While I am all for an even and honest playing field for all the member clubs of the CFL, I am just wondering where the league is going to get the money and resources to fairly and equally enforce something like you suggest.
The CFL is a small league with limited resources. Honestly, I don't feel like this is a big priority for them at this time. And considering how Winnipeg is looking right now on the football field, they could use all the help they can get!
It's a problem because now the first 15 minutes of practice are cut off and if your another team that still has 100% open practices, other teams can see your newly devloped plays, report them to their team and you'll have a much tougher time winning.
Sports teams and Athletes have been looking for ways of gaining an edge since time began. Binoculars, lip readers, sign stealing, hiding people in scoreboards, who knows what....it's part of professional sports..
The only crime that the Bombers are guilty of is being stupid and getting caught. Kelly ended up looking like an idiot and the Bombers were exposed as cheaters...Big deal.
There are other types of cheating that are far more serious...performance enhancing substances, doping and such which can adversely affect a players health. Look at the combine. Players are evaluated by how fast or strrong they are. If anyone thinks that the temptation isn't there to get that extra 20 lbs on the leg press well you are kidding themselves.
These are the cheaters we should be trying to catch.
So, what's to stop a very knowledgable football fan, let's say from Toronto, sitting in on a Ticats practice, taking detailed mental notes, reproducing it on paper after the practice is over and simply handing it to the Toronto staff totally unsolicited ?.........is that cheating?
Or, what if said Toronto fan attends a Ticats practice and sees them working on fake punts a lot......over and over......and then goes to a Toronto practice and blurts out..... "Hey Coach!....I went to the Ticats practice yesterday and they are working hard on fake punts!.......Heads up!".......once it's said, it's said. The coach isn't going to ignore the free intel .... Is that cheating?
Or what if I'm a Ticats fan and live near an Argo player and see him limping around his backyard after twisting an ankle roller blading or something stupid like that..........and then I e-mail that info to the Ticats football ops........is that cheating?
The bottom line is that as long as practices remain open to the public, there is always the risk of information sharing..........even just from fans who see stuff and pass it along ......not necessarily from scouts or other employees who might be sent on spy missions.....
why hurt the fans ?? then you'll see threads complaining that you cannot see practices ... theres bigger things in the CFL to worry about and i bet winnipeg didn't come away with alot of very useful info ..
There is no rule stating practices must be open, Tom. The CFL encourages this, but it is the team's call as to whether this is done or not.
Teams should be encouraged to develop policies -- as I understood the TIcats have -- regarding where the public is allowed to sit in their facilities, for example one specific section of the stands.
All unauthorized personnel who violate this should be immediately confronted and ejected if they do not comply with a direct request to relocate their position(s) in the stands during practice.
As long as practices are public, observers can witness team preparations, glean injury statuses, etc. The team has to be vigilant re note-taking, use of electronic devices, etc. It comes with the territory that there is always a risk that information may be surreptitiously transmitted to another club.
If teams want to ensure their preparations are secret, close the practices.
Be clear: these are TEAM CONCERNS first and foremost. Cohon Constables will not be sent to every practice facility to enforce this.
There should be a stated policy against deliberate taping of coaches' signals across the league. If teams want to circumvent this, they can try. However, in lieu of radio communication being available for play calls to a QB or a defensive player, the league should explicitly prohibit the practice. Enforcement is a whole other issue, but the principle has to be clear.
In practical terms, though, it is very hard to capitalize on signal acquisition and apply it for success. A team might can insight into the type of plays a team likes to call in a given game situation, but you get as much out of coach's tape of that than anything else. With a 20-second play clock and audibling, it's pretty difficult to "steal" a signal on the fly, adjust one's play to counter the opponent, and practically use that info to win.
Teams will adopt dummy signals and multiple signalers to make that even more difficult. Yes, it's silly in the abstract, but that's what exists in baseball. LMAO
What the league wants to do is effectively limit spying behaviour. To suggest that it could be eliminated is a bit of a stretch as long as publicly-accessible open-air facilities are used.
1.) An honour system, which admittedly could be completely ludicrous. It does however, seem to me
that teams should have some pride that would enable them not to cheat.
Since #1 isn't likely to happen,
Fines: In the event that a team is inadvertantly found to be cheating, Fines against
them would be levied; pro rated to the importance of the game. A good starting fan for an average
game might be $20,000. Fines would then be levied upward according to their importance.
eg: The more critical the game, the higher the fine. Spying at a playoff practice would cost the
offender, say $200,000.
Teams that get caught more than once could pay double the assessed fines.
Teams might think twice about cheating with some kind of penalty in place. When caught, they
lose some integrity and a bundle of money.
One final option (and I mean final) would be capital punishment.