Here's the Tiger-Cats, having not won or even been to a Grey Cup in 14 years, starting the season 1-4, finishing the season with 11 wins in their final 15 games, and barely anyone in the media was showing a hint of support for the Cats.
Think back to two years ago the BC Lions started 0-5, 1-6, then prior to playing in the Cup they had won 11 of their final 12 (the only loss against the Cats, however off-topic that may be). They were the feel good story of the year, a perfect example of any teams' season being far from over no matter how bad the start. I understand they were hosting the Grey Cup like Saskatchewan this year, but their finish to the season was exemplary and provided hope to all losing teams from them on. The media was all over them and it was said their season would certainly be remembered for years to come. Ticats do nearly the same thing while playing an entire season "on the road" and having started a record number of players in a season due to injury -- many of whom were rookies -- with an all new coaching staff and all we hear about is Sheets this, Durant that, and Riders the other.
Oh yeah, shame on Tom Hanks for replacing his Ticat toque with a Riders one after getting booed. What a people-pleaser. I hope Martin Short bitch-slapped him across the mouth after that.
I started watching the pregame show around 2:00 yesterday afternoon and it seem like it took about 45 minutes before there was any real story on the Ticats.
I also understand that the players awards show was all about the riders. I thought the Grey Cup was suppose to be a celebration of the CFL, not one big infomercial for the host team.
The Riders use to be my second favorite team, but over the last few years I have developed a real dislike for them. Not so much because of their players but because of their fans. The have become so annoying and holier than thou, I sometimes think they are frustrated Argo fans.
I agree on that point. It used to be fun to like Sask when they were lovable losers and perennial also-rans. The little guys going up against better-funded teams from the big cities, and very occasionally, winning.
But now, they’re the most successful team in the league over the last 7 years, with 4 Grey Cup appearances and 2 wins. And apparently they’re also the richest team in the league - and not averse to spending their wealth on buying up players to give them advantages over the rest of us.
And then there’s the aggressive/hostile crowd noise. I get that it’s part of the game, but it seems like it’s the only part for them. How about talking to the fellow next to you instead of chanting Henry all game long? It actually reminded me of another obnoxious group of fans who I won’t name, but they are known for chanting “USA! USA!” during international competitions as the richest nation on Earth crushes the proud amateur athletes from some little country or other.
I also didn’t love how they ran up the score on us with a deep pass to Dressler after the game was already decided.
So from now on, I don’t have a second-favourite team. To heck with all of them.
The Toronto Star ran a similar article today (though less rant-ish):
The truth is very, very simple. The Riders drive the economic engine that is the CFL. I am not saying it is right that the players awards were about the Riders and the host city. I also never watched them as I hate all award shows.
It is about money and nothing more. A few years ago it was made public that the Riders out sell all other 7 teams combined in merchandise. This year it was mentioned the gap has widened. When one team is doing that they are going to get noticed. Because it is SK it took a few more years then if it was BC or Toronto but the CFL understands that when it comes to money the Riders drive the league because the fans spend their money on the team.
I am not saying this as bragging as a huge amount of the success is due to winning and money now being in SK. I personally would love nothing more to see all other teams become as strong as SK when it comes to Merch and ticket sales as that would make a very strong CFL
I have a HUGE amount of respect for Ti-cat fans as you have had so many bad seasons of awful teams and still came out and had decent attendance despite a terrible team.
I was driving about yesterday afternoon and had a chance to hear Dave Naylor on TSN radio. The discussion during that time centered around the Grey Cup.
They spoke of the Riders perhaps being over the salary cap this season. The problem with this, as they pointed, is that unlike other leagues, the CFL doesn't do these calculations until AFTER THE SEASON, which is rather unfair to the other teams who have followed the rules of salary management.
Apparently, a while back when Taman was asked about the pending problem, he replied that they would be close to the limit.
They also stated that because this team has so much money already, and with the dollars coming from the championship, they could afford to simply write a cheque for the impending fine, in effect, snubbing their collective noses at the rules.
There is no point in creating these controls, if GM's and owners can just buy their way out of them. In a case like this, where a team is hosting a cup and wins it as a result of violating such a rule, they should lose their standing in the Canadian draft, face a SERIOUS fine, and lose their rotation in hosting the cup for the nine years, allowing other teams that did not break the rules to have their turn first.
It's not official yet. It would not surprise me if this were the case.
There's varying degrees of penalties for the SMS. For the first 100,000 that a team goes over, they get fined the amount they go over, which is fairly minor and something most teams would be able to afford. If you go past that threshold, you start losing draft picks, which does hurt a team quite a bit.
Ex Pat, I agree I hated how they ran up the score at the end. I didn't want to say anything but what was the point in throwing a deep pass to Dressler. I didn't care for that.
I have had that sentiment all along. There is no second favorite team for me, they are all just opponents of the Ticats. I can't stand them. The Riders are no longer underdogs anymore. They have beat us in the last 2 Grey Cups. I hope we play them next year in BC and kick their butts.
Maybe, you lose a Canadian draft choice if you're far enough over the limit, but then lately they've become a futures venture anyway, with development needed in some cases and a number of them opting to try their luck down south first. So, that effect is not that significant. The cheaters are already acknowledging by violating the rule that they are willing to forgo the seasons to come for the present. So, likely this will mean little to them.
