Hope the NFL labor situation gets settled at least by Sept. ( I like my NFL football also), but one possible benefit to the CFL of a strike/lockout is the fact NFL teams will not be permitted to sign undrafted free agents.
There are a ton of these signings immediately after the draft, but with the NFL uncertainty, undrafted players wanting to earn a paycheck might turn to the CFL.
You're right. It could make things very interesting up here.
Who knows if the lockout will happen? It's happened before.
2/10 Bleacher Report stated that owners walked away from the negotiating table on Wednesday.
NFL fans do not want to watch replacement players. And watching wannabe professional football players is gut-wrenching, at best. We've seen our share of wannabe professional players in the CFL, too.
The NFL lockout may,temporarily,help the CFL,provided the League increases the limit on numbers of players that can be signed, during the off-season; presently,the total is 75,excluding current-drafted previous year but back to school and drafted current year- draft choices. To me,it has to be increased by no less than 6, to 81; furthermore,the players limit at training camp,which is now at 68,excluding current draft choices, has to be increased to at least 75,excluding current draft choices.
Finally,for the regular season games,the dressed players have to go to 44,now at 42.
Without these measures the NFL lockout will be of no benefits-temporarily- to the CFL.
Since the NFL Owners and Players will eventually agree on a new Collective Agreement, this agreement will definitely have a negative impact on the CFL; hence,since the regular season games will be increased by 2,to 18,the numbers of players will definitely be increased; I foresee a 4 players increase on active rosters + 2 on practice rosters,for a total of 6 more players per team. In total, we are talking of 192 more players that will no more be available to the CFL teams.
Let's hope that the CFL will do the outmost to improve and protect/keep the CFL talent.
How in heck did the CFL get into the position of permitting the NFL to shop and sign our players a year before they would become free agents? Using Adrian McPherson as an example, he would be a free agent next year for the CFL but is basically a free agent at present for the NFL. For all of us this has to be a preposterous, outrageous and, ludicrous situation. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think there was a time when the CFL was in the pits and, for a sum of money ,the CFL awarded the NFL their right to grab our best players if they so desired. I would apprecriate some insights into this situation.
Voilà une autre réflexion très avisée. Vis-à-vis la possibilité d'ouverture d'autres postes chez nos voisins du sud, que les équipes de la LCF puissent protéger plus de joueurs serait une réponse appropriée. Ma question est : pourront-elles les payer? Je n'ai aucun doute dans l'Ouest, mais ce n'est pas aussi évident dans l'Est.
Néanmoins, si la ligue voisine change la donne, il faudra aussi jouer cette partie ici. Alors des changements de cette nature seraient déjà une bonne réponse.
L'autre point, c'est qu'il faudra trouver d'autres canaux de diffusion télévisuelle de notre football. La diffusion de la Coupe Grey a déjà été regardée par 60 millions de personnes une fois dans le passé, et c'est le signe qu'il peut y avoir un certain intérêt pour notre version du football. Je crois aussi que notre football pourrait se tailler une place dans des marchés non entièrement conquis, comme il y en a quelques uns en Europe. Enfin, on peut toujours rêver, mais puisque la NFL n'aidera pas la LCF aux USA, il faudra bien envisager quelque chose pour accroître les revenus de télévision.
