Opinion Poll

[quote=""CatsFaninOttawa""] Looks like seymour or mikem has voted.

And you forgot

  • MadJack doesn't like grammar errors[/quote
Yes, but I didn't vote until now we are 6 hours ahead of you, it's 5 am your time so a couple of other people agree with reducing the Cancon.

So if we continue with cancon as is and when Ottawa enters the CFL we will have to Increase the Cancon, that doesn't seem fair. Where do we find another 20 or so Canadians we will need in the CFL because of one more team? We are having problems trying to find OLs to fill all the Canadian positions now.

How about If the CFL said we will keep the TOTAL number of Canadians at 150 ( or whatever it is right now) then when Ottawa enters the league we could reduce the number of Canadians by 2 per team. It would allow us to have some better talent on teams by reducing the Cancon per team but keeping the TOTAL number of Canadians where it is now.
Not ideal but it is a start at getting more talent in the league. And when I say more talent I mean allowing two more players to compete one on one, it may workout that a Canadian can beat an American at a position. I do have faith in Canadians and believe they don't need to be protected and given jobs.

Why do major leagues in some, maybe all cases, suspend players that might be "the best" if they are caught doing steroids or other behaviour off the field? Shouldn't they be playing the best available? It's called rules and rules exist for reasons and as I and many others have stated with reasoning, the rule exists.

It's not that I want to see Canadian offensive lineman per se, it's because I want to encourage more football players in Canada to be their very best and if you can earn a paycheque after university playing university ball and have a chance to win and have your name on a prestigious Canadian iconic trophy like the Grey Cup, this makes for better development of football players and the game in Canada. Do you realize how biased agains't Canadians coaches would be if they didn't have to play Canadians? First mistake, well, biased like Doug Flutie was with his size and Flutie was a bona fide player. I don't want that to happen where the coaches just go to "the factory" down south because, well they must be so much better because they played in "the factory". The CFL never was about just getting the best players on the planet, at one time it was all Canadians playing. Part of me would love to see this again.

There is a program on TSN tomorrow I think it is profiling the top Canadians in the CFL. I'll be watching. Wonder why they have this show?

And the AHL in hockey is just a farm league to the NHL, the Bulldogs get junior B-A crowds here. It should do what the CFL does, have a draft of American players and operate like the CFL. I might start respecting the league more then rather it being a pure farm league for the NHL that just crawls hands and knees to the NHL. Once the CFL becomes like that, I'll have no interest in the league as a pro league. God forbid that happens.

Right. If a new stadium was built in Aldershot you'd quit, but Ancaster, Stoney Creek, or Waterdown would be fine. Good thing for the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and many other teams you're in a small minority in this thinking.

Mad Jack isn't the only one wishing for an improvement in grammar, or at least in effort.

The Canadian Football League features teams from Canadian cities with half the players being Canadian. The field is larger and there are a few different rules from the NFL or NCAA. If you want to see the best football players in the world you can either drive to Buffalo or catch a game on the tv.

I agree with AKT that scrapping the ratio would spell the beginning of the end for the CFL and for Canadian football.

CIS players would have far fewer opportunities to play professional football. With little opportunity to move forward, interest by those players in pursuing football seriously even at university level would begin to wane. Some high schools already play four-down football. It's a trend I don't want to see accelerate.

Without the ration and with almost all American players in the CFL, who were trained in US football in the USA, and with their coaches mostly being Americans similarly experienced in American football, pressure would increase to change more aspects of the game to resemble US ball more closely. After all, many Americans in the CFL aspire to return to the USA and play (or coach) in the NFL, where their homes and families are, where their boyhood dreams were, and where the money is. Why should they have to mess with learning these "funny football" rules just for a couple of years in purgatory up in Canada?

For those who say we should open it up so we can have "the best".... we wouldn't get the best. We'd get what we mostly get now-- American players who can't or don't make it (for whatever reason) in the NFL where the cash is, but who can make it in the CFL and earn a living for a while. Sure there are exceptions, but I think overall the exceptions serve to prove the rule.

What makes Canadian football distinctive is the whole package-- the rules and the ratio. If Canadian football becomes less Canadian, it will begin to become what it has never wanted to be-- a "Triple-A" version of American football, and a farm league for the NFL. If it becomes that, I'm not interested.

Worth repeating.

They did that when the Renegades started up (or it might have been when Baltimore moved to Montreal, I don't remember for sure). The number of imports on the roster was increased, so the number of Canadian starters required went from 10 to 7. But when we went back to 8 teams, the ratio stayed the same, although the overall roster size increased.

