Good Morning. We're clearly living on the dumbest timeline, so let's try and make the best of it.
Since we're a bit ahead of you on the vaccine thing (wingnuts aside) I'll tell you that in Ohio, where sporting events are 30% capacity, the actual social distancing piece tends to work pretty well if you have a stadium staff that aggressively enforces seating requirements.
When you're seated at a hockey game here, the ushers know exactly what seats are sold, you show your tickets to the usher and they mark the seating diagram for their section. Police presence is about 20% heavier than average. Transactions at stadiums are cashless. There are no buffets or open bars (all alcohol is provided in containers).
In Florida, seating is alternate row at 50% with spaces between groups. Restaurant areas are open but with spacing between tables. (Florida, aside form the tourist areas, is actually more well behaved than you think).
NFL teams are beginning to announce they'll only allow vaccinated fans into stadiums; the same applies to the NFL Draft festivities here in Cleveland later in the month.
Most states here are 16+ on vaccines; I personally have my second Moderna shot next week.
I would expect that, when/if there's a season you will find that most CFL teams and stadiums will employ similar tactics; reduced capacity, spacing between seating groups and limited vending options with cashless transactions. I have to tell you, as someone who does not love crowds I have personally enjoyed the space and reduced capacity. Are fans coming back? After an initial spurt, probably not, and probably not for awhile, but television numbers should see a bump.
Other items in this thread.
There is no circumstance aside from a Grey Cup under which the Alouettes should ever set foot in the Big O again. I highly doubt the economics work, the turf as it exists is horrific (and the fake grass field they used to have is now at BC Place, IIRC) and that is a horrible venue that should be blown up with the stone recycled to fix Montreal's bridges.
Not playing a season in 2020 when the circumstances relating to the challenges of playing a season was foreseeable, remains, a fireable offense for a commissioner, and Ambrosie should have been removed last year for failing to plan in light of it. Why the league couldn't formulate a reasonable business plan for a reduced season but could spend a substantial amount of energy on a marketing campaign for a farcical cash grab known as the Grey Cup fan base adds insult to injury, frankly.
As Americans have learned the hard way, when you put a clown in charge, you end up with a circus, and that leads us to the XFL idiocy.
As history sighs and prepares to repeat itself yet again, let's get to know some facts about non NFL related professional football in the United States.
Since 1974, there have been thirteen attempts to launch a non NFL related professional football league in the United States as well as one by the NFL. Nine of them (UFL, RFL, WFL, WFL2, USFL, World League, XFL, XFL2,AAF) got off the ground.
They have all failed. All of them.
Adjusting for inflation, the aggregate monetary loss of these experiments exceeds $3 billion US.
The NFL attached it's name to an additional effort for two years. They lost $15 million annually in 1991 dollars, television ratings were non-existent and that red headed marketing disaster was shuffled off to Europe, where it proceeded to lose $20 million annually for the next 15 years before they pulled the plug.
Some of us are old enough to remember the CFL's last foray into the US and how, without a loan from the NFL, the league would have ended up bankrupt in no small part because of it.
Vince McMahon made it very clear when he founded the XFL the second time that he had no path to profitability. Essentially, he was willing to throw away $500 million on a vanity project. Ostensibly, the AAF was a $300 million vanity project until the investors pulled out.
There is no shortage of people out there willing to spend other people's money to chase fool’s gold. If 14 failures over 45 years and $3 billion of losses won't convince you that Americans do not have any significant interest in professional football outside of the fall even when the NFL puts it's own name on the product then you're frankly not worth arguing with.
Unfortunately, the Clown in Charge decided to float yet another idea without substance, plan or a path forward and open up yet another Pandora's Box of Speculative Idiocy. To suggest that this is a bad idea in theory and a bad idea in practice should be evident, but the Dave Naylor's of the world, along with other members of the Canadian sports media that get off on wiping their behinds on the CFL while willingly pulling out their kneepads to slurp up whatever the NFL tosses at them, along with XFL slappys writing blogs for free now get to spend six months dragging the CFL's image through the mud at a point where the league is already struggling to stay afloat because of inept leadership and a mystifying lack of assistance from the federal government.
There is no circumstance under which the CFL should fork over a century of history for the sake of turning its member clubs into a smaller body within a larger North American league. None. History clearly dictates that a North American football league playing either Canadian or American rules cannot sustain itself as an American off season alternative to the NFL. None. All this will do is kill both the CFL and whatever incarnation of the XFL there is. There is zero path to sustainability or profitability through this type of arrangement. It doesn't matter what The Rock's name is.
What you can do, and if I were the CFLPA I would explore this, is establish an arrangement by which the seasons are non overlapping and players are able to sign contracts to play in both alternate leagues. This likely means that players forgo their NFL opportunity, but it enables players to make a living playing football in a manner better than they can now. It also allows both leagues to control player costs in a way that makes the finances a little more palatable for both leagues. I would imagine they could also explore a business arrangement by which American players who play for CFL teams can get paid in US dollars and be subject to US taxation rather than what they have to deal with currently, though I'm sure this would displease Revenue Canada. A joint union agreement between the CFLPA and it's American counterpart would greatly help player development and labor cost control, more so than the equally idiotic global draft we have to endure today ever would, for either league.
This type of arrangement would actually be a win-win, in my opinion, for however long people are content to sink money into the black hole of XFL2022. If history is any teacher, and it is, the over under on seasons that would last is two.
Beyond that, someone in the BOG needs to focus on getting this clown out of office and shutting the MLSE dope that keeps spreading this merger idea up before the product is bruised beyond recognition. Enough is enough.
Last edited by cromartie
on Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.