During Cohon's Fans State of the League meeting, someone asked that question and it got a rousing round of applause from the fans in attendence. It was the only time during the whole meeting that the fans did that. You could see Cohon was shocked.
I've also always thought it would be great to start the season earlier. Maybe its just becuase I am desperate for Canadian football when the weather turns nice again. It just seems crazy to miss an entire month of good weather.
I know Cohon likes the league starting on Canada Day, and this is a cool thing. But what would be more Canadian than starting the season on the May 2-4 weekend???
And for those who think attendence would suffer, I really don't see much difference between 25-30K fans showing up on June 23 or July 7...pretty much the same time of year. They're coming during great weather anyway. I was at the Riders-Esks game on July 25 and it was almost 40 degrees. There were 30K + in attendance.
Here is how the season would look in 2010 with a May 2-4 weekend start (using Friday as the date):
Week 1 May 22
Week 2 May 29
Week 3 June 5
Week 4 June 12
Week 5 June 19
Week 6 June 26
Week 7 July 3 - Canada Day Matchups
Week 8 July 10
Week 9 July 17
Week 10 July 24
Week 11 July 31 - August Long Weekend (Games starting to have playoff consequences)
Week 12 Aug 6
Week 13 Aug 13
Week 14 Aug 20
Week 15 Aug 27
Week 16 Sept. 3 - Labour Day - making the Labour Day Classics even more important with huge playoff implications
Week 17 Sept. 10
Week 18 Sept. 17
Week 19 Sept. 24
Week 20 Oct. 1
Week 21 Oct. 8 East-West Semis - Thanksgiving Long Weekend - nothing like turkey and football!!
Week 22 Oct. 15 East-West Finals
Week 23 Oct. 23 Grey Cup
The only problem I see with this, is (and as Cohon pointed out) the CFL "owns" November, which is true. With the above schedule, we would be going head to head with the MLB playoffs. However, MLB has been consistently going to the end of Oct or early Nov the past few years, and they have mid-week games, so the playoffs and Grey Cup would still stand out with an Oct. 23 Grey Cup, in my opinion.
The bigger issue might be a Canadian team making a run in the Stanley Cup at the end of May/early June. That, I could see causing some attendence/viewership problems for the CFL, but you'd think it would simply be a matter of insuring you don't schedule the CFL's game time at the same time as the NHL playoff game.
Anyway, I'm pretty much a happy camper the way things are currently, but fun to speculate.