The CFL is great, but.......

Look I love the CFL as much as the next guy and I think it's great, but, it could be alot better. In the area where I live (the GTA) there is 8 million people. One of the most populated areas on the continent, yet some how, the Argos manage to get only 30- 35, 000 out to a game. That is pathetic for an area with 8 million people and a stadium with a capacity of 55, 000. I am not sure if it is the same anywhere else (except BC). Almost every stadium in the NFL sells out week in and week out, no matter what the teams record is, and I think the problem is advertising. The CFL needs to put more commercials on TV like the ones they have for the Jays or the FC, and put billboards up to. Also to appeal to kids, the teams should visit a local school every week to talk about the game, it would interest alot more kids and also increase attendance.

Which leads me to my next point, the college system. We also need to advertise this more and give out athletic scholarships. Canadian college football is great, it's just a diamond in the rough. We need to keep our best athletes here in Canada, because they would put more people in the seats. Imagine seeing a TV commercial advertising Canadian college football, It could feature a player from your home town, who just happens to be the leading receiver in the nation. That would increase national interest in the player and the program he is from, giving a larger TV audience and attendance. You could also follow the player right from college into the pros, once again increasing national exposure, and putting more fans in the seats. And believe me, the schools can afford athletic scholarships with all the money their bringing in.

Just a short word about the reffing, it is pitiful, and makes the CFL look Bush league, maybe we should pay more to get quality reffing, because that would increase interest.

Which brings me to my final point, expansion. I know you are all sick and tired of this, but it is going to have to happen sooner or later. A 12 team league would give the CFL national exposure everywhere, and who knows, it could become more popular than a the NHL. We really do need to increase national exposure, and expansion is the easiest way to do it. A 12 team league would be respected by Americans as well, and would increase American exposure. It also makes it more interesting for the people who already do watch it week in and week out, being able to see your team play a different team almost each week, and no home-home series. Moving Winnipeg back to the west, and maybe putting a team in Saskatoon or Kelowna would put the west division at 6 teams, and then putting a team somewhere in the maritimes, Quebec City and either London or Ottawa would build the east up to 6.

I'm not saying I don't like the CFL, I love it. I just think it could be alot better than it is, and right now it is not a national game like hockey, but I think it could be.

Dude. If you watch a game on Sunday of an NFL team that's not in the playoffs, its barely half full in most markets.

I know that I only gained greater interest in getting to know all of the players in other leagues by playing fantasy on Yahoo. Cohon's on the right track. I'll be honest. I prefer fantasy baseball and hockey (roto) over playing head-to-head NFL, but I would join a CFL league. Ticats111 is right about expansion and that would apply to fantasy sports too. If there's a Yahoo! Canada then I don't see why they can't work with the PA and the league. It's now fun and interesting to follow games that you wouldn't normally watch. Now that tsn is the exclusive TV broadcaster, then detailed profiles, statistics and fantasy league provision should be their endeavour. The interactivity can only add to their viewership.

As far as Toronto goes.. I'd really like to see a stadium on a fair ground like the CNE or Wonderland. They should play their early season (summer) schedule up there.

The reffing argument is a total waste of time. It makes absolutely NO difference at all. People will complain about the refs no matter what and who they are. Especially since there are no better to ref Canadian football than those who are already doing the job.

And who cares what the Americans respect unless you live in the States. That's the biggest problem of all - caring what another culture thinks and looking to it for affirmation that your culture is OK. Lose the inferiority complex already. It's getting really old.

Canada can be proud of doing it's own thing and should ignore what anybody else thinks. Once people start doing that instead of casting a lustful eye South, the CFL will be a lot better off.

Saskatoon and Kelowna are too small. It'll be decades before those two cities have a prayer of getting a team. It would hurt the league to try and make teams work there now, only to have them fail, which they surely would.

Get to ten teams in the next five years. That'll be a huge step forward and a realistic thing that can be done to improve the CFL's fortunes.

And one more thing. Stop using the phrase "bush league" to refer to a league that is anything but. You're not helping.

Fact is Toronto simply is not a good sports city. Don't know why that is but it is a fact. Guess being the center of the universe means there isn't time for sport.

number one reason toronto will not support the Argos well is because CFL is not american.

Another reason is that Torontonians (apart from following the Leafs) just don't seem all that into sports as actively as the rest of us are....

Toronto does in fact support the Argos. Aren't they averaging 30K or so a game? Expecting them to sell out every game is putting an unrealistic standard on a gate-driven league which doesn't have massive marketing budgets and enormous television and corporate revenues.

And why pick on the Argos? Why doesn't Montréal sell out the Big O? Why don't the Lions sell out?

None of them do for basically the same reasons. Lets be happy that the league is healthy, drawing well, and looking to expand. It will grow if we continue to look at the bright side, talk up it's virtues, and try not to focus on the negative.

I wasn't picking on the Argos, i was just using them as an example because they are my local team. I probably would have said something about Montreal or BC but i don't know anything about their crowds or stadiums. and your problem is you think to small. the CFL should think big, every team should be able to sell out, especially a team that was in 1st place and almost made it to the big dance. i don't think that's to unrealistic of a standard to ask for 50, 000 to a game. Ok, maybe they can't fill every seat, but they should be able to get 50, 000 or so so they don't have to put those stupid tarps up, that is just pathetic. And i don't think it costs all that much to pay a few visits to some elementary schools every week to tell a few kids about the game. And Ted can afford a to scrape a few bucks to the Argos for TV advertisement, if it brings another 15, 000 in every game he should be able to make it back, that and the fact he'll get a few more thousand to watch it on TV.

