O'Leary: Randy Ambrosie on the CFL-XFL alignment, Dwayne Johnson and more

As the news emerged on Wednesday of the CFL’s alignment with the XFL, the reverberation across Canada was immediately evident. Within an hour of the joint statement between the two organizations, both the CFL and The Rock were Top-10 trends on Twitter in Canada.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2021/03/10/oleary-randy-ambrosie-cfl-xfl-alignment-dwayne-johnson/

One of the things I like best about the CFL is that’s it’s Canadian and brings Canadians together especially at Grey Cup time. Are we thinking that if this alignment goes through we will loose our Canadian identity and the league will just be another North American League? I wouldn’t like that all. I could accept that their is a Canadian division and an American division playing some interlocking games with the Canadian division playing for the Grey Cup and the American division playing for their title and then a championship game alternating between Canada and America cities for a grand title. I could live with that.


Why should the CFL do that? The XFL doesn't even have a real trophy with any prestige to it. They just cobbled something up last year.

1 Like

I admit I’m not a football fan but I’m a CFL football fan. After my initial post I’d did a little research on XFL and discovered it went into bankruptcy dealing with covid, been rescued by Johnson and co., but have no plans for a 2021 season and the 2022 season hinges on the CFL talks. It appears via their website they may not even have any teams so my question now is “why is the CFL even going down this road?”


So it too can survive.


Ummmmmm no. Hell noooooooo

Good question .

My speculation is the Rock can deliver a major US media deal .

Other than that I don't see the money end of it unless they would sell US franchises for capital as well and make sure the media deal is guaranteed money .

It is kinda awkward thinking unless they know the Rock has a major media deal in his back pocket pending .

I prefer the league just go full non profit and rearrange to a more Canadian league so it would be protected as more a cultural institution with a less is more approach .

It never really was a major money maker for anyone involved .

It paid the rent most of the time and that's about it .

1 Like

Those were my thoughts as well. If done right it could be a bonanza for all the teams, and Johnson is arguably one of the biggest stars on the planet. It's the kind of star-power prestige the CFL sorely needs, just as the CFL has prestige (history, the Grey Cup, deep roots in Canada just like Johnson) the XFL needs. There could be a very large pot of media gold at the end of the rainbow if they can make it work, and I believe they can. But in my opinion "making it work" includes keeping 3-down rules and the kicking game. Otherwise many Canadians will see it as an abject failure from the start.

CXFL anyone?

1 Like

I agree with you about going more Canadian. Living on the west coast we don’t hear much about where the Atlantic franchise sits. We really need that coast to coast reach. What I think the league should do is something like home town hockey. Showcase the league in smaller areas, take some retired players along with a mini grey cup week rolled into a day or two and move around the country. Make it a fun experience for the residents of these smaller areas. Also, no one likes the pre season games rolled into their season ticket package, why not take the game on the road. Don’t need a ton of fans, the game is for the coaches anyways. Make it another fun experience. The more the non cfl cities can get closer to the game, the more their app to watch the games on tv, thus ratings go up and more money for the league and the networks.

1 Like

I agree if the rules change this will be a disaster.

Oh I think some rule changes are inevitable.

1 Like

I really hope the leagues merge together and we incorporate the 4 downs and a smaller field. As for the rules I'd like to see a mix of both leagues. Finally something new and exciting to talk about in the CFL.


Typical CFL fan who has no vision. Rule changes would not be a disaster. If this adds a whole new generation of fans, fills seats and TV revenue then it's worth it. This is a great move for both leagues.


spoken with the heart and mind of a true Torontonian

The last time this happened all of the US teams folded and a lot of players came north to play up here. That's how the CFL got players like Anthony Calvillo who would have NEVER ventured north of the border otherwise.

1 Like

Ambrosie states discussions have been going on for many months, this tells us a few things.

CFL is desperate and does not have a plan to get out of its COVID-induced situation.

Now, we know why CFL teams have signed over a hundred players each. They understand there would not be a Canadian content ratio if this goes through.

Also, explains why the owners hide this from the CFLPA. (see above)

The CFL has we know it is dead and without an influx of new funds will end operations.

1 Like

If the fans weren't going because of the rules why would they go to watch a minor league version or even a C league version of the NFL.

That's what the XFL will be like in Canada.

These structural issues to game rules and roster are going to be the hardest to navigate/negotiate. It can be done if there is some give and take on both sides.

Don't confuse desperation with proactive. Randy is taking the initiative on this matter,

Randy can still have a full 18 game schedule if the season starts on Canada Day.

Most of those signings were for league minimum, Nobody is signing a Dak Prescott deal with a CFL team.

The CFLPA may have bitched about the talks, but they later came on board in a statement by Elimimian supporting any discussion with the XFL. Meaning he's okay with new members paying dues to fill the union treasury, thus increasing his union salary.

The CFL is in a state of transformation. It's trying to evolve. Let things play out and give them your full support

I am willing to give them the support along as the rules, ratio and schedule aren't altered.