Leaving the ratio as-is means 7 more non-import starters are required (less than one per team) but that simply puts us back at the same number that we had a few years ago. So I don't see any reason to change it.

Not only do I agree with this thought, but there is evidence to support it. The ill-fated US expansion in 1994 and 95. The US expansion was justified largely on the financial distress of the league at the time and the hope that several $4 million dollar expansion fees from a division of US based teams would solve the CFL's problems. The expansion money did not help the CFL's problems, and the advent of US teams meant, in branding terms (customer perception) the CFL went from being the top football league in Canada to be a distant second tier North American football league, which hurt even the support of the Canadian-based CFL teams.

It took most of a decade of hard work by all the remaining CFL teams to re-build the brand of the CFL back into what it was and should be, namely the premier football league in Canada.

So while I'm no fan of the status quo, the alternative offered in the poll here is so bad that voting for the status quo is the only option.

Personally I quite like a lot of the ideas offered in this thread. To pick just two:

  1. Enabling long serving import CFL vets to qualify as non-imports - provided, as stevehvh says, that the percentage of non-imports on a team is increased to ensure these adopted-Canadian players do not to crowd out young Canadian players.

  2. Reducing roster size, less as a cost savings and more because with fewer players we'd get to know the players better. Also, with our salary cap, if we only had, say, 36 players they'd each earn more than the same total salary expense divided by our current 46 players. But we will have to make even more progress on reducing serious injuries. The main reason the rosters keep increasing is to ensure we have enough good players available should we have an unusual number of injuries in any given week. The league is working to reduce injuries through equipment selection, training and preparation, and in rule-making, but it's a difficult ongoing project.

Just to set your expectations correctly - don't expect to see any radical changes anytime soon. It takes a while to do all the research and education to get everyone around the Board of Governors table to understand any given issue well enough to agree to any change. Our most important rule at the league level is the same as the Hippocratic oath: "first do no harm". :wink:

Thank you for giving us your view on this topic. Tiger-Cat fans are very fortunate to have an owner who is willing to particiapte on this board and comment on these important issues along with everone else.
My question concerning the above proposals is this: How will these proposals help to improve the quality of the on-field product in the CFL. This is a critical requirement for the league going forward in my opinion but does not seem to be an important issue with other fans. How important is this issue to the people who control the league?

Yikes! The direction I'm hoping for is a steadily increasing TSN share with related increases in ad revenue justifying more cash for the league at next contract in order to justify increasing the roster to fifty. Injuries are unavoidable in football.

What has not been taken into consideration is the addition of Ottawa and the impending expansion to Quebec and the Maritimes.
Adding 3 more teams could water down the Canadian talent to a point where it will affect the product on the field.
I would hope the league would keep a ratio for non-imports but reduce it to accomodate three more teams.
The league rule of 20 non-imports per team would mean the league would have to find 60 more Canadians of which 21 would have to start.


The GameImport RatioEach team may have a maximum of 42 players, including 3 players who shall be identified as quarterbacks and 39 other players, of whom not more than 19 may be imports.

Teams must have a minimum of 41 players, including two players who shall be identified as quarterbacks and 39 other players, of whom not more than 19 may be imports.

Each team must establish a reserve roster of 4 players. These 4 players may be imports or non-imports.

Roster Breakdown
Import Non-Import Quarterbacks Total
19 20 3 42

Import Ratio ExplainedEach team may dress a 42-man active roster consisting of:

•3 QBs (no designation)
•19 imports
•20 non-imports
The 19 imports break down as follows:

•16 imports
•3 Designated Imports
The three designated imports are players who can play on special teams OR replace an import starter (they cannot start).

Of the 24 starters on a team, a minimum of seven starters must be non-imports. When applied to a starting roster of a team it breaks down as follows (when using the minimum number of non-import players):

•1 QB
•16 starting imports
•7 starting non-imports

Import / Non-Import ClassificationA player who was physically resident in Canada for an aggregate of 7 years prior to turning 15 or if he’s a Canadian Citizen, was physically resident in Canada for an aggregate period of 5 years prior to turning 18

My question concerning the above proposals is this: How will these proposals help to improve the quality of the on-field product in the CFL.

I won't answer for caretaker here. Just wish to say I suppose another question is how do any proposals say for the NFL help to improve the quality of the on-field product for the NFL? Is the NFL doing anything to improve their on-field product or do they just assume it's just so great because every football player on the planet wants to play in the league to get the big money?

