TSN broadcaster blasts CFL Commish and Rogers


[b]Two-time Grey Cup champion offensive lineman and current Toronto Argonauts broadcaster Sandy Annunziata of TSN 1050 Toronto came out swinging in an interview on 620 CKRM's SportsCage in Regina on Monday.

The 11-year CFL veteran explained the growing unrest amongst Toronto football types regarding the Argos' treatment by Rogers and Rogers Centre, the homefield of the club.

"Let's put it this way; they've played 13 of their 16 games on the road," Annunziata reported.
"To have your home opener in Fort MacMurray, to have five games in the Rogers Centre only to be told 'Sorry we can't accomodate the Argonauts despite the lease. We have first right of refusal to kick you out' and don't give it a second thought. These are these corporate decisions that leave a bad taste in my mouth."

"I'm disappointed that the individual responsible for growing the brand, strengthening the brand, protecting the brand, by his deafening silence is allowing a 143-year old tradition in Toronto, one of the flagships of the CFL, to be marginalized and minimized.
"I'm talking about the Commissioner specifically and I have nothing against Jeffrey Orridge. He was brought in as a marketing guru to resurrect and to help strengthen the brand but he's done anything but that in Toronto."

"There's a way to address the situation," Annunziata said. "Maybe a strongly-worded letter saying you don't agree with the decision. There's a way to take the high road because let's face it; that's what the CFL has always done.
It has always capitulated and been accomodating to the four other major sports properties in the City of Toronto.

At some point you'd think the head of the CFL, the Commissioner, would stand up for the integrity and stand up for the collective rights of those 50 football players, those hard-working coaches and that skeleton crew they have running the Toronto front office.

"You'd think he'd be an ally in their frustration. Maybe a sounding board for them or a mouthpiece for them. There's ways to do it without totally alienating Rogers and that sports property. It sends a loud message if he comes out and speaks for the Argos and their staff that we don't like this decision. We're not going to sit idly by and take it.

But just to not say anything, his silence speaks volumes that the Toronto Argonauts have been allowed to be treated this way by not only Rogers Centre but also Rogers as a corporation."[/b]

[url=http://www.rodpedersen.com/2015/10/annunziata-blasts-cfl-commissioner.html]http://www.rodpedersen.com/2015/10/annu ... ioner.html[/url]

There's a allot of blame to go around to what's happened this season including Argos ownership.

There's really not much Orridge can do as he inherited this situation but I can concur he can at least have a statement showing some empathy towards the few Argos fans that remain and reinforce better days are ahead without putting the current regime and Rogers under the bus.

I think there are allot of ostriches at head office right now and won't lift up their head until this season is over.

[b]Sandy Annunziata ?@SandyAnnunziata
C'mon Commish...if not gonna defend 142 yrs of tradition against unfair business practice, u lose credibility. Period. @CFL @TorontoArgos

CFL News ?@CFL_News
.@SandyAnnunziata - "I'll speak on behalf of those guys and say yeah, it does have an effect." #CFL #Argos via @sportscage[/b]

I buy that. But can you name me one positive thing Orridge has accomplished in year one ????

I can't. His war declaration on the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sports is actually the stupidest thing I've seen any pro league Boss do EVER.

He extended the TSN TV contract until 2021 - there may not have been any more money involved but he did lock into it for 5 more years.
I did meet him in Ottawa at the home opener, he was walking around with Jeff Hunt and shook my hand, that is one more positive that he did............ :roll:

While I am as pissed off as any Argonauts fan about how the schedule has been disrupted this year, I have at least been able to understand why the home games have had to be moved.
Except for this week’s game.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that Rogers Centre could not host this game, based on its own published guideline about time required to change to football configuration (and back to baseball).
Simply, Rogers can’t be bothered honouring the lease agreement they signed, knowing that the Argonauts are leaving after this season.

The Argonauts should hold them accountable to that lease agreement, the CFL could support that position, and there is no reason to tread lightly with Rogers since they are not honouring the terms of that lease which they so forcefully enforce when it goes in their favour.

Given all the positive coverage they currently get for their baseball team, they should get knocked back a few notches for being “CANADA’S WORST LANDLORD”.

Since he has started his tenure what if anything has the Commish said that is newsworthy?
The lack of any sort of a statement on the Argos debacle for me is deafening.
In fact bordering on the grounds for a dismissal.
I know those will say he didn't create the problem no kidding, but to say nothing not even to blast the Rogers crooks, etc is mind boggling.

I think most of us knew this commissioner was a dud the moment he took the job.

There is also no good reason why the Argo game could not have been re-scheduled to Saturday to host Montreal. That would give Rogers an extra day to convert the stadium and there would be no excuses. Shouldn't be a big deal to make that change of date. I'm sure it's been done in the past. TV schedules can be altered too in such situations. Now Argos will play in Hamilton with maybe fewer than 1,000 in attendance, because of the Friday night time slot.

Thank you Sandy Annunziatta!!!

