Unofficial Focus Group

I watched the game last night ( Sask in Hamilton) in what turned into a unofficial focus group.

I have a 26 year old nephew who gathers with 3-4 friends for most NFL stand alone games-Monday Nighters etc. Roughly same age group They follow the NFL fairly closely but know virtually nothing about the CFL. They vaguely know that something exists about the CFL needing some Canadians on the teams but know very little about what that means. They couldn’t name more than 2-3 CFL players in the league. They know about 3 downs but being NFLers they don’t like it. I had 4 of them over to watch the game and supplied the booze and food of course. First CFL game they’ve watched in god knows how long if ever. Their comments:

-commented that there was no pre game show on a stand-alone. “That’s it?? as one said
-commented a lot about lack of fan noise from the stadium. Very quiet to them
-were kind of impressed with Bridge. They warmed a bit to him when learning he was Canadian
-thought Masoli looked like a “beer leaguer?
-had heard of Duron Carter. Disappointed that Carter got hurt
-were confused by PI calls. “What the F? was their reaction?
-thought game looked “slow”. The players looked a lot slower that the NFL ers
-when ratio was explained to them they couldn’t grasp it beyond “ So that mean the best players may not play??
-during HOF intros at half time they were surprised that this was the “HOF game?. No hoopla. No pre game. Commented that NFL coverage would be much higher. Some had heard of Geroy Simon. That’s about it other than everybody was wearing jeans.
-Found the last play surprising. All compared it to the Seattle play at the Super Bowl. Couldn’t believe Hamilton did not at least show run first.
-got real bored in second half until the end
-overall they kind of felt that it felt a bit “beer leagueish” as they put it

The only question I really asked them was why did they watch NFL religiously but never CFL. They talked a lot about personalities. That it was much better football they presumed. Just a fun thing to do together especially every Monday Night. Every NFL game seems important. This CFL game seems ho-hum. Didn’t know it was on if not for me setting it up.
No real fans were found here but we said let’s get together when the top teams play.

Interesting way to watch a game in a way.

Interesting that there's no mention of NFL fantasy football, wagering, and even office pools. There's 50-75 million who play fantasy football and $billions are generated. Wagering and pools also act as a hook so that even "meaningless" games have higher ratings than you'd expect. Canadians are probably under these same influences and to the same extent as well.

I do know that this group are regular NFL bettors. ( full disclosure...I am as well)

And from my own experience it does make you watch more.

I am sure that the NFL Thursday nite game was quite abit beer leagueish at 13-9.

The problem with alot of these unofficial focus groups is that they base their entire opinion on one game.

A lot of todays football fans are more hooked on the sizzle and don't care about substance. They love the 3 hour pre-game show [which is usually at least one half commercials].....

They sure like their bells and whistles.....

A friend and I had the winning square in the Montreal/Saskatchewan Grey Cup until the 13th man showed up. $400 poof!

Yep that was tough I'm sure. But a square in a pool is a small investment at least. We all have stories. My worst was losing on that "lateral" when Tennessee beat Buffalo in that playoff game. Still smarting on that one. The prevalence of two point conversions and missed converts have made point spreads pretty volatile now. My game this week is BC+9 in Calgary. We'll see how that turns out.:slight_smile:

They love it when you spread your roster around as well. Means you likely rune into more games. I am waiting for someone to come up with a "1 player per team" rule to try to amplify that.

You didn't try to sell the CFL over the NFL which is one sure way to turn them off. I know the younger audience likes the flash and all the extras which the NFL has in spades over the CFL. The way to get the young audience is to start with the outrageous notion that they can be fans of BOTH leagues at the same time.

Two friends who moved to Hamilton from Houston last year went to their first CFL game Friday night. This was their take that they posted on Facebook.