Whether we like it or not, the NFL is the reason that the CFL still exists. The CFL almost went under but the NFL gave the CFL a loan which kept it afloat. The NFL is showing CFL games to the USA on the NFL network. The NFL has treated the CFL with great respect and has put more effort into exposing their own market to the CFL by showing CFL games on the NFL Network, something they definitely didn't have to do. I personally think that this is a small price to pay. It's true that the CFL doesn't get a fair shake in the jingoistic US media but that's not the NFL's fault. The NFL itself has never made any disparaging remarks about the CFL because unlike the morons who do, the NFL knows that the CFL has a great product. The reason for this is that despite all the myths and BS that goes on in the USA about the CFL, nobody knows football better than the NFL front office. They see the quality of the Canadian game and the fact that they would introduce it to the US market (a market they OWN) says that they're willing to share the US market with a possible competitor. I think that the NFL has shown a lot of class towards the CFL and it doesn't deserve to be put down like that. Having players signable in their last CFL season is to me, a small price to pay for everything the NFL has done to help the CFL along. Case in point, the NFL lockout, if it extends to early autumn will undoubtedly increase the viewership of the CFL in the USA and it will most likely be on the NFL network. All it takes for someone to start caring about a team is 4 games. If the CFL gets one month of uncontested coverage on the NFL Network, people in the USA will start having favoured CFL teams. Once that happens, they will want to watch and see what happens. That's how sports work. Once you start liking a team, you start liking the sport. End of story.
The CFL is always in a precarious situation considering our neighbours to the south, and, of course, the NFL.
The CFL (and I'm sure most if not all posters in this forum would agree) has a great product to offer. BUT this product has to exist year-to-year on a "bargain basement" budget. I have posted before that the CFL cannot compete, at least yet, to the NHL. I feel safe in saying that the majority of NHLers would be recognized walking in a downtown Canadian NHL city; I'm not so sure that CFLers would. I am always puzzled why CFL stadia don't sell out like their NFL counterparts do. Even in weaker NFL franchises, tickets are at a premium. I have to conclude that football is waaaaaayyyy more popular in the US than in Canada; I hope that changes some day.
So, where do our great Canadian CFLers learn their art in Canada? For most of them, it is the CIS. Others come from various Junior football teams. These programmes have grown over the years, and one of the most spectacular of late is Laval University. However even here, CIS football cannot compete with the NCAA. A big factor, I would argue, is that we don't have sports scholarships. Some would say that that is as it should be; a university exists primarily for higher learning. But let's face it - In North America, the sports craze is here to stay. I would love to see our young Canadians get a good education after their sports career is over, and to be able to do that in Canada. With good football programmes, well funded, our young would learn their art at home - who knows how many great stars of the future this would produce?
The fact remains that the NCAA produces too many good footballers to fill the existing NFL teams, so they look elsewhere - NFL Europe, XFL, Arena Football....and the CFL. The CFL, also means that the great American footballers get some exposure in the US. The allure of the NFL, therefore, will always be there. I can only hope that our game becomes popular here, that we would put some money into it... If that were to happen, maybe, just maybe, we would see growth. I would like nothing better than to see large stadia filled to capacity in an expanded CFL.
The USA is passionate about sports in general. It ranks as the most frequent hobby in America, because so many people can relate well with sporting events and competition. And football, especially the NFL, definitely takes priority over any other sport - the NFL is #1.
Ask someone what sport he/she associates with Canada and he/she answers "hockey". Ask an American what sport he/she associates with the US and he/she will immediately answer "football".
Americans are extremely competitive and greedy. Boys are groomed from a very early age to play football, and if they have any size on them at all, parents push them to play, for hopeful future monetary reasons. (Or some fathers relive their lives through their sons and/or desire their sons to be what they never were.)
I, for one, agree a university should exist primarily for higher learning. So many school (colleges and high schools) in the US have reputations that are based more on sports than on academics. Look at all the brouhaha over the Cam Newton (Auburn) incident. And Cam and his parents don't have to wait for the draft in a couple of months to get rich, he's already signed a deal with Under Armour for over $1 million/year.
Full rides to college, nice big homes, luxury automobiles, early ticket to retirement for dad & mom - not bad if your son has what it takes to make it in the NFL. Money talks. And there is a lot of it in the NFL.
As I've posted before - even though I wish it was - I don't ever see the CFL being as popular as hockey up here, or as popular to Canadians as the NFL is to Americans. Football and the NFL are ingrained in the American way of life.
Football and the CFL are not ingrained in the Canadian way of life. I'm not so sure that's such a bad thing.
