Justin Hickman---Torrey Davis-----Brian Bulcke-----Garrett McIntyre
Marcus Thigpen-----Chris Williams
No disrespect to our current players, my point here is just to show how much the NFL is hurting CFL teams. Now there is talk about Buffalo playing in Toronto, a market with 3 million people who most of them don’t even know the CFL exists. That one I can’t quite figure out.
I know that the CFL has got a better TSN contract and the league has gained a new/old team in Ottawa but there are also problems. Argos haven’t been able to gain much traction in T.O. How will Montreal fans respond if they face several years of rebuilding after being spoiled so long with a winner? But to me a big issue is the nonstop talent drain south. It’s gotten that if a player shines on a CFL team, don’t buy his shirt because at the end of his two year contract here, guess what?
As a fan I like to see familiar faces on a team. It seems anymore that every year I need to come to the game with a new player list just to figure out who the corner is, or who the receiver is. (Actually, it kind of reminded me of the old Abbot and Costello thing…?Who’s on first?). This year was especially brutal with all the injuries! I feel a big part of the problem teams are having is filling holes created by talented players heading south. You may have to go through several players to replace a Thigpen or a Chris Williams. Even having a top Canadian draft pick is no longer a sure thing to help a team. I understand from the players perspective “it’s about the bottom line.? And that’s cool if the player becomes a contributor on a team, but a bench warmer! How much fun could that be? That’s where he CFL needs to talk to the NFL about their seemingly ever expanding roasters! If the CFL can solve that problem I think you will see its fan base expand once fans can start to relate more to the players on their team.
NFL…. here’s a couple of more names Linden Gaydosh and possibly (from Drews article) Simoni Lawrence?
Now back to the original question. Do you think we could have won the Cup?
Probably not as I am sure over the years Sask. has lost as many key contributors to the NFL. Every team deals with it not just Hamilton. The CFL trying to limit or work with the NFL for a players ability is probably the craziest thing I have heard. You will really limit players from wanting to play in the CFL. Warming the bench or not gives a lot more then just salary. It gives a player a chance to collect a pension as well. I don't think the players union would ever allow the league to limit a players opportunity to move south. As it stands right now I am surprised they didn't fight harder with that stupid option year rule.
Who knows if we would have won. Often teams with the best players don't gel as a team and even make it to the final - so we might not have even been in the game with different personnel.
As for player movement - there are way more good players available to CFL teams now than ever before and the best will always want to try catching on down south because who wouldn't with the Grand Canyon size difference in potential pay. It has always been the case - at least for as long as I can remember.
The quality of athletes we are seeing on the field in the CFL today is better than ever. We are getting more great US born players because the number of excellent NCAA programs has exploded over the last 20 years and no longer is there a European league being the first option for guys cut from NFL rosters. Plus the huge improvement in Canadian University football means there are way more excellent Canadian players than ever before.
So I don't really see this as that much of a problem. And truth be told the CFL does pretty good at holding on to most of its main stars. The best quarterbacks in the league have been in the league for a few years (Ray, Burris, Lulay, Calvillo etc, same could be said for most of its star receivers (Fantuz, Geroy Simon, Owens, Getzlaf etc and running backs - Sheets, Cornish etc.
Besides I think having new stars emerge each year is exciting in my opinion does generate buzz and interest. The most popular football league (in terms of tickets sold) is the NCAA and those rosters do a complete turnover within each five year period yet those fans have no problem relating to the players on their teams. Often in the pro leagues - not only football - but other sports as well it is the latest phenom that sells tickets or are talked about most by fans (in baseball Mike Trout, or in hockey when Sidney Crosby first arrived on the scene) - it is not always old established stars that get the buzz and sell seats.
So like all things in life - it is what you make of it. If you want to say it is a problem I suppose you can make a case for that. If you look at it as a great opportunity to market and promote new stars each year - something a car company marketing executive lives for - then in that case each year the CFL has a great opportunity to generate great buzz promoting its latest stars.
Change is inevitable. No player should have his opportunities limited in what is a very brief career. Sure, it's disappointing when star players and fan favorites go south but they will be replaced by other players, some of whom will emerge as stars and favorites. Life goes on. Enjoy the team that's assembled every year, minus the what-ifs.
This posting makes absolutely NO SENSE - Thigpen left 3 years ago and they signed Williams to replace him.
The rest of the rant makes no sense at all, is he saying that if the NFL didn't exist then we would have these two guys??? :roll:
I understand the nature of the question which was not really meant in itself to facilitate serious debate. It was more an (obviously unsuccessful) attempt to give pause for thought with regards to the damage CFL player loss to the NFL could do to a team and the league itself. More to the point, could there be a better way, without restricting player movement or choice, a win , win formula, template that would benefit both the CFL and the NFL with regards to the mentioned concern. Could I have used a better, clearer format? I guess. But, it is what it is, so feel free to bash away.
The only way things would get more "fair", for lack of a better word, is for the paychecks to rise on this side of the border. We have 10% the population of the States. I can't see this happening, besides, I feel the NFL players are way overpaid. :roll:
Same can be said for NBA, NHL and baseball. (don't even get me started on "golf or tennis" :roll: ) Over a million dollars to win a golf tournament...half a million for coming in second???
It's getting stupid. I know people who played an entire year of hockey, in a six team league in 1960/61 who were thrilled to get paid $5300. That's just a little over $100 a week, but hey, they looked at it like this...travel expenses paid, equipment paid. sure, they had second jobs too.
I know people today who pay more than that for their kids to play in minor hockey.
Ask yourself this... If there was no NFL, how many people would love to play up here for CFL wages.
hard to believe that the CFL actually paid higher average salaries than the NFL in the 50's, and near equal throughout most of the sixties before the extremely lucrative American broadcast deals and licenses obliterated any parity between the two leagues.
My eyes sort of roll when I see how much athletes make - but they do generate the kind of revenues to warrant that kind of pay. Tennis is watched world wide so international sponsors (like Rolex for example) feel it is worthwhile to pour in a ton of sponsorship money. Revenue generated from TV rights (ESPN just signed an 11 year deal that has them paying $75 million dollars a year for TV rights to US Open Tennis alone), ticket sales and corporate sponsorship means it makes sense that the winners of the US Open - both male and female earned about $3 million dollars for their 15 days work.
In the NFL - last year the Dallas Cowboys generated over $500 million in revenues in one year. (only $90 million of that was from gate receipts). Even Buffalo Bills one of the least valuable NFL franchises have revenue of $256 million ($48 million from gate receipts). Their player expenses - $166 million. By comparison in 2012 Winnipeg Blue Bombers total revenue from all sources was $16.7 million - less than 7% of the Bills' revenues and the total cost of their football operations (not just player expenses) was $9.3 million.
So sports are generating huge $$$ - so it follows that the sports that generate huge $$$, the players involved earn a fair share of those big bucks. The CFL with smaller stadiums, lower prices, much lower TV money will never have revenue that is even close to the NFL's so the pay for the players likewise won't be close.
Simply put, when you compare the salary differences, its almost a violation of human rights to keep people locked up in contracts up here. Football players are people too.
Not only that but the more you restrict players, the more you discourage them from coming up here in the first place.
We should leave the window wide open for players to try the NFL but give the team full rights to him if he chooses to return. This allows the players to go, keeps them happy, but ensures more continuity. The old option year rule was pretty effective. I’d even go as far as to allow a team to release a player from a contract to go to the NFL but have the option to continue the contract upon his return.