We had such a great time last night at our first CFL game! I spent the better part of 4 quarters trying to figure out all of the differences, so to save anyone who cares some time, here were my observations (Please note I was 100% oblivious to CFL/NFL differences beforehand): - 3 downs instead of 4?! That with a 20 second play clock really speeds things up - 25 yard penalty and an ejection for spitting? Thats insane! - Theres 12 men on the field instead of 11, and 7 starters have to be Canadians (they are a ratio league) - After a field goal, teams can choose to receive a standard kick-off or just take the ball at the 35 - Wait... why is the upright at the front of the end zone?! - There was an impressive level of sportsmanship that humanized the players a bit more. Players who used to play in Hamilton were welcomed back with announcements and applause in the middle of the game. When players are injured they give special attention to that player and everyone in the stadium claps as they get up. - CFL stadiums = Texas high school stadiums. Hamilton's stadium is nice but it isn't particularly fascinating as you drive by. However, it was really cool to see the Niagara Escarpment at one end zone and the industrial skyline of the steel mills on the water at the other end of the field. - It was a weirdly charming feel of Friday Night Lights mixed with a smaller college football's game day atmosphere (and a dash of "The Replacements"). The Ticats are 2-9 this year, but there is still a loyal following which was cool to see. - The field is huge! Wider, 10 yards longer and a 20 yard end zone - It was really weird for me to be at a football game and hear "O Canada"... but that 10 year old girl can SING! Stop setting off fireworks while she's trying to hit those high notes! - The teams benches are on the same side of the field - No replays on controversial plays?! In a weird way I kind of like this, however, I really did want to see the replay of the 25 yard spitting penalty - There was a lot of buzz about Johnny Manziel. Not sure how I feel about that, but the QB situation for the Ticats needs some serious attention. - Whoever is doing the video production for the[url=]Hamilton Tiger-Cats[/url]deserves praise and a raise! It's not the NFL, but hockey is Canada's NFL. We had a lot of fun, met some great people, and will definitely be back.

I am now and suspect always will be a CFL fan first. I am perplexed at the narrow minded notion that one can not be a fan of both leagues at once, why not? I am.

To be honest it sounds like something an NFL fan would say.....

Wow, what could be the reason the CFL can't match the NFL in coverage? Perhaps, the US$13 Billion a year the NFL earns from TV might have some impact? I dunno.

Did they mean by this that they didn't have the pre-game entertainment experience inside the stadium that they were expecting?

-commented a lot about lack of fan noise from the stadium. Very quiet to them
Hamilton's not usually a quiet place to watch football; I'm guessing this is because SSK began to pull away score-wise in the second half.

They meant more panel stuff on TV. More pe game analysis, interviews etc. They like the hype the NFL does for each game I think. Makes it feel more important to them.
The HOF stuff was not highlighted. For me I think TSN and CFL missed a big boat on this too. There was much that could have been talked about. Simons career, his new career and of course his wife's death. And Kelvin Anderson. A great RB that no one remembers and he should be.

The fan noise from Hammy crowd didn't come through on TV for whatever reason.

Have to admit, I liked it better than the previous game. At that game, there was a fan with a horn near one of the microphones, and that's all I heard. It was quite annoying.

Just curious as to which city or province you live in?

I know the success of the Seahawks has had an effect on the BC Lions. Exactly how much is hard to quantify, but I see all kinds of Seahawk logos around town. It's like having Man U play in your back yard while you're trying to promote your First Division club.

I split my time -in Vegas and BC. This was in BC

Hate to agree with them, but The fact that there was no significant pregame during the Labour Day classic weekend, was disappointing.

All they did was a brief intro and then went right into the action on the field. Talk about a wasted opportunity to market your brand and and highlight the storylines and the players involved.

Meanwhile down the dial on Rogers, the Crap Jays had a 30 minute pregame show for a meaningless game for a bad team. But a triple header day with some of the league's premier rivalry games, on a day that is only surpassed by the Grey Cup itself as far as attention on the league is concerned, and there's no significant pregame show from TSN.
That is absolutely moronic!

To a lesser extent, the Hall of Fame game suffers from the similar affliction. They should have in-depth interviews with each of the candidates going into the hall. Do a segment ( I significant one not just a 30 second blurb) highlighting the career path and accomplishments of each recipient.
Perhaps use the game to market the Hall of Fame itself.

Until some of these things are changed, The league will be ignored by some younger football fans who are used to the "bells and whistles" that accompanies other pro leagues.

Sad but true

...I never watch pre-game shows...

I watched the Steelers Vikings game yesterday looking for differences. It did look similar to me except the broadcast was more polished and the cameras were closer.
Crowd noise embellished? don't know

If you watched it on a CFL size field I think it would look the same