Top Ten Tuesday: Has the CFL Destroyed Its Product?

Week three in the CFL came to a close last night with a rare Monday nighter. A look back at week three in the CFL. Plus the games that nobody wants, apparently, opened on the weekend.
A look at those as well as random thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports are here in no particular order.

10 – So week three in the Canadian Football League wrapped up with a rare Monday night contest between Calgary and the Argos and by all accounts attendance at McMahnon Stadium seemed alright, albeit on fan appreciation night. It is now going to be interesting to see what the television numbers from the game were. If they are alright it may be the start of Monday night football in Canada, at least until the NFL season begins.

9 – Please note while I think the Monday night idea may be a good one especially in Toronto and B.C. I don’t think it will work in Regina as too many fans traveling into a game wouldn’t make the journey on a weekday and the Riders know it. That’s why they were 100% against Thursday night football games at Mosaic Stadium.

8 – Ok it has to be said even the staunchest CFL fan (me) is cringing at the new rules. For the first time that I can remember I turned away from a game in the middle of the 60 minutes not because of it being a blow-out but because it was just boring. Apparently I am in the minority when it comes to the fact that I enjoy watching defence and analyzing the schemes that offences use to exploit it. Some of my favorite players are defensive players like Deon Sanders, Richard Sherman, and yes even Brandon Browner or Glen Suitor. However, with the CFL having hamstrung the defence there seemingly is little challenge to move the ball offensively.

7 – I will give credit where it is due though. I will be the first to admit that I was completely against the new rules for a convert but I will admit that I watch, analyze and ponder every convert decision now. So no longer is it a wasted play but one of intrigue.

6 – Also intriguing is the new headsets worn by the officials. First-off let me tell you there looks nothing more uncomfortable in this world than the amount of wires that a referee has to wear. However, the headset was supposed to improve communication between on-field officials and the command centre in Toronto but I think it is actually slowing things down. Granted when there are 32 penalties called like there were Friday night in BC there obviously will be a delay.

5 – So what can the CFL do? Nothing! I think the league that is being blasted in all directions is stuck. They can’t change the rules midstream, and they have committed to improving scoring and having an offensive game. The only way that it will change is if the numbers in the stands and on television drop. I’m not sure that a substantial enough drop could be measured to force the league to change.

4 – One point of clarification before I move on I am in no way bemoaning the job done by the officials. As a matter of fact I think they have been bang on in the CFL this year. They are not making penalties up they are enforcing the rules to the letter of the law! That’s what you want. They can’t help that they have been stuck with some ridiculous standards to uphold.

3 – Speaking of the officials, I love what the TSN has done in publishing part of the officials test. Thing you know therules? Check it out here: I’ll share later this week my score if you share yours…

2 – So have you checked out any of the Pan Am Games? Please say you have as you wouldn’t want to see the amount of our tax dollars being spent on the venture. I will admit that I haven’t seen a second of the games as I will be the first to admit that it’s hard to become engaged in an event that even some organizers are referring to as a low profile substitute for not getting the Olympic games.

1 – Last one for you, and have you seen any of the beach soccer world championship? I stumbled across the event and have to admit that FIFA has found a way to insert offense and excitement into the game. Too bad that can’t do it for the 11 v 11 game on grass.

That’s it for today. Enjoy the rest of the week!

DT