Stoopid schedulers!

Team combats travel woes

Murray McCormick, The Leader-Post

Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This article is about the Rider's short week travel woes
but it also mentions why the short weeks are necessary

One reason short weeks occur is because a team's fans
prefer to come to games on certain days of the week[end],

Of course, knowing why short weeks are scheduled
won't stop fans from calling the schedulers 'stoopid!'

[This season] the Stampeders, Edmonton Eskimos and Hamilton Tiger-Cats are all scheduled to play on five or fewer days of rest three times.

Montreal has two short weeks and the Toronto Argonauts have one.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and B.C. Lions don't have any short weeks.

The Stampeders face a similar scenario
to the one the Riders recently completed.

Calgary plays the Alouettes in Montreal on Oct. 12 and
is then scheduled to play host to the Riders on Oct. 17.

At least, the Tiger Cats won't have to fly across country

for their game against the Argos on Sept. 11 vs Toronto
after having played them on Sept. Hamilton

and they won't be playing against a team
with a full week of rest between games.

A league spokesman said that it attempts to treat all teams fairly when it comes to the schedule.

But a great deal goes into setting up the schedule,

including the availability of stadiums, broadcast schedules

and preparation time for football operations,
along with the times and dates preferred by fans.

There are times when short weeks and
challenging travel schedules are unavoidable.

Every year we complain about the schedule.

  1. Wrong start times
  2. Wrong days
  3. Too few days between days
  4. Short week and we have to fly out west
  5. The bye week

The schedule is what it is. Deal with it. It has been this way for years. If there were a lot of complaints from the member clubs, then the schedule would change.

I think the biggest reason there are issues with the schedule is because of the TV scheduling.

Personnally, I’d like to see more games on Saturdays, and more afternoon games, but TSN likes to be able to schedule a game or two on Friday nights for what has now become a CFL tradition. Sticks some games on Thursdays, throw in some games on Sundays, and the Mondays on Labour Day and Thanksgiving, and you can see why there are short weeks.

For fairness sake I would like to see fewer teams play on short rest. It’s not right to play on short rest, particularly if they also have to travel, but it appears to be necessary to keep the TV schedule as it is. I would just prefer that TSN work a little better to have more common games days and reduce games played on short rest.

On a positive note, I have liked the fact that both this year and last year, teams have had bye weeks within two weeks. This is more fair then spreading them out in the year.


TSN shows every game. Bottom line. So they have some issues that games are played on short rest.

Do you want to go back to early 90s CBC where no one pushed them for competition and there were zero games on TV until Labour Day? Then after Labour Day they would only show 2, sometimes 3 games a week and have some games on at the same time.

TSN is bringing football to a new generation. My generation 20-30 grew up very rarely seeing the CFL. I am a big CFL fan because that's what my dad watched. He wasn't a big NFL guy but for people outside of a CFL city, what was the incentive to watch? They had none. Why do you want to pick up and start following games in the middle of the season?

We can all badmouth TSN at times but if it wasn't for them, there might not be CFL football or not as big of following as we have now.

My hats off to TSN. They have only put 1 game on TSN 2! 1! Look at what they have, NHL, MLB, Golf Majors, Tennis, etc and they find time to put on 4 measly games a week. TSN understands what Canadians wants. CBC never did.

Hey, I'm not saying anything against TSN, I'm merely pointing out that in order for them to broadcast all the games like they do, it creates situations where you will have games played on short rest, not as a result of someone who is responsible for putting together a schedule. As far as TSN finding a way to put on CFL games amongst all the other sports events, I'm sure they have every interest in doing this, as it wouldn't surprise me if the ratings for CFL games are as good as they are for other sports events.