The glass half full

Thank God for rear-view mirrors. It’s five am, and I have to schlep eggs in four hours. The plastic tube protruding between two ribs and into my collapsed lung won’t allow me to sleep horizontally. Joseph Merrick was tougher than me for sure.
So I’ll make lemonade and stop venting. There is a theme here.
Forget the past year (unless your a Bomber fan) and look ahead at what’s to come......

The good. What’s going to improve in our beloved league this season? ie: a team, a rule, a full season, whatever.

The bad. Dumb trades, policies, etc.

The ugly. Plastic tubes, squeezed lemon halves all over the place,
stupid mascots, and so on. No elephant men, please.

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It’s a stretch, I know.

For me It’s sad to see Schiltz leave The Als. But I’m oddly ok with
Harris returning. Ottawa did well to land Masoli, but that’s not going to be a fun time for him until they get some recievers.
Can’t wait for spring training camp and a full season.

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I’ll bite. As I’m a glass half full kind of guy I will give one example of a positive I see for 2022, aside from (hopefully) a return to a full schedule.

Increased parity for the league.

Last year, at least in the second half, Edmonton, Ottawa and BC were all horrible and non contending. Although we are still far away from actually playing games and no doubt there will still be changes and surprises, all three teams mentioned appear to have taken advantage of free agency and substantially improved.

It is impossible for Winnipeg to improve given the free agency rules and the prevalence of one year contracts, but arguably they retained almost all of their most important pieces and should be the pre season favourite. They should contend again. I would say that Toronto, Montreal and Saskatchewan remained about the same or improved slightly. I would worry about the QB situation in TO if I was an Argo fan. I would say there will be some level of drop off in both Calgary and Hamilton.

In spite of the sure to come further changes and surprises with players both underperforming and over performing, I am confident in speculating that the CFL will be much more competitive from teams 1-9 than it was in 2021. The best won’t be as good and the worst won’t be as bad. And that is a good thing for the league and its fans.

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I had the same thoughts about league parity. The good teams may drop a bit, and the bottom teams may rise a bit.
Another thing I can see happening is the return of higher scores with improved offences.

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If we are judging solely on past performance of individual players then sure, 2022 should shape up to have more parity.

But every year there are new unknown players who rise up.. every year a collection of fomer all-stars fall into mediocrity.. sometimes a collection of great stars just don't play well together or under the particular system in a new team. See the 2006 Tiger-Cats.

One of Toronto, Ottawa & Edmonton will have a terrible season despite the signings..

At least one of Hamilton & Calgary will continue to be successful despite the losses.

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and one of the other 3 will win the cup

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I had covered that I thought in saying that there would be under-performers and over performers and surprises and elsewhere stated that new players would be part of the surprises and not all teams will mesh as a unit. I still think, in spite of the potential effect of these unknowns and surprises, that the league will have more parity. That is what the free agency system, draft and salary cap are designed to do. You don't provide an opinion on that point and would be interested to hear one.

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Absolutely. Every time I predict parity, something quashes that.
More often than not, the starting QB gets injured.
That’s why 2019 was fantastic for back-up pivots stepping up big time.

I'm kind of torn on parity. From a competitive point of view, of course you want parity. And all those offseason activities you listed are part of promoting parity.

On the other hand, I read in the book "Soccernomics" that free spending sports leagues the world over generally do a bit better than those leagues with more parity. The antithesis to this of course is the NFL which probably has the highest parity of sports leagues and is by a wide margin, the wealthiest sports league in the world. Not only this but the Patriots dynasty still happened even in the context of the NFL salary capped, free agency and entry draft.

In soccer outside North America there is more of a free market system and power houses are allowed to happen. Like I said, there is some evidence that sports leagues allowing a perennial, big spending power house clubs do well business wise across the board. The big club(s) obviously do well and they draw at each underdog stadium as they generally have fans everywhere and the supporters of the underdog team are also drawn at the chance to upset the star-studded team.

Turning back to the CFL.. I'd go further in extending that parity to the league structure by eliminating divisions and having a balanced schedule where all teams play each other once home and away.

But at the same time, if MLSE were allowed to open their wallets on the Argos and get some name recognition on their team all the while losing to lesser spending teams, that would probably be good for business overall even if its less fair.

But shouldn't the salary cap be higher than what it is now.

8.1 million might be a start.

Or is it tied to the tv deal currently?

I don't know the details of the CFL salary cap other than that its been a bit over 5 million CAD per club for years and that represents about 25% of league revenues where the larger sports leagues are dishing out 50% or so to the players.

I don't know that the CFL salary management system is tied to league revenues like the NHL's is. I suppose the management and front office costs of the CFL are a higher proportion overall as compared with the bigger leagues probably due to the fact its a small operation and lacks the economy of scale of a 30+ team league. If the league built up its business further perhaps the players would see a larger piece of the pie.

Should it be 8+ million CAD? Sure.. but the CFL and its clubs would have to trim 3 million in fat per team somewhere or come up with 3 million per club more in revenue.

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Interesting. One free spending sports league that has been sinking competitively and fan wise is Major League Baseball. Only an obscene TV contract allows them to keep as many teams playing as they do, most of which have no hope of being competitive. Salary cap leagues seem to do much better in North America.

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I would say that the salary cap is completely tied to the TV deal. It has to be based on other posts I have read that 72-90% of revenue comes from the TV contract. It would be great for the league if the cap could be raised, but that would require more TV money. Increased attendance would of course help as well.

Having a cap at 8.1 million might enable some teams to invest players long term but 5.4 million is low but doable.

Not sure how limiting the amount of coaches really helps teams. Or should a cap on coaches be separate from the player salary cap.

I have never been crazy about the coaches cap. It appears that it can threaten the competitive balance of the league if teams who fire coaches are prevented from hiring replacements or hesitant to fire a coach that is not working out because of the cap.

I believe capping the amount of coaches is another one of Randy's blunders.

The owners really must like this guy as it keeps them entertained and it's a talking point at the water cooler :rofl::rofl:.

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The salary cap has to be something that the teams can afford. 8 million dollar cap? Where do you come up with this number and why?

No. Let's just assume that the teams could afford that cap (which they can't hope to - but for argument's sake). Salaries would just go up in general. Economics doesn't work the way that you think.

It's like the people who advocate for a living wage for the 'real world'. They think that if we just give everyone enough money that poverty will disappear. Economics doesn't work that way. If you raise the wages, you just increase the cost of living to go with that. You will chase that to infinity and still never get rid of poverty.

By the same token, if you allow CFL teams a larger cap just so that they have the space to keep players, that space won't get used that way. The teams will simply spend that money the same way that they spend the money they have now, just more of it.

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Just threw the number out there as a starting point.

We all know that the current cap is low but you're right the cap has been mismanaged for so many years.

Not sure what the correct number is.

What is low about the cap? The average CFL team breaks even (and during these covid times, the average CFL team loses a couple million or more). A CFL team's largest expenditure is player salaries. If you raise the cap by any significant amount, the league will be losing money every year. If anything the cap is too high. Raising it by a whopping 50% would kill the league.

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You think 5.4 is too high? Sure the CFLPA might have something to say about that.