This League Needs More PreSeason

It's obvious so far that the lack of preseason is hurting the quality of football. I mean I'm a fan of good defensive football but 13 games in and the only team to break 30 points is the Riders in Week 1 and they needed a pick six to push them over. It's ridiculous.

And is it really even good defense. I mean some games it is, but some games it's just inept offense. We've seen so many drops, DUMB dumbass penalties, and lack of QB protection. Are the Riders and Bombers D that good or are the Ticats and Redblacks offenses that bad?

At any rate we've been treated to hands down the worst 3 and a half weeks of football in recent memory.

These teams just aren't ready to play. I know that this year the league had no real choice about skipping preseason but every year there is always some vocal clique of fans that hates preseason and wants to scrap them, and get super freaking angry at the notion that there should be a third preseason game (God forbid). Well, this is what you get when there's no preseason.

Another development that is quite new is the fact that the teams can basically no longer hit in practice, including camp now. ALL of the coaches have been terribly frustrated that they really can't evaluate anyone when there's no contact, let alone no games. In the past even with a full contact camp and just 2 preseason games the first 2 or 3 weeks of the season have always been sloppy. This year there seems to be no end in sight to the bad football. The way that things are going we could see 6 or 7 weeks of this - let's face it - schlock.

Now with training camp restrictions on contact, a third preseason game has become essential. Use the first two to evaluate, especially rookies, and get everyone some contact and some game legs, then use the third to play your regulars and install your systems properly.


I agree lack of preseason + two year long off season has really messed up some teams but I personally never was into preseasons at all (in any sport)

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In a gate driven league like the CFL, I highly doubt we'll ever see an extra preseason game added on. If you add an extra game it's just an extra game that the starters won't play in like the NFL.

The reality is teams don't want to lose their starters to injury in preseason, so you're not really getting much value by adding more games.


it is not so much about the starters than finding out about rookies and depth.

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How often have you seen starters in a pre-season game? the starters practice with the first team but seldom play in a pre-season.
You might see the starting offense for a quarter but then it's likely the other team has their backup defense on the field.
You watch a pre-season game and see players that you will never see again, backup QBs, running backs etc.

They might as well just use practices and get more out of a team's defense vs offense.

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Also the offensive lines have been terrible


Also believe they didn't really scour like usually for players with the pandemic .

Two teams Calgary under Huff seem to reload by finding QB arms that drive the offence pandemic or no pandemic . Huff must have an eye or they have a great scout .

The old Toronto Barker teams always seem to find a QB .... was it Millanovich or Barker for the mini QB factory coming out of Toronto with Harris , Collaros , Fajardo .

Barker must have had an eye or they had a great scout .

They're losing them in training camp anyway, and in the first couple of weeks of the regular season. Just look at the injury lists this year. They're enormous.

That's because there's only 2 games. The starters they generally already know about. The rookies they need to evaluate in game action and 2 games is barely enough for that.

90% of the argument that I hear from fans every year against preseason games is that they don't want to watch them. That's fine, don't. It won't kill you. An extra preseason game won't make the regular season any shorter.

The only other argument against them is that preseason games don't make money. This is true, smaller crowd, no TV. The third game doesn't have to be a full game. It could be an organized full contact scrimmage as long as it's against a real opponent.

I emailed this idea to the league like 15 years ago. Before the 2 preseason games, have a weekend 3 team round robin in a neutral site. The games could be 10 minute quarters with split squads even. Make it a fan experience like a 5 or 10 dollar weekend pass to attend (maybe to support charity even) and then sell some hot dogs and merch - a family thing. Fans meet players, get autographs and then there are scrimmage games. The big names don't necessarily have to play in the games but be there for practice and meet fans while the rookies play. Rotate it around year to year to bring the game to places that could never have their own team but doing this shows them that they still matter. Edmonton-Calgary-Sask in Medicine Hat say, or BC-Winnipeg-Toronto in Thunder Bay, or Montreal-Ottawa-Hamilton in Newfoundland.

Even if it loses a little bit of money, it's excellent grass roots marketing/promotion while the coaches get some valuable evaluation time and the first few weeks of the regular season is better football.

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Back in the 1970s, a 6 game preseason was in effect in the NFL. Players can to camp to get in shape. Nowadays, players come in shape.

Fast forward today...we already know who can produce and who cannot before that first snap.

