Re-Marketing - radical, old idea.

Okay, new guy here, with a not-so-new topic, nevertheless no less passionate about not just the survival of the CFL, but more importantly, a desire to see a significant revived interest and growth from within our own country. That is why I joined this forum. I have lived in Ontario, BC, and Alberta, throughout my career (I'm 60 yrs old), and in all the places I've lived, I hear the same thing time and time again: "CFL sucks." "Why do you say that?", I ask. "Three downs. That's why." I've argued the point many times, because like many of you, I think our product is unique; it is not an NFL clone, it's Canadian. I'm a huge fan. But reality is reality, and the reality is: the generations that follow me have a growing disinterest in the CFL. My youngest boy is 17, and a prolific football player, currently being scouted by Canadian and US schools. He has no interest in the CFL, nor do hardly any of his team mates. What does that tell you?? It tells me - sorry to say, his generation is not interested. That does not hold out much promise for the league. SO, I dare say, it's time to wake up to reality, and be open to change. I don't think we're talking big sweeping changes either; I mean one over-arching change that I believe, could not onlyin time revive our nation's interest, but with growth, see a future of unprecedented investment and expansion. What is that? Yep. You got it: 4 downs. Leave everything else just the way it is - field size and all. Yeah,...I know: we've heard this before. Whatever,...I say it's time we listen to our kids!

I say its time we dont

That's exactly what I expected. Close-mindedness. No rational discussion. It's supposed to be a conversation. I chose to think outside the box - for the sake of the league. It Doesn't mean that I'm necessarily correct in my presumptions, but it does mean that I'm not satisfied with a status of mediocre interest, and recognize the business sense in talking about it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought that's what a forum is. The CFL is not about preserving tradition, it's about selling the product to future generations. Okay, Regina is sold on the product. Great! But the major markets are not! If it can't be discussed, well then so be it.

For changing the league to 4 downs is supposed to entice young kids to play here as opposed going to the NFL?

Reality is not many kids really dream of playing here growing up and that's OK. Kids who won't follow it for being 3 downs perhaps just lack and open mind. The younger generation don't follow the CFL in droves because it's not the top league, not the number of downs. I think going to 4 will make it look more minor league.

In my view. it's not too difficult being a fan of both since they're different (though similar) games. My son of 10 is excited for the Argos 1st season in BMO (been a fan before that) as well looking forward to SB in a couple weeks.

the number of downs is not the problem. It is the perception of the league as minor status even though the CFL is actually the 1st tier of Canadian brand football.

sadly, kids today equate $ with awe.
for example, were CFL players to be paid millions per season while NFL players paid in the tens of thousands you would see a substantial rise in interest among the youth for the Canadian game and a likely dropoff for the American game.

Just pay CFL players in the millions and voila! Instant street cred.

So your son and his friends don't pay attention to the CFL. What reason have they given for that? Did they say it's because of the three downs? Have they told you that they'd watch it if it were changed to four downs?

I have also lived in Ontario and Alberta (and of a similar age) and have a number of friends in other provinces, and while I have heard some people state that they didn't think the CFL was very good, I have never heard any of them say that three downs was the reason. Lesser quality of players, lesser quality of coaching, the rouge "rewarding failure", those I've heard many times. Don't agree with those arguments, but can understand the perceptions. But three downs? Never heard that reason from any of them.

So, if we disagree with you, we’re close minded?

If I wanted to watch 4-down football, I’d watch American football.
I don’t.

I believe you have lost your way. the fork in the road you took was the wrong fork. canadian football is 3 downs. 4 downs belong to the americans. didn’t the 1812 to '14 war teach you anything about this great country and league? apparently not. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

I’m not sure why you think that youth is losing interest in the Canadian game as the attendance and viewership numbers just don’t seem to bear that out. Sure, there are ups and downs and interest tends to oscillate up and down over the years, but the league is about as strong today as it’s ever been. Just because you’ve talked to some youths who love the NFL to the exclusion of all else doesn’t mean they have their finger on the pulse of the nation. I’m just not buying it. When I go to CFL games I see lots of “young people” under the age of 40 (the average age of a Canadian). I don’t expect 17 year olds to be able to afford tickets on a regular basis. I do expect them to watch for free on TV, which obviously many do. There are NFL fans, CFL fans, and football fans.

Abbyguy, I think you have received your answer, you may not have liked it, but it's pretty much the way it is. Four downs is pretty much a non issue. When there was parity in salaries and before the mid 70s many of the best Americans played here. I highly doubt if a Canadian could make 10 to 20 times more playing in Canada that he would go to the NFL to play four downs.