I'm not so sure I would agree with that. From my own experience of having lived there for a bit, Americans may be passionate about football but their minds are more filled with baseball on a daily basis. Baseball is the "Great American Passtime" and I remember a few years ago when the Habs and Bruins were embroiled in a very close and hotly contested playoff series that the Bruins failed to sell out the TD Banknorth Garden because the Yankees were in town and were playing the Red Sox in an early, regular-season nothing game that evening. If you ask most people in the USA what the #1 sport is, they will tell you baseball. The NFL is actually not even the most popular football league in the USA, there are far more NCAA fans down there which is made evident by the fact that Universities often have larger stadia than NFL teams do. I'll give some examples:
Michigan Stadium (Michigan Wolverines) - Capacity 109,901
Beaver Stadium (Penn State Nittany Lions) - Capacity 107,283
Neyland Stadium (Tennessee Volunteers) - Capacity 102,455
Ohio Stadium (Ohio State Buckeyes) - Capacity 103,329
Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama Crimson Tide) - Capacity 101,821
Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Texas Longhorns) - Capacity 100,119
The largest NFL stadium is FedEx Field where the Redskins play with a capacity of 91,704 with the New Meadowlands Stadium where the Giants and Jets play is second with a capacity of 82,566. There are still 5 University stadiums that I didn't list that are larger than FedEx Field. I only listed the ones with a seated capacity of over 100,000.
The main reasons for baseball being #1 in the USA is the history and availability of the game. There are 32 NFL teams that play 16 games per year each and because of that each game is meaningful and sometimes, pivotal. The scarcity of football games is the reason why ticket prices are so high. Major League Baseball on the other hand has 30 teams which play 162 games each. That seriously drives down the per-ticket cost. The equipment required to play also makes football financially unfeasible for a lot of people (which is why it is primarily played in schools) and the level of physical commitment is much higher. Baseball is a very cheap game to play and can be played reasonably well by most people. You need a glove, a bat and a ball. Catchers are slightly more expensive to equip but are nowhere near the cost of a football player when you consider that a regulation football helmet alone, whether made by Riddell, Bike or MaxPro can cost up to $500 each.
History is another point. Football in the USA is a relatively young sport. It's actually a much older sport in Canada than in the USA, in fact, the oldest pro sports franchise in North America is the Toronto Argonaut Football club. The fact that (as James Earl Jones said in "Field of Dreams") "Throughout the decades in this country, there has always been one constant, baseball." makes it a part of their culture as hockey is a part of ours. In the USA, football is a game you play, baseball however, is a part of life.
AvroArrow, you make some very good points.
I still have family in the US, and they are avid football and baseball fans - in that order. Baseball has always been labeled "America's favorite pastime". And I, too, like MLB.
If you grow up in America (and I did) and enjoy sports at all, the look and sound of football on TV evokes a certain comfort that's unlike anything else in sports. It's what Americans do on the weekends and Monday nights.
Sundays just don't feel right without the NFL - and that's probably true for football fans and non-football fans alike.
We watch the MLB playoffs because every pitch matters. We watch basketball games if the the two teams are good - or during March Madness. Some people even watch hockey. But in America, they watch football on Sundays in the fall and winter because it's just "what people do". And when the season's over and there is no football on TV, it hard to figure out what to do. Even for people who don't like the NFL, the offseason feels like an alternate universe.
Baseball is more of a tradition, and football is THE sport.
Personally I wouldn't mind seeing the NoFunLeague die! Having said that (and knowing it won't) I'd like to see the same thing happen that happened with the 1982 strike. The American networks brought their equipment north and broadcast CFL games Seems like that's the only way I'll ever see the CFL on American tv.
Avro Arrow: I just got caught up on your response to my issue- the NFL having the right to sign our players 1 year before their free agent status. I did not know of the NFL network and, I can apprecriate your comments about the CFL exposure by that network. It appears I was correct re the NFL helping the CFL when it really needed help. Is this process still going on? Is the NFL still directly involved financially with the CFL? Have we ever paid off the original loan? If so, why are we still giving them the right to have an early entrez into our players or, is it the price we pay to get our games viewed on the NFL network?
