LCF-XFL merger: a realistic project?

american-football: - 23-03-21

Each week, two journalists from the sports section compete in a rhetorical game that is sometimes serious, often less so. This week, Miguel Bujold and Richard Labbé discuss a hypothetical merger between the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the XFL.

Miguel bujold

Having both covered the Alouettes for many years, my dear Richard, we know how close three-downs are to many oval fans in Canada, especially in western Canada. We will agree on that. But how does it feel to be passionate about a league that constantly has to look for new owners for its teams or ways to make money? A potential merger with the XFL wouldn't sell its soul to the devil, as some people think. Rather, it would be a way to save the league, which was already losing a bundle of money even before the pandemic. I'm not saying it would work or that the talks between the two leagues will be successful, but it certainly doesn't cost anything to do it and I think the CFL is open to anything.

Richard Labbé

Well, you see, dear Miguel, that's precisely the problem: The CFL has never been "open to everything", and its die-hard fans are even less so. You're talking about the west of the country, and then there you go: you know that from Regina to Winnipeg, there are fans who would rather lose a kidney than lose their three-down football? It's like that and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Without even talking about the logistical problems of merging with an American League in the midst of a pandemic, I wonder first if the CFL would not alienate hundreds and hundreds of supporters if it ever chose such an avenue.

Miguel bujold

If the two leagues merge, it will not be before 2022. Hopefully the pandemic will be a thing of the past now. For every fan who sulks his pleasure by turning his back on his team, there would be a new one who would start to take an interest in the CFL, especially in the league's three biggest markets: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. And in these three cities, things have been going badly for a long time: the Argonauts play with indifference, the Lions are looking for a new owner and we all know that the Alouettes are not rolling gold. The CFL wouldn't argue with the XFL if they weren't in a tight spot. His business model is not working and, in the end, the pandemic will likely have cost him at least $ 100 million. If three-try football was so popular and dear to Canadians,

Richard Labbé

As you know, this is not the first time that our beautiful Canadian football prances with American dollars, and as you also know, the CFL would have died a long time ago if it had not been for dollars generated in expenses of expansion with American clubs in the early 1990s. And then, by the way, who doesn't remember the Las Vegas Posse, who used to practice in a hotel parking lot? Just for anthology moments like that, it was worth it. But beyond the three trials, what would we do with the size of the fields and also with our folk regulations, such as the famous “red” [the simple inscription on a clearance or a failed placement]? Have we really thought about it?

Miguel bujold

The problem is not so much playing four-downs football here. It's playing three-try football in the United States. Fields in Canadian football are 150 yards (110 yards and two end zones of 20 yards each). You can't play on such a large field in most stadiums in the United States. If there is a merger, it would be four downs with 120-yard fields. The Red ? Pity… One of the main issues would affect the famous ratio of Canadian players. But with 17 teams instead of 9, there would surely be a way to find a compromise. As for the schedule, a season that starts in March or April and ends at the start of the NFL season would make sense, even if it means playing a few more games south of the border in the spring and a few more. in Canada during the summer.

Richard Labbé

Yes, but a season that starts in March or April would mean a Gray Cup… in September? Once again, Miguel, you come to play with proud traditions here, including that of the Gray Cup game at the end of November. We can't undo this, can we? What do you do with Shania Twain dog sledding shows or hot guys getting into comics in the third quarter? It will take new money, we agree on that, and even better if it is American money. But some traditions will have to be spared in the process. Otherwise, it will not pass.






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