There was a good call on the Fan 590 in Toronto this week, asking why does the CFL and the CIAU? Allow Canadian Universities to run out on the field coming out of a big blow up NFL helmet. How can you build a brand, when even at the minor and University level the branding is NFL. I was watching a game last week on TV and i thought the same thing, like come on, how much does a blow up helmet cost the CFL. TSN does a story about minor football programs in Canada and 9 times out of 10 the teams nicknames are NFL teams. WHY, because when the minor leagues asks the CFL for a few pennies, they get the run around. Grass Roots football, the CFL needs to start doing more then just lip service to grow the sport
It's all gridiron, wherever the money comes from or "blow up" stuff, really, who cares. Bottom line while I love our Canadian rules, even the lesser American rules if they ever came here still puts gridiron for me as my no 1 entertainment sport Canadian rules/league or American rules/league.
Kids all want to think they are Tom Brady or whomever in the "big" NFL making millions and making more with a SB. Fine with me, I don't care that much really. We, those of us who really love gridiron and what we have here in Canada, love our Grey Cup and our rules and our gridiron history so much. What we need to do is get more kids playing and if that means they think they are going to make the NFL and become mega millionaires, well, let them have that dream I say. Eventually they'll learn that if they can't make the NFL, the CFL and Grey Cup don't look so bad afterall.
The CFL just doesn't have the money or resources to get it all out there grassroots in all of Canada, a sparsely populated country really in many respects that happens to be one of the largest geographically on planet Earth and whose media is overshadowed by Big Brother and the huge population just south of us.
First, it hasn't been the CIAU for a decade. It's called the CIS. The caller can't really care all that much if they aren't even aware of what the league is called.
When I played minor football in Hamilton, we had Alouettes, Blue Bombers, Tiger-Cats, etc. There was not one team named after an NFL franchise. I also got to go to a few games because the Cats were a league sponsor. I went to the 1991 Labour Day Classic because I played. I also met Rufus Crawford and had him personally sign my copy of his autobiography. There was a lot of CFL influence in Hamilton when I played.
It's not all on the CFL to grow the game and they don't have any say over what CIS teams do. The CFL is growing, but it's not at the level where they can just throw around money with impunity. The Ti-Cats do a lot with minor football in the Hamilton area (mostly with high schools), so I don't see a problem.
There are some easy things that the CFL could do to boost grassroots football and help out CIS teams. It would not cost that much for CFL teams to host coach's clinics to help improve the play of minor football. It would be great PR if a CFL team spent one day working with high school coaches and players on improving their skills. Most American colleges host an intra-squad scrimmage (they call the Green and White, Scarlet and Grey, Blue and Gold etc games and draw thousands of fans for a informal game). Imagine if the Riders played a Green and White game just before the start of the season at the Univ. of Saskatchewan and the ticket revenue went to support Huskies football or youth football. Each CFL team could play an intra-squad game at each CIS school (a different one each year) in their marketplace. What great PR for the Argos raising funds for Queens, York or UT football programs without major costs to the team. Anyway, there is a lot the CFL could do to support minor level football throughout Canada without spending big bucks to do it.
some teams kinda do this already.
They play games vs each other and allow the fans to come and watch.
The CIS helps feed the CFL, the CIS play Canadian rules. The CIS and CFL are working together now for Grey Cup/Vanier CUP. CFL GM's and Scouts watch CIS football games. Yet the CFL/CIS allows another league to brand their games to a National TV audience. Its disgraceful and No way to build a brand. Blow up Helmets cost less then 1,000 bucks. This is not a big money issue. The days of minor league teams being named after CFL teams are over, 90% of the minor league teams in Canada are Nicknamed after the NFL. I coached minor football for years from 2002 to 2008. Played lots of teams from the Hamilton area. The Ticats influence in Minor football is NO MORE. In facts most ofour coaching clinics were held by NCAA and NFL coaches. We could never get a CFL coach out.
My guess is that they get the gear because they get scouted by the NFL, and if so there is nothing wrong with that. Players need opportunities, whether it's CFL or NFL. Opportunities can help bring in new players year and year.
Eight CFL teams, 30 NFL team. As Canadian as it is to have 2 teams in the same league with the same name, you do the math and tell me where the majority of the names are likely to come from. The blow up NFL helmet at CIAU games, yeah that's a little dumb on someones part.
It's a bit annoying but meh. I think the better question is why we have so many CIS universities without Football programs. I'm looking at you Brock, Lakehead, Moncton, UPEI, Memorial and Fraser Valley.
Ok, if its just all about promoting football, then lets just get on with it and have the CFL be a minor league to the NFL, lets change the rules to American, lets call the league the North American league add some farm teams from other NFL clubs and let the NFL bank roll the growth of the sport in Canada. Of course most of the players will now be American. All this time I thought it was about promoting Canadian Football. A game that is just as rich in History as our American friends. I guess i was wrong
I had the exact same idea of having each CFL team have in intra squad scrimmage similar to the NCAA schools spring game. The thought was the same that with only two pre season games this would be a game that they could play at a collegiate stadium within their region. Currently they do have an informal team scrimmage before the first pre season game. Instead that could take that game on the road while the training camp rosters are still at their peak. The NCAA spring game is often played like a real game with the team divided into two squads. the O coordintor coaches one squad the D coordinator the other. They do put in such safety rules as no blitzing etc but it is still a game in which the Riders for example bring to saskatoon to reward the fans from that part of the region that support tthe team. Hamilton in London. Toronto in Kingston. Montreal in QC. Sask in saskatoon. No need for temp seating you have what you have. At the beginning of camp the rosters are large and a lot of University players are there as guests to train with the Pro club. The cost would be a bus or train ride to the city in their region. Many of the Universite QBs now attend training camps and to have the Universite QB from that school participate in the game would draw some attnetion for sure. Again as you mentioned no cost but extending and reaching the grass roots of the CIS
All this time I thought it was about promoting Canadian Football. A game that is just as rich in History as our American friends. I guess i was wrong
No flutie, I don't think you're wrong at all, quite the opposite actually. The history of the Canadian game is awesome, as we know. The suggestions as others have here are excellent to have the CFL work more closely with grassroots football but in this day and age of Americanization of the media and social life, the NFL simply being one small part of this, the NFL brand will be more visible especially as time goes on. They have so much money to put towards arguably the no. 1 league in America, heck gridiron isn't the no. 1 sport at all in Canada as we know, it's hockey. But it's all good I say because it's all gridiron.
I don't want the CFL to be an official minor league to the NFL at all but in some respects it is in an unofficial manner. I personally think the CFL should do more to encourage more NFL/CFL partnerships in marketing etc and work together more in this aspect. I think every CFL team at training camp should have "an NFL day" sort of thing where NFL players come to camp and work out and have a media session. More exposure for gridiron. I also would like to see some CFL/NFL exhibitions and at the Grey Cup each year, and also the SB, I'd like before the game for the winners of the other league the year before to be announced and the trophy for the other league present with a couple players. Etc. Heck, yes, have two blowup thingys, one NFL and CFL, at the same time.
I know many here won't like what I'm suggesting but that's just me. Use the NFL by the CFL in Canada to help encourage the growth of gridiron and get more kids thinking they are all going to be megamillionaire football stars. Seriously though, anything to get kids playing the game.
Branding is simply about business and that doesn't interest me as much as cooperative marketing ventures for the sport regardless of the league or countries involved.