Here in Niagara most of us are Bills fans and, there is heavy traffic on the peace bridge for both the football and hockey games. At present the CFL is like a midget compared to the NFL. In my teenage years the action went the other way and the NFL was extremely mad when the CFL signed their players by giving them salaries above the NFL pay scale. This would be in the 1950s. An example was the Alouettes coaxing Tex Coulter away from the NY Giants Tex was a big name in sport, All American and highly valued in the NFL.It does appear that the nfl apprecriates our talent. The NFL grabbing a slew of our CIS players was a suprise last season. Thanks for the info.
According to Harris Interactive (professional pollsters) professional football is by far the most popular sport in the US. 35% of adults rank it as their favorite sport. Baseball (all levels) comes in second at 16%, but college football is third at 12%. Add professional and college football together, you get 47% of American adults consider football as their favorite sport. High school football was not part of the poll, or you may get over 50%.
So football (just college and pro) are three times more popular than all levels of baseball combined.
Stadium capacity is interesting but it doesn't support the suggestion that there are far more NCAA fans than NFL fans, and I just don't buy that assertion. And the fact that college football draws tens of millions of spectators, and hundreds of millions of viewers, every Saturday, and even high school football draws tens of millions of spectators every Friday seems to run counter to your argument that baseball is the predominant sport in the minds of Americans. Baseball absolutely used to be the "American pastime," and it still has a large and loyal following. But I would argue that football is far more imbued in the culture now than baseball, and has been at least since around the late 1970s. Football -- especially NFL football -- is by far the dominant sport in terms of television ratings.
According to a Gazette article yesterday, talks are not going smoothly, and there is a possible lockout on the horizon - whether both sides come to an agreement or not before the deadline remains to be seen.
Interesting posts by all of you. My point simply is that the CFL is a low-budget league compared to the NHL, MLB, the NBA, and, of course, the NFL. I can only hope that the culture changes in Canada and that people discover the joy and excitement of football, that the league expands, and that ALL CFL stadia (larger ones and new ones in new CFL venues!) are packed every game. If that were to happen, corporate sponsorship would increase, revenues would increase...and maybe, just maybe, the CFL would lure great players North. Well, I guess I can dream...!
I live here in the Tampa Bay area as is baseball friendly year-round.
This is also a "baseball town" as are NOT most American cities if they not in the Northeast and not Chicago.
Brighthouse Field, the spring training facility of he Philadelphia Phillies, is a jog from my place. I work out often in the open fields across the street from it, which are used for extended parking on Sundays during spring training.
George Steinbrenner Field, the spring training home of the New York Yankees, is in town too.
There are many public baseball parks for kids too.
However, as baseball friendly a town this is with so many people having moved here especially from the Northeast where baseball is king, even so there is still way, way more interest in football
The bottom line is that the ONLY US pro league that will not contract now is the NFL. All the others are in discussion about it at the very least now, including for jettisoning our own Tampa Bay Rays who are losing wads of money largely due to the awful location of the stadium down here.
If that however were the location football stadium even for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who like the other two Florida NFL teams do not sell out all games largely due to the oppressive afternoon heat in September and some of October, no question the team would not be losing money.
It's not enough close folks even in a baseball town like the Tampa Bay Area.
It may be "low budget" as far as revenue but there are many reasons for that. And...."and maybe, just maybe, the CFL would lure great players North." Take a look around! The great talent is already in the CFL! People HAVE to start realizing and seeing that! I've said this many times before. Money DOES NOT put the best athletes on any field! It puts the greediest ones out there though. It's the heart,drive,determination and passion TO PLAY that makes a great athlete and nothing else. The salaries may be higher in the states but the quality most assuredly is not!