Random thoughts on a variety of topics accumulated since my last post . . .
With the Grey Cup in Toronto this weekend, there's talk about the Canadian Football League's ongoing struggles in Toronto. Things were supposed to be better this season what with the Toronto Argonauts' move to the more fan-friendly site of BMO Field but, thanks to a lousy Argos' team and assorted other circumstances, things just did not work out after an energized home opener (see photo).
I attended Game 2 of the home season with my son and barely more than 12,000 fans showed up. It was dispiriting for a fan of football overall and the CFL game, which is incorrectly disparaged in most cases, I submit, by media and regular folk who never actually played the game on either side of the border and have no appreciation of the different skills involved and, beyond that, of the really slight differences in talent level across the border.
But that's an argument for another day. For today, I offer my thoughts on this article by Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, not always a CFL supporter but a credible (despite his critics) reporter who actually wrote about how he bought season tickets to the Argos this year, hoping for more. And did, correctly, predict that Grey Cup prices were way out of whack (they've subsequently been discounted.)
Well here's the thing, from a comment I made during an 'argument' on another website:
The fact other leagues do well in Toronto is attributable in large measure to what the Guess Who articulated in American Woman as 'colored lights can hypnotize".
The CFL in Toronto does not possess those colored lights for myriad reasons.
One major thing that certainly needs to change is the scheduling, which has been brutal for Argo games for too long a time. They play on virtually every day or night of the week; they need to settle, or lobby the CFL to settle, on ONE home game day or night a week so people can better plan to attend, if they so choose.
The NFL, ironically, is hurting itself (TV ratings show this) by straying from its proven formula and now doing what the CFL has so often done wrong, that being having too many game days (Sundays (mornings from England, nights (highly rated), Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays once the colleges are done...).
Part of the CFL's recovery, which is fact, due to TSN is/was the establishment of Friday Night Football, it becomes appointment viewing for those who want to view. Argos should take note, at least as a starting point towards recovery.
And all this said, TV ratings for Argos remain high. Why? Because in the end, for all pro sports in which the live experience though people admit it or not is inevitably disappointing, why bother with all the hassles of attending a live game when you can watch it from the comfort of your couch? That is not to begrudge or judge those who attend live sports, and maybe it's age, but I just don't see the attraction anymore (for any sports, though I remain a viewer).
The Cowboys 1977 revisited? It's a whole different ball game now, the NFL, what with free agency, salary cap and so on but the 9-1 Dallas Cowboys remind me somewhat of the 1977 Dallas team. Tony Dorsett came out of NCAA Pittsburgh, ran for 1,000 yards and helped the Cowboys to the Super Bowl title. These days, the Cowboys have Ezekial Elliott as the big time rookie running back. Deja Vu?
Berkobit: Things are the way they are, the market rules but this is the type of signing that makes sports fans roll their eyes. Pitcher Andrew Cashner (who?) signed a one year, $10 million contract and will move into the starting rotation of the Texas Rangers in 2017. Cashner was 5-11 with a 5.25 ERA last year with Miami and San Diego. He's 31-53 career. And he'll get $10M next year. Absurd.