The coaches see them and evaluate them in scrimmage and offense vs defense.
As for playing games in other non-CFL cities, it's been tried and a failure. Guelph, Quebec City, Fort MacMurray, not worth the travel or money to play in front of tiny crowds.
I attended the Argos/Redblacks in Guelph, sparse crowd and a dull game with no appearance of the starters.
Redblacks/Als in Quebec City - only fans from Ottawa and Montreal showed up.

I like the idea of dropping pre-season games in the future and adding 2 extra games to the schedule. If it means that the first 2 games in a 20 game schedule are sloppy, so be it, at least the teams are playing their starters.

[quote I like the idea of dropping pre-season games in the future and adding 2 extra games to the schedule. If it means that the first 2 games in a 20 game schedule are sloppy, so be it, at least the teams are playing their starters.

If you're suggesting a 20 game season I'm all in

I'm with you also because this was a restart during a pandemic let alone a pandemic cancellation.

Did some forget that this league was fighting for its very sustenance only a few months ago?

In this situation, it's restart the real deal or so many things easily could go wrong in preseason and back we go home.

With so few teams, as the situation with Edmonton now is in evidence, when one time is out of order it shakes up the whole league all the more now.

No thanks to preseasons until the pandemic times are over for the foreseeable good.

I fully agree with this being a Covid year, but sometime in the future, I would be interested in a 20 game regular season, perhaps you can carry a few extra players for the first two games before you get down to your final roster. Probably wouldn't be something the coaches would appreciate

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It's going to be tough, but I'm for that if the season starts earlier and ends earlier too. One of a few reasons I favour a rescheduled season, a perennial off-season thread now, is say start in early June finish in early November.

I am not set in stone on this one, but with more games when you start earlier you have more of the better weather to use to sort through your roster early in the season too. If somebody is not going to work out long-term, it's better they are gone by July rather than not until about right now before Labour Day weekend.

More games just makes the games less meaningful.

Look at the NHL. Everybody moans about the 'dog days' those 25 games between xmas and the trade deadline. These listless games where the players clutch and grab and don't go all out. They can't go all out because to go hard for that long destroys your body so you have to pace yourself. So you start strong because it;s the start of the season and you're full of energy until you start getting tired. What's one loss out of 82? Then in the last month or so as the playoff spots starts to settle, the race is on because the games mean something again.

Nobody likes those dog days but any notion to shorten the season gets shot down immediately. Nooooooo, don't take away ANY of my hockey no matter how bad it is.

A 20 game schedule in football would be the same thing. The game is so brutally punishing, much worse than hockey, the players could not go full on hard for that long without pacing themselves.

I would much rather have a 16 game schedule with 3 preseason games, have 16 GOOD football games, than to have a 20 game sched with no preseason, see the first 6 games weak sloppy and bad, and 6 in the middle listless and not played that hard.

Look at this year, 13 games so far and not one of them has been well-played. A couple of them have been entertaining but for all the wrong reasons. Most of them have been boring. Last nite, unless you were a TiCat fan, was terrible. I think even Hamilton fans would admit that if it wasn;t for the Cats winning, they would have been bored stiff. Even Sask dominated Hamilton but going offside 3 times on the goalline and taking 22 penalties I think it was more a case of Hamilton being bad than Sask good. No matter how good you are you can't get 6 sacks by rushing only 3 guys all nite unless your opponent is bad. Edmonton at BC was 2 teams trying to lose a football game. Hamilton and Toronto at Winnipeg, both of these games, if not for the fact that we're so excited to just be playing football we would have fallen asleep.

Once again, if you don't like preseason games, you don't have to watch them.


I already said in the original post that I understood that THIS year the league really had no choice about cancelling preseason ...


More preseason games but not more regular season games? That's a huge NO from more than me.

The NHL analogy as drawn of too many games, which does have some merit, does not hold up for pro football.

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Golly gosh gee willikers I must be weird....or old. I miss the 4 game preseason we used to have. It was fun watching the formation and progression of a team over those weeks.

I would add a shortened 5th quarter (10 minutes) to the preseason games. Fans at the games can leave early if they want. There are plenty of players in camp every year and this would give coaches more time to evaluate the new players and give a bit more time to the starters to get in sync for the regular season. And you wouldn’t need to add an extra week or unprofitable preseason game.