Finally someone with an official CFL profile and background had the guts to say what we've all been thinking. I believe there are many others with CFL-related paycheques who should pick up the torch that Sandy has lit. Off the top of my head I can think of the CFL on TSN panel, the Football Writers of Canada, and the CFLPA. All of these guys who have so much to say on other topics, have been basically tepid all year on this one.

The Argos aren't my team of choice, but they definitely deserve the support of the CFL community.

If the Riders were being put through this type of warfare (cause that's what it is) The whole bunch of them starting with Suitor and Natishyn would be up to the barricades.

Whatever, to me it just makes Rogers looks small and afraid of the CFL and Argonauts. I know few people will agree with that but that's what I feel. Hey, this campaign is almost over and the Argos move into new football digs next year with great owners in the making. Orridge is smart, don't go flapping your mouth, be quiet, let this run it's course this year, don't flap your mouth and make Rogers laugh even more publicly.

I have a lot of respect for Orridge keeping fairly silent on this. Smart move IMHO, certainly has my full respect and admiration on this one. :thup:

Remember, Rogers right now has a lot of fans of them with the Blue Jays and the CFL coming out complaining and crying like a baby is exactly what Rogers was hoping Orridge and the CFL would do. Believe me, it wouldn't garner much sympathy if any from many in the Toronto area, that's for sure. Thankfully Annuziata isn't the CFL commish. Hey he can speak his mind, find, but he comes across exactly as a crying baby.

The biggest laugh agains't Rogers this year would be if the Argos won the Grey Cup or at least get there.

Chris Schultz also took shots at Rogers on last weeks radio show, ‘inside the argos’. Was refreshing to him him say what he did, but wish it was on a televised game and not a local radio channel.

No matter which side of the argument you agree with, (regarding the rant by Annunziatta), you have to respect that at least SOMEONE is talking out loud about the deplorable treatment the Argos have received from Rogers, and how negative the effects have been on the team. What the Argos have been forced to endure this year is unbelievable and has done even more damage to an already damaged franchise. Its about time that someone spoke up.


Still no drug testing in the CFL. Looks like they might finally be ready to fix that by the end of the season though, by going back to the CCES.

Someone will have to admit this whole thing was a screwup if they do that, but at least it'd be over with.

Thanks for posting the article Tridus. As long as the "fix" keeps the masses happy, whatever. I'm sure it will be just another "look, we suspended so and so so it must be a good policy" and CCES gives the thumbs up, with some money under the table I'm sure. And everyone is happy. Best practice at it's best, I'm sure it won't be next practice that's even better which of course would include the more serious aspect of PED use that involves health consequences of PEDs. But that's expecting too much from any professional sport league I suppose and the CCES. Simple punishment will keep most happy I'm sure, it's about fairness and of course cheating and justice, who cares about the health consequences. :roll:

Adverse Health Consequences of Performance-Enhancing Drugs: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement


There is a good reason - TSN has two Saturday CFL games - Ottawa at Winnipeg at 4PM and Eskimos at the Riders at 7PM
and before that at 12PM - NCAA football.
It's all about TV and the ratings - for TV it makes no difference where the Argos are playing the viewers will watch the game if it's in Hamilton or at the RC.

What the CFL could do with the suspending of a player for so many games per infraction, the standard sort of thing as we know, is take a lead with the adverse drug effects of PEDs and make all players do an e-learning module with a short test, like workplaces do with WHIMIS. Players who are caught using PEDs, besides the suspension, will need to retake the PEDs e-learning module with an expanded version and perhaps do some community educational work on the adverse effects of PEDs to high school athletic programs. And, of course, keep the face to face counselling as well, which is a good thing. I'd really like the CFL to take a lead in the educational, learning and teaching aspects of the adverse health aspects of PEDs. The CCES should also make as part of it's mandate the health aspects of PEDs IMHO. Building health is part of their principles I see so this should tie in nicely with that. http://cces.ca/values-and-principles

I guess this is the current policy, not exactly sure:

Upon a first offence, a player is automatically subjected to mandatory testing and an assessment, followed by counselling, with the goal of working with the player to change his behaviour.

A second offence triggers a three game suspension, a third offence a one year suspension, and a fourth offence a lifetime ban.

[url=http://m.cfl.ca/article/cfl-cflpa-announce-new-4-year-cba]http://m.cfl.ca/article/cfl-cflpa-annou ... 4-year-cba[/url]

Yeah that is the current policy, which is what set this whole thing off. A bunch of university players tested positive and were drafted into the CFL anyway, with no consequences.

Being subject to "mandatory testing" for a first offense is a farce. What do they have before you get caught the first time, voluntary testing? You don't get into a real suspension until the third offense.

This policy was the definition of "we need to have a policy so people stop bothering us about not having a policy, but we don't particularly want to do anything."

Really, It is exactly in line with how the CFL has been doing business forever. Put a puppet out front to make it look Professional and behind the scene you have a a handful of "mob bosses" getting together mostly in secret (Las Vegas again last month) gaming everything.

It is no longer working for them, this will be the second year in a row this league's popularity shrinks, when everything says that it should have gone the other way.