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Cohon faces NFL threat head-on

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

CFL boss prepared to work with U.S. league as it muscles its way into Toronto ...Read the full article

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  1. Paul Affleck from Oshawa, Canada writes: Cohon should embrace the NFL inevitability. Despite CFL purists' cries, the silent majority of football fans appreciate the superior NFL version. People get excited about seeing the best athletes, and we know that the CFL athletes simply aren't the best. They would work in the NFL if they could, but they can't. My view is that the CFL can co-exist with the NFL, in a fashion similar that occupied by minor professional hockey teams, relative to the NHL.

    But for the sake of reason alone, I hereby ask that all CFL fans stop claiming that the CFL league is better, or more entertaining. The quality of the broadcasts, I might add, aren't up to snuff, either.
  2. Malcolm Bromley from Victoria, Canada writes: Paul, your perspective is one that is commonly voiced by NFL lovers in Canada. For me, the CFL game itself is more exciting than the NFL variety because of the larger field size (featuring mobile QB's), larger end zones (more scoring territory),wide-open play-making (because of larger playing surface), kick run-backs (no fair catch rule), 3 downs which require more yardage gain per down, one yard line of scrimmage (promotes quick and shifty line play rather than just brute strength/power), backfield motion, variety of scoring options (including single point on a missed field goal - necessitates ball being run out of the end zone to avoid being scored against), twelfth man (slotback and safety). There are however, other attractions to the CFL for me. It is a Canadian league (I never favoured the experiment to grow the league in the USA), and as such it promotes friendly rivalry between regions and cities in my country, as well as creates an annual cultural festival (Grey Cup) that has a distinctly Canadian heritage and identity. American players, who comprise half of each team's roster, usually have skill-sets that are more favourable to the unique elements (previously mentioned) of the CFL game. Whether rejected/overlooked by the NFL, or not built for the American game, they are still gifted athletically. A number of these American players end up making their homes in Canada after their career is over, and become contributing Canadian citizens. Canadian-born players are on half of each team's rosters, and this gives a local identity as well as an opportunity for a Canadian teenage ball-player to fulfill his dream to play professionally. CFL players are approachable and accessible, at team functions, community events, and even when you meet them in public. They are not SUPER-CELEBRITIES! CFL players earn realistic salaries, and usually are bi-vocational, setting up their retirement career.! I can respect and relate to them! For me, the CFL is more than JUST football!
  3. Malcolm Bromley from Victoria, Canada writes: Thank goodness TSN takes over the CFL broadcasts next year! I agree with you Paul, the CBC has delivered a product that has been unacceptable, both technically and host commentary. Not only is TSN broadcasting the CFL in Hi Def, but its commitment to 'showcasing' the game is evident in its broadcasts. It's commentators are far more coherent, enthusiastic and unbiased. If one host betrays his favourite in his rant/rave or discussion, you can count on one of the other hosts challenging him. And, they genuinely seem to enjoy themselves more than the CBC announcers do ... er ... did. I expect that TSN will be developing the production much more next season, now that they have the exclusive rightsto the CFL regular season and play-offs. Most give TSN credit for increasing audience viewing numbers with its Friday Nite Football packages. I also appreciate (ex-Sask. Rider) Glen Suitor's anaysis of the game, and enjoy his mid-week CFL segments on evening sports radio from Vancouver - I assume that he does commentary on other Canadian radio stations too. The 2007 Grey Cup Championship will be the last CBC broadcast of a CFL game that I will have to endure - I hope!
  4. Scott Stephen from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Distraction ?...Why would the CFL commisioner choose his national title game to make headlines with a story that clearly takes focus away from the game being played. His decision to answer the "NFL" question..then choose to expand on it further..is an insult to the two teams that will be battling for the Grey Cup.

    He should have simply responded that those questions are better answered another day..."Today is about the most storied championship in football...the Grey Cup...with two of our most exicting markets challenging for the Cup "

    Was this another example of Toronto not wanting to lose the spotlight ?...Was the commish using the national game and media that surrounds it to generate more interest in the CFL ?

    There is a time and place for discussing controversial news that effects your league...your most celebrated day of the season is neither that time or place.
  5. Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: Scott Stephen - " .... an example of Toronto not wanting to lose the spotlight ? " Just couldn't resist the TO slight, could you ?
  6. Paul Affleck from Oshawa, Canada writes: That you can say all CFL stars are accessible is a bit interesting. For instance, I think many media pundits will accept that, until recently, for example, Milt Stegall of the Bombers has been pretty standoff-ish with the media. It's a bit of a convenient stereotype. Plus, CFL stars aren't bombarded with a media onslaught the likes of which stars in the NFL must deal with, on largely a day-to-day basis.

    I agree the CFL game has distinctive qualities. But I disagree that the CFL offers a comparable product, because I just can't ignore the fact that the BEST players play in the NFL.

    One distinctive CFL rule I'd like to ditch: The single point. Ridiculous.
  7. Malcolm Bromley from Victoria, Canada writes: Heading out to watch the Grey Cup Classic - just thought I'd check the G&M sites that have been disposing of my discretionary time this week. Paul, thanx for decent dialogue. It's very refreshing to read respectful and intelligent commentary on this site ... at least so far! I'm sure that there are examples of disinterest on the part of CFL players regarding interaction with the public. My experience is otherwise - most recently, at the 2005 Grey Cup in Vancouver my teenage son and I were talking face to face with Danny McManus on Beatty Street, just outside the Dome. Chatted with BC Defensive Coach Dave Ritchie too, and there were a number of other ballplayers, not in the game that day, strolling around amongst the crowd giving autographs. No police or body-guards! Kids, adults and ball-players were all intermingling in a friendly and excited pre-game crowd. Players who stay in Canada in the off-season can be seen in shops and stores, and, during the times that I've lived in Ottawa, Regina, Winnipeg, and now on the west coast, I've never heard of nor experienced any negative interaction with the public. Of course, this does not mean that it hasn't happened - perhaps if I was a gorgeous woman being hit upon in a club by one of the single ball-players, I might have a different story to tell (like the Sask. 'Rider accused a couple of years ago of being HIV positive and having sexual liasons with unsuspecting dates without informing them of his medical status). I can only speak from my own experience. Meeting ballplayers in the off-season in their second jobs is also a natural - for example, Jason Clermont sells real estate in Regina in the off-season. They're normal people!That reminds me, next time I'm in Vancouver I've got to head over to retired BC and Sask DE David Benefield's 'Taco Shack' to say 'Hi' and of course, chow down! As for the single point, we'll have to agree to differ on that one - in a close CFL game the 25 yd end zone promotes exciting run backs!

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