Player development partnership with NFL

One last thing.
Did anybody read the comments from the Americans to this article?

They ridiculed us. The made fun of us. They ran down the country. They don't even want Toronto in the NFL.

Yet despite being laughed and denigrated by them, some up here just keep trying to lick their boots?
How embarassing if you ask me.

Farm system = death of the CFL... Some of you might like watching second tier American football in way of first tier Canadian football... but I don't and I think there wouldn't be a point to football in Canada if we lost our game let alone our league.

Damn right JOe.
CFL becoming the new NFL Europe will signal the death of football in CAnada.

And I don't know what Ackles is talking about, but why would corporate Canada abandon the CFL if it was still popular across CAnada?

I mean if the CFL can survive going head to head with our most popular game, the NHL, why would the NFL be any more of a threat?

Those are the ignorant few who feel like they can be as ignorant as they want behind an anonymous user name, I highly doubt they represent the majority or viewpoint of most Americans.

And I believe that Mr. Ackles feels that corporate support would disappear as the TV contract becomes void without a team in Toronto or Vancouver. As well one of the big corporate supporters of the CFL right now is Rogers and they are among the groups pursuing the NFL franchise.

I really don't think there's that much to worry about right now, the CFL will not become a farm league for the NFL. Some people felt that including the option year in contracts so that CFL players could pursue the NFL would significantly hurt the league and it hasn't.

The CFL is extremely popular in Canada. We all know that and the NFL does too. A good number of Canadians like the NFL too though, but probably not at the expense of the CFL. This gives the CFL great strength in any talks with the NFL.

Bob Ackles knows football probably better than anybody else in Canada and probably even anybody in North America. He is the Dean of football. As a high level executive of four NFL teams, the man understands as much as anyone can about how football works (both the business and the game), all the way from the top down to lowest level guy on the field. And he can speak for BOTH leagues. Not listening to him would be a humongous blunder.

So the CFL should not panic. They have extreme support in Canada, the league is strong (though not rich), and they have Bob Ackles, a man who is a booster who can negotiate with the best of them.

Let the NFL come cap-in-hand to the CFL, because that's what they have to do if they want the support of a majority of Canadians. They need to show the CFL some respect and some love. If they do that they have a chance of not alienating pretty much an entire nation (and a large portion of the football community in North America) and galvanizing them against the NFL.

  1. The NFL should show CFL games on the NFL Network and pay the CFL handsomely for the privilege.

  2. The NFL must continue to respect CFL contracts. If an NFL team wants a CFL player they must wait 'til after the Grey Cup, and if the player is on contract they must buy out the contract and pay a bonus to the team in the form of players, cash or both. In exchange the CFL will not unreasonably refuse to let go of a player unless it's a marquee player such as a QB, in which case the compensation would be MUCH higher.

  3. The NFL must NEVER refer to the CFL as a "feeder" league or any other condescending name, and there should be fines for anybody involved with the NFL who does - not that anybody does that now because most of them know what the CFL is all about, but in the future if there is a deal drawing the leagues closer together.

  4. The NFL must pledge to NEVER allow a team in Canada. End of story. Single games are OK as long as they are after the Grey Cup, and the CFL will support those games as a full and equal partner of the NFL in Canada, by providing promotion and personnel as needed. If the NFL wants to call a team in Buffalo the Toronto Sams, then the CFL will not object.

  5. The NFL must properly acknowledge the Canadian roots of football and publicly and prominently say so on their web site.

The CFL and the NFL can continue to get along and even help each other. It can happen, and if the NFL makes nice to the CFL they can even win some respect in Canada for actually helping the CFL. Cohon and Ackles can negotiate a favourable deal, but they need the support of the majority of fans (which they already have) and some clout with government (which they are working on). When the CFL finally expands in Canada it will only serve to make the CFL a truly national institution - and that, more than anything else, will keep the NFL dogs at bay. The NFL stands to gain respect and fans in Canada by not stepping on CFL toes. This means TV contracts and possibly fans for Buffalo-based Toronto team.

A lot of excellent ideas here and nice to see how passionate people are. The main thing is we all want the CFL to flourish more and more. The specifics of that we differ on a bit and this is the difficult part to know exactly what to do or not to do.

It would be interesting if part of any deals with the NFL would be for them to adopt a few of our key rules like 3 downs, men in motion and a yard off the ball and maybe the 5 yard punt rule. I could live with some "feeder" league status if this happened. But we know this isn't going to happen and I agree, after thinking about it more, the CFL should not become a true feeder league otherwise we lose what we are all about. At any rate, I don't want to make an enemy out of the NFL as despite the rule differences, we basically play the same game of tackling, runnning, blocking, passing, and some level of mutal cooperation should exist that can benefit both leagues. If the it was two entirely different games as some people think, why can a guy just come up here and start after never having played Canadian rules football? And it has happened on a few cases the other way.

Funny how some think we have to bow to the big bad NFL and give up our national league for the "honor" of getting one of their hallowed franchises.

If you ask me any idea of turning the CFL in NFL Canada, which is something I've never heard of before, is a way for the NFL to get the CFL out of the way as competition if it comes to this country.

Because American football has failed in Europe. They don't also want to fail in Canada. LIke the NBA has for example.

That would mean the end of their great globalization plan. Which I say doesn't have a prayer of succeeding long term. Just like turning the CFL into an NFL feeder league will never happen.

