The fact is North American football, 4 down or 3 down variety, is a sport which is not played outside of North American apart from NFL Europe which only survives because of the money the NFL puts into it. Football has no chance of being in the Olympics and at the present can't even have a World Championship with a few countries involved, like the other major sports.
And the NFL, while being the best run league of all it seems, has problems in its own country where the 2nd largest television market, Los Angeles, doesn't even have a team and when the NFL plays their big event, the Super Bowl in California, they have to play in stadiums in San Diego and the Rose Bowl that are no longer state of the art stadiums. And this is a major problem for the NFL as they admit. Along with getting new state of the art facilities in other cities like Minnesota and Indy needed.
Now combine this with the fact that soccer is becoming very popular among young kids all across North America. I now see on the beaches in southern Ontario kids kicking around a soccer ball where in the past it was footballs and baseballs only. If the soccer people who are well heeled in North America start getting their act together, and they are showing some signs with this with the MLS and, in Canada, you have the Saputo family in Montreal building a new stadium for the Impact which now get good crowds, around 10,000 I think, with Greg Kerfoot in Vancouver getting near to building a new facility out there, and Toronto area getting a new stadium for the FIFA U-20 2007 championships, well, soccer is on the rise perhaps at the pro or semi pro level in Canada.
So I believe that the NFL, which is the major leagues of football, while having its own problems, needs to ensure the prosperity of the CFL to help football grow and prosper in North America since the NFL's popularity in Canada is probably saturated now, with or without a team in Toronto. They could do a number of things such as having a couple of CFL players play in the Pro Bowl, having NFL players signing autographs at CFL games, TV and newspaper ads with NFL and CFL players etc. I don't think a Super Bowl-Grey Cup matchup would be good as if one team or another killed the other, this would reflect badly on the other, and I'm sure most of you would agree, I don't though, that the NFL would kill the CFL champs regardless of the rules.
I would like to see more of a partnership between the 2 leagues. Yes, soccer has its own separate fans apart from football here and probably always will but us oldtimers will gradually die off and the young kids of today will become the adults of tomorrow, and the young kids are growing up with soccer. So watch out football, soccer is coming, and in fact is already here, and once the Canadians from other countries get their act together here like they are showing they will, soccer could very well start taking a prominent place in the newspapers and tv. And the NFL should listen and take note. Some of us diehard CFL'ers like myself want you around in this country, much more than now. In fact, deep down I think that an NFL team in Toronto would be good for everyone involved in football, CFL or otherwise, we need more NFL involvement in southern Ontario to keep football prominent. I see the Argos and an NFL team coexisting nicely, one would be the big time with big-time ticket prices and more American "big time", for those that need this, and the other, the Argos, with more tradition, history, faster game and reasonable ticket prices. As a football fan of both, I would spend my money on both as much as I could anyway.
But even if the NFL never comes to Toronto, I'm sure some people here will agree that the CFL could always use some healthy NFL marketing and promotion. I think the time is ripe for this with soccer on the potential rise in this country.
Am I way out to left field here or what? Remember, I am from southern Ontario and this is where I live.