I don't have a problem. You're the one that apparently can't stand seeing empty seats.

50K a game is pretty much a sellout in Toronto. If you think television ads will increase attendance by 65% in a less than stellar sports market then you must be a marketing genius.

I have no doubt that the Argos could do better than they are, but the question is why don't they? I tend to think it's up to the owner to throw more money at the problem. If he can't/won't then he has to be satisfied with what he's got. I know it's not as easy as you make it out to be though.

We Canadians need to stablize football in Canada by doing what we do for hockey. We need to promote College and Junior football more. Part of the attraction to hockey is we follow the young kids throught Junior Hockey until the graduate into the NHL. That in itself brings interest. Up unitl Bettman one of the dumbiest Commissioners in sport change the rules raticallyto the point the NHL is one step above Ice Capades.
By supporting and televising College or Junior Football the same will develop. I understand College football in Quebec is very popular. I am sure it would be in every region if it was exposed more to the fan at this level. There are many small cities as well in Canada that could get onboard by having their local team playing on this media stage and then following their local talent to the CFL. Instead of TSN showing nothing but american sports why have they not tapped into the Canadian sports scene. Maybe if Rogers was smart they would do this. What is everyones thoughts on this. I know I follow junior hockey more then watching the NHL. Why would this not work for football.

I think the Argos are doing just fine. Averaging 30K + in a league that averages just under 30K is pretty darn good, IMHO.

Ultimately, Toronto is not what you'd call a sportstown. It's not even a hockey town; it's a Leafs town. And, that's only because corporate Canada has made is so chic.

I love it. With the termination of the Renegades, I've turned my attention to all the other levels of football around here. I was at a game (or two) almost every weekend between June and early November. It's great bang for the buck with tickets ranging from $5 to $10.

I wish the CFL would do more to promote it since it's where a number of their future stars will come from. They do have the occasional story on CIS or Jr ball but they're not very prominent.

I encourage everyone to make it their new year's resolution to attend at least one amateur game a month during the CFL season. I believe that the level of play will surprise many.

It's interesting, my brother who lives in London and is a big hockey fan and baseball fan and also football but not as much, said during the holidays to me that he finally realizes how important football is to a lot of Canadians. He is proud that Greg Marshall took the Mustangs as far as they did only to be outclassed by a much older Bison team and we got talking how the playing field in CIS football is so uneven, Ontario schools are losing some of the best athletes to east schools who offer full scholarships or close to it and in the west where football is huge. Ontario schools are having a tough time competing although they are getting into some scholarship system now I think.

But what I thought was interesting was where he said few people outside of southern Ontario care about the Blue Jays and now with the Expos gone, baseball isn't big any more in Quebec even though there are of course still lots of kids playing the game. But football he realizes is huge there now, after hockey. For my brother to acknowledge footbal is big in Canada and the Blue Jays aren't a big item other than in southern Ontario is something I never thought I'd here him say. Interesting.

MY thoughts are if the CFL could put a larger effort through the media to promote Junior and CIS football to the extent of TV this would go along way to develop more fans that would not otherwise watch CFL football due in part no local interest(no CFL team in their area). I do not know about others but I would follow a CIS or junior team if they televise away games.

One of the problems I see, at least here in southern Ontario, is that people save their money to go to a US football or baseball game in Buffalo or Detroit or Cleveland or Pittsburg etc. or Blue Jays, Raptors, Leafs etc. but then they don't go out and support their minor football or baseball teams and sometimes not their minor hockey teams also. A lot simply don't care about these teams in their own communities. This is a real shame, a real shame. A lot of factors involved in this but one is that people want to go where big crowds are for an "experience" or something or just want to spend their limited money on big pro stuff. Sometimes I wish big pro sports leagues never existed in the first place.

Good post 2005! Instead of Poker, (Which should be on the Game Channel Not Sports Channels)they should be showing CIS. All one has to do (I hate this comparison but....) is look down South on how the Americans promote their College teams.

MY thoughts are if the CFL could put a larger effort through the media to promote Junior and CIS football to the extent of TV this would go along way to develop more fans that would not otherwise watch CFL football due in part no local interest(no CFL team in their area). I do not know about others but I would follow a CIS or junior team if they televise away games.
The Score does televise some CIS and there is the occasional Shaw and Eastlink game aired. I think you are right it helps you to follow these guys coming up. I can't wait to see some of these guys come up to the CFL.

The problem is, although these games have already aired I don't think the ratings were very high at all (other than last year's Vanier Cup). I guess what we need is some sort of partnership with TSN to feature some CIS stuff and get people interested in what's happening there.

Why not include CIS with the CFL TV package. Yes the audience would be low at first but once it catches on you would be amazed that many would follow this as well as the cFL to follow their favorite college player. I go to the Hula Bowl many times not just to go to Hawaii but to follow the future stars of the CFL and NFL. I have been to the Cotton bowl, Rose bowl, Senior bowl and many more. It is great to follow and this would only be a bonus for the CFl and a TV network that would put it on.

Lets see what do I want to watch tonight?

University of Manitoba and UBC?

or Poker stars?

Hmmmm,

University Of Waterloo and McGill?

or

Worlds Strongest man?

Please give me CIS!