They need to be hit with a fine that would indeed hurt (take away their Grey cup money to begin with) and other seriously punitive action that will remove the luster of ignoring a salary cap.
This is discouraging and disrespectful to other teams and most importantly to their fans, who may already see a league with a single owner who bought himself two franchises and 3 of 4 Grey cup games (Vancouver 2014), and a referee (Proulx) who may have been pulled away from Hamilton games for questionable calls as being not in control.
My real dislike was when the TSN panel discussed what each team would need to do to win the Grey Cup. Of course Gang Green was first, and then Randorf apologized to their fans when it was the Cats turn saying (almost word for word) "Now it's time for the Ticats. Sorry for saying it Saskatchewan, but if the Ticats were to win, what would they need to do?" Talk about one-sidedness. I thought that TSN was a CFL partner and not soley Gang Green? He really had to apologize to a whole province by suggesting that there was a game to be played with the outcome not yet decided? He can go to hell. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Everybody on the TSN panel looked very apprehensive to say anything negative about the Riders. They had that green mob standing behind them and it seemed like every time one of them spoke they chose their words carefully in order to not offend Rider Nation. What a joke of a broadcast.
A national sports network intimidated by a group of green yahoos. Then they needed to beef up security.
TSN's performance between the obvious and unrelenting partisanship of one of their own, Dutchyshen, and the lack of time Hamilton was provided in the broadcast was less than professional and even embarrassing. And then there's the panel who constantly favoured any team over Hamilton during the playoffs, despite what they accomplished.
I just knew that Suitor would be even worse, so I listened to Coach Sal. I would be at least assured of honesty and much better analysis.
Next year, unless we're in it again, I'm going to pass. I got enough of the network crap this season to last me quite a while.
As a Riderfan I am very concerned that the Riders are way over this year which I disagree with as a fan. I understand a bit over can happen which is why there is a 100K 1-1 fine. There are also injuries. I know the Riders went over a bit in 2008 because they had 5 broken legs. So any teams that had a large amount of injuries especially to vets could end up over.
If they go over 100K they loose a draft pick and pay 2-1 in fines. Of the Riderfans I know they would be very upset if the Riders go over the 100K. The SMS is in place for a reason. I suspect if the Riders go over the 100K they will get a very serious talking to by the league and it does hurt the win. Now if they go over due to bonuses well that is going to happen when a team has lots of vets and wins the Cup end of story. The Als went over by over 100K in 2008. The Riders were over by 76K in 2007. So did the Bombers. Also Tillman was a big reason the Riders went over
As for loosing some of the money from the Grey cup game I could see however the problem is while the Riders could take the hit it would probably hurt the CFL long term as any future owners would be very scared to take a massive hit like loosing 1-2 million from the Grey cup.
Ask a Tiger cat fan if a good talking to by the league is sufficient. I don't need to tell what they're answer would be. You are vet heavy partly because of all the additions made despite the salary cap. That's the team's problem to manage and not an excuse for ignoring the rules.
Every team has injuries, look at Hamilton's situation for a classic example. It's not an excuse to possibly flaunt the salary cap. It is widely known that the Riders are flush with money, so the fine means absolutely nothing.
And if losing all that Grey cup money is painful, then that's exactly the point. It needs to be for them to pay attention!!
It's not enough that your city did not offer sufficient accomodations and ate up most of the Grey cup tickets so that those from Hamilton and area could not be there for THEIR team. The management of your team had to stack the roster, possibly ignoring the salary cap to guarantee themselves a cup. It's little wonder they won.
I'm sure that will just wreck everything for all of you, and make the Cup win a hollow experience. You probably won't even count this one among the team's victories, nor call yourselves Gry cup Champions for the next 12 months.
Here's my long-winded explanation for why "Rider Nation" may actually not be good for the league:
I grew up in Edmonton during the Esks glory years but didn't become a real fan until after the dynasty was over in 1984 when Dunigan was first at the helm. My friend's dad had season tickets that they weren't using so my friend and I went to all of the home games that year. The team was 6 - 2 at home with most games decided in the last three minutes - classic CFL! Going every week I fell in love with the game.
The year after that I came out east for school (Ontario is Eastern Canada for kids from Alberta) and ending up staying in Ontario and kept following the Esks mostly on television and at the occasional game - Like a typical Rider fan outside of Saskatchewan.
But after 25 years in Ontario (and knowing I was never going back to Alberta) I wanted my kids to experience the CFL like I did growing up - going to games regularly - not just watching the Eskimos on TV. So I started following the Ti-Cats (No former Eskimo fan could ever cheer for the Als or the Argos!) , learned the cheer, parked on a few lawns, became a season ticket holder etc.
The problem with Rider fans is that Rider Nation may be a million strong, but only 20 thousand or so are season ticket holders. They get all dressed up from Vancouver to Montreal when the Riders are in town ONCE or maybe twice a year but otherwise sit at home to watch the games.
I have friends in Alberta who haven't lived in Saskatchewan in 40 years but who are raising their kids as Rider fans. "Fans" who will never cheer for their home team and as a result are much less likely to ever be season ticket holders.
The CFL is still very much a 'gate-driven' league and season ticket sales can make or break a franchise. Just think, if we could get a fraction of those thousands of former Saskatchewan residents to buy season tickets in the cities where they actually live, how much more financially stable the league would be. As it stands now, "Rider Nation" is all sizzle and no steak when it comes to the health of the CFL.