Bigger is not better in sport. Look at the NHL went from 6 teams to what 32 and it is so watered down and the americans have changed the rules to the point it has ruined the game turned it into disney on ice. There are those even on this forum that believe bigger is better. It is not and NHL is proof of that. An 8 to 10 team league is fine. Remember the league expanded into the US and even then they wanted rule changes. Well it failed. Have you done business with americans? It is their way or no way. The NFL would dictate what it would want out of the CFL and it would be their way. Anyone thinking otherwise would be foolish. So those of you with pipe dreams of the NFL doing a lot for the CFL better get out of dream land. It will not happen.

This is why I respect a sport like soccer. They aren't big in the USA, and I'm sure they'd love to be. But to make it there, they'd have to totally change their game for the Americans. Which they won't. Which is why I have respect for that sport. And zero respect for people like Gary Bettman.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Apples and oranges in your comparison to American football failing in Europe. It is not widely followed in Europe, hence why it failed. It would be like trying to introduce a game that's not widely played in North America like cricket for example.

The NBA is not a failure in Canada either. You're hatred of everything American is clouding your judgement, and it's a shame because you often make a very good point but go too far in your bashing of everything not from this country.

Ah, buddy. I'm pro Canadian. Not anti anything.
And the NFL is saying it wants to go global. The media up here is all rah rah for it. But its failing. And nobody says anything. Thats what I don't get?

And basketball? Hows about 30,000 viewers on Sportsnet for the NBA? Thats not a who cares sport?

I'm just tellin' it like it is. Nobody cares about the NBA. If it were a league based in Mexico, I'd say the same thing.

If done right, an agreement with the NFL would be very beneficial to the long term viability of the CFL. Having the deep pockets, marketing machine, TV exposure and revenues are all pluses. Just be sure they agree to the long term viability of the Argos, CFL and expansion of the league into places like QC, Hali etc. while maintaining the tradition and uniqueness that is the CFL. Cohon has a once in a life time opportunity to dictate the terms to the NFL, letès hope he is as smart as everyone says he is.

Piggy it is a pipe dream to think American franchise owners could care less what happens in Canada. They are in fo profit only that is why the NFL is marketing machine. Have you ever watched the movie TRading PLaces with Eddie Murphy. A Toronto franchise would be like that movie. Why would American business care about a franchise in Toronto when you have LA to contend with. Really the NFL will not be a partner in anything but itself. They would look to Canada for one thing a farm league. And I for one would not support it. The CFL has 95 years of history behind it. Why would any fan support a farm team for the NFL. Again do you want another NHL scenario. They have destroyed our brand of hockey now football I say take a hike we will do just fine. To the Toronto dreamers go for it but I would love nothing better to see it fail and you try and get your money back out of this very dumb venture. The NBA has not been successful and NFL will follow suit.

I agree.
The NFL only cares about the NFL.
If they come into Toronto, I think their goal would be to kill off CAnadian style football anyway they could.

Because the CFL would be very tough competition for the NFL in CAnada, so why would the NFL want to keep it alive?

And anybody who thinks CAnadians will support us becoming the new NFL Europe has rocks in their head.

I mean Edmonton Monarchs anyone?
You have got to be kidding.

Maybe, maybe not, if not for the $4M non-repayable loan the NFL floated us a few years back we may not even have a CFL today. Ask yourself this as well, why is it the CBC gave up on the CFL ? Funny how with all time record viewership, the CBC would dump it. Coincidence that TSN also broadcasts the NFL and the CBC does not ?

I can fully agree with all the reasons to shy away from this, but I think if you look deep down, you will see that the NFL influence has already been present for some time which seems to have coincided with the renewed interest we have today in the CFL.

We already have many reciprocating agreements with the NFL including option years on contracts to allow players the chance to take their shot at the NFL.

If the NFL wants to put a franchise in TO, than I say no problem, but they have to be prepared to make the same commitment to growing and expanding the CFL at the same time.

Cohon can make this happen as long as he doesn't get bent over a barrel by the money bags in TO.

The CBC didn't dump the CFL.
It went the other way around.

In fact the CFL took TSN's offer without even waiting for the CBC offer. Becuase they weren't happy with the quality of the CBC telecasts.

And CBC was not happy they weren't given a chance.

So the CFL signed a much bigger deal with TSN.
Who have seen ratings take off the past few years.

And the NFL had zero influence on the deal the CFL signed with TSN. Just like it had no influence on the CFL dumping CBC.
It was nothing personal. Just business.

CFL is not going to be a farm league for anyone! It has never had to for 100 years!...No need to start now.

I agree 100 percent Geo.

I wonder about anybody who'd accept turning our 100 year national league with its storied history into nothing more then a minor league for the Americans to plunder at will.

I mean they must have no respect for the Canadian sports fan if they think we're not worthy of having our own leagues.

recently i seen a post about the nfl approaching the cfl for player development.......really the nfl cannot develop canadian talent that has to come from the canadians themselves.......i dont see the push for football in canada as it is in the states......i think hockey and other winter sports are more dominate......i think if the nfl comes to canada to develop talent......the non imports have the most to lose.........they are protected by the league to keep canadians in the league......the nfl would careless.....if canadians would want to develop football talent partnership with the ncaa......if a canadian school joined division 1......and recruited canada and the states they could build a decent team within 5 to 7 years........the nfl is a business it can careless about the cfl and developoing talent.....when most cfl were cut from nfl rosters