Don't get me wrong, I like to see the on-field product better in any league. Personally I've never had a problem with the on-field problem of the CFL as I've found it quite at a high level however I will admit my focus on the CFL is to follow who will win the national football championship of Canada, the Grey Cup. Should the CFL cease to exist, I will follow the CIS and amateur teams that are able to vie for it even though the quality of CIS and amateur teams will be far lower than what we see in the CFL. I guess it's sort of like watching your kid play minor sports, you're interested in it not because of the quality of the play really but because there is a vested interest you have in the league. My vested interest in the CFL primarily lies in who will be the champs of Canada, whether that be pro or amateur. I want to see the league as a motivator for people to keep playing football in Canada, a sport that doesn't have nearly the membership among youth of say hockey or soccer. Football in Canada needs motivating factors I believe.

Now one can say who cares if there are any Canadian names on the Canadian Open golf trophy. The Canadian Open continues to draw well. However this is a championship that is moved around the country. So you're going to get big names playing in the tournament in many different Canadian cities. Not so with the NFL, there are no teams here and what cities would even be in the running for a team and that could afford an NFL stadium? The Grey Cup is a different kettle of fish.

I suppose one thing I noticed is I’m contradicting myself saying I’ll continue to follow the Grey Cup but won’t follow the CFL if they remove the Can content rule. True enough, whichever league in Canada can vie for the Grey Cup regardless of rules, I will follow it. As to how much vested interest I will have, emotional interest, I suppose I can’t answer that until such time as a change is made from what it is now. :?

There are legal precedents regarding designating long service imports as N.I's. (look up the history of the CFL ratio rules).

Any Import player who makes his career in the CFL is still a Import.

tampering with the ratio will only attract N.I's who have no interest in making a longterm CFL commitment.

reducing the number of imports would make their roster spots more valuable and appreciated.

What I proposed was a third category, the naturalized non-import. There would still to be the same number of non-imports on a team, but in addition to this, a few (don't know how many - no more than five, probably) spots that must be filled by either true or naturalized non-imports. This could actually increase the number of non-imports in the league, and at the worst would be the same as today. But it would reward imports who decide to stick around the CFL. And it rewards players who stick with the same team even more with the lower cut-off years for them.

I would like to see a designated Canadian spot on the practise roster.
For one year each team can choose to have only one Canadian kicker or quarterback in that spot, the player must move up to another spot by next seasons roster.
The player can only play kicker, quarterback or holder.
The player cannot be traded in the season nor can his vacated spot be filled.

A change I'd like to see in the non-import criteria is something that rewards playing football in Canada at the amateur level. As far as I can tell, the current criteria only take residency into account, with the requirements differing slightly depending on passport. While I wouldn't want to exclude people like Ben Cahoon, who have resided in Canada but never played here, from qualifying as non-imports, I think pre-CFL participation in Canadian football should count for something.

In particular, I'd like to see playing CIS ball count for something, even if residency requirements aren't satisfied. Currently it's possible to play in CIS for your whole university career, yet still not qualify as a non-import. Former Laval running back Jeronimo Huerta-Flores is an example of this. Maybe he wasn't good enough for the CFL, but if he were, I'd hate to think he was be excluded because he didn't live in Canada long enough before he came to Laval. Maybe playing a year in CIS ball could knock a year off of the residency requirements, and, along the lines of the naturalized import idea for CFL, let anyone who plays CIS football for at least 3 years (or 4 or 5) count as non-import.

Similarly, people who participate in CJFL, high school, or any other football program, should be able to qualify as imports more easily than those who didn't.

The point of the ratio rules, in my opinion, shouldn't be just to get people who have resided in Canada playing in the CFL, but also to encourage the growth of the whole football program in Canada, from the earliest levels all the way to the CFL.

Excellent read Picat especially your line:

The point of the ratio rules, in my opinion, shouldn't be just to get people who have resided in Canada playing in the CFL, but also to encourage the growth of the whole football program in Canada, from the earliest levels all the way to the CFL.

Sadly there are people out there that will read this and reread this, and reread it again, and not have a clue what you are saying and implying. Sadly as I say. :?

I like this idea. Maybe just include all years played in Canada, not just those in the CFL, as part of the naturalization eligibility. If a player played four years at a Canadian college, then that counts for fours years towards his naturalized status. But he would still only be eligible for one of the additional third category spots, not as a full non-import.

And then there is the Rogers Corp approach that says the only way to encourage the growth of the sport is to have a "major league" team. Well, I guess that's the easy way out for a company who makes billions and doesn't give a crap whether an area like Regina or Hamilton or Moncton or wherever has high quality pro ball. :?

One thing I've learned about listening to types like Phil Lind and Larry Tannenbaum over the years is - KISS, because that's all we really can deal with. :wink:

What they don't give about Regina or Hamilton or Moncton is exactly what they don't give about their cable and telephone customers.