It's all about money. Simple as that. You go where the money is.

After watching the 2014 season I would agree with you on the four downs but after the East Final in 2015 it has renewed my faith in the league . Way more entertaining than the AFC final game which was good . The play selection and drama was superior in the East final. Kudos to Kent Austin and company for preparing a game plan with a third string QB . That game come down to the wire 2nd down and 25 and well you know the rest . If played to it's potential the CFL game rules .

Playing the game like you have four downs in a three down league kills the entertainment which I believe happened in 2014 .

The 2015 season has returned my faith in the old girl .

seemed to me this last weekend that some if not most NFL teams kinds play 3 down anyhow because they waste so many first down running up the middle for little to no gain.

We’ve been hearing about how the CFL is only for older demographics since the 80s and yet viewership is much higher now than it was in the 90s and 00s. That’s not to say that the league shouldn’t keep trying to attract young fans; it should. But it’s taken huge strides since the dark days of the 80s and 90s without going to 3 downs.

I think what the league needs most is simply a sustained, multi-targeted ad campaign. I mean Our League and What We’re Made Of are both great ideas, but they need to spread these ads and ideas beyond CFL broadcasts on TSN. They don’t need to preach to the choir.

I think they should also work with their corporate sponsors to make football-themed ads showing how the sport (not just the CFL league/brand) is a deep part of Canadian culture. How many bank/restaurant/tire/etc. ads feature kids/adults playing hockey? That’s what the CFL needs to promote.

Sorry, when you through out something so ridiculous on a CFL board you’re going to get called on it. And you instantly lash out of course without “rational discussion”. Close minded indeed.

BTW, do you think those kids may regret not considering the CFL when it becomes apparent their NFL dreams aren’t going anywhere?

I will disagree on the 4 down issue along with that old " lets try US expansion" crap again.

The media might play a role in this. When I say media I am pointing at the Toronto media.
Bad enough they put down or ignore the Argos, they put down the CFL.

" Hey people of Canada, we here in Toronto do not like it, so the rest of you better not like it " attitude.
That will play into kid's minds.

That and that as Canadians we do not like the great things we have.
When I say we, I am talking about those who just need to be negative.

Still, the poster makes a good point. If the youth is loosing interest , that is a concern.

Yet, I would wonder if it is just his school. Here in Calgary, there are many little kids at the game.
They will grow into teens and I figure will continue to watch and support the CFL.

I’ve never heard that either but I’ve heard misperceptions related to it, like the assumption that there’s no running game with only three downs, or that it’s all punting. Hey, just because a bunch of NFL teams couldn’t function with three downs doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for the CFL. :wink:

But even so…Kicking in a game called “football”. Imagine.

A lot of people, especially impressionable young people needing to fit-in with normative thinking and behaviours, have to relate to the US or else it's just "no good" or "can't be good". So anything about the CFL or Canadian football that is different from American football automatically in their impressionable minds will be just "bad". Some Canadians just have that mindset here in Canada, it's almost ingrained on them that anything uniquely Canadian can't be very good.

Well it’s true that it’s a much larger scale. So if you’re a player and you want to make it “big”, you’re probably thinking about the Superbowl moreso than the Grey Cup. Just like a want-to-be actor is dreaming of Oscars and Hollywood movies and not community theater.

But adding a 4th down to Canadian ball would have no impact on that. If anything, I think it would decrease interest because it would be too big a change for some to swallow.

While I personally love the 3 downs, I think 4 downs is something the league might consider as it might help more Canadians to have a shot at the qb position in the CFL. Why? Because some high school leagues in Canada play 4 downs and if the CIS and CFL went to 4 downs, there would be more continuity in football at the amateur levels in Canada and then going to the CFL would be more of a natural progression than it is now. Less of a transition physically as well as mentally. I realize some here won't buy that line of reasoning, just what I'm thinking. We no longer live in a country where gridiron football is played at all levels using 3 downs, those days are gone. And many people watch the NFL and US college all the time again ingraining a 4 down mindset, they know this. 3 downs is almost foreign to many Canadians including some who actually play football in this country at the high school level.

But Canadians do have a shot at the QB position. There are a couple of Canadian QBs in the NCAA, we also have Brandon Bridge who looks promising. If you really want to be a CFL QB then you’d better be an outstanding high school player, get noticed and get an NCAA scholarship to a real football school.

There are no short cuts to making it as a QB and they should NEVER change rules to give Canadians a shortcut to the most important position on a team.