fans don’t like that either. I can’t imagine FIFA changing any time soon either.

It’s very unlikely that an American owner would approach the league and get approved but I wouldn’t look away if it happened

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The time the ball is actually in play in the entirety of an American football game is 11 minutes. I imagine it's more or less the same in Canadian football.

Timing as you've suggested would be fair and produce the same overall length of game and results.

We would have 3 minute quarters and the game would still take 3 hours to play lol.

I'd actually like to see this experimented with in an exhibition game. The current 20 second play clock with time only elapsing with a live ball.

I guess the drawback is that a team with a lead could just run around their end of the field for 30 seconds or more and chew up 5% or more of the game..

Canadian football started at the same time as American football and has just as rich a history as far as development and innovation. 3 downs wasn't an arbitrary decision to be 'unique'. It's how the game evolved. I grew up on CFL with very little exposure to the NFL. I've watched a ton of NFL over the last 15 years and like it but cannot get used to the pace. It's way too slow. If you grew up on NFL I can imagine it's hard to get used to our pace but going to 4 downs is not the answer - that makes it minor league American football.

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