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Author Topic: CFL contemplating 4 major changes to CFL '22  (Read 6771 times)
Sir Blue and Gold
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« Reply #105 on: April 08, 2022, 07:49:21 PM »

Your observations are correct but you have not presented a solution, just a change.

I would go to a 4 down style game, same field dimensions as NFL with 11 men on the field. I would market it as a "new" CFL and try to align and work more closely with the NFL. I would go after those growing market segments of Canadian fans from the all important 18-35 demo who watch the NFL but not CFL. I think that's the lowest hanging fruit and a potential easier audience to grow/sustain the CFL over the longer term. This would align our game not only with the NFL, but every single other country (globals, whom it seems as though we still feel is an important audience).

The tricky part is timing. Do it too soon and you might lose too many existing fans (the aging ones won't be there forever but they're largely still paying the bills). Do it too late and there might not be a league left to save. As a guess, I'd probably work towards a goal of five years before implementation and from then to now start to get existing fans mentality prepared for the change through formal communications, leaks and pre-season experiment. You'd have some mad folks but some would be optimistic as well. Change is usually exciting if nothing else. If it's foreshadowed for long enough people will have time to get used to it.

The CFL adopted the forward pass in 1929, and I can only assume there were a lot of mad existing fans. Running it forward was the way it always was after all and everyone knows that's the way football should be! The thing about change is once people get used to it, it can open a lot of possibilities. If not, I think the data appears to be showing we can also choose the stay the course and accept a somewhat reduced following with a less profitable business. The pro to that scenario is we didn't do anything to change which may be a victory enough for some, but not for me. (And for the record, if you are in the camp of let's stay the course and see what happens, that's totally fine. I think that's perfectly valid. Just not my preferred approach. I think we've been doing that for the better part of 20 years and something big needs to occur to stay relevant.)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2022, 07:53:25 PM by Sir Blue and Gold » Logged
TBURGESS
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« Reply #106 on: April 08, 2022, 08:14:51 PM »

The 'New' CFL wouldn't last long directly competing for fans with the NFL and having nothing but some Canadian players to differentiate it from the NFL. The CFL would go the way of the XFL and the USFL pretty quickly IMO. Us old folks saved the CFL many times in the past and once we're gone, I don't like the CFL's chances of remaining.

The 18-25 demo have already made their choice and that's the NFL. Changing to NFL rules won't bring them over to the CFL. It will just solidify the second rate nature of the CFL in their minds.

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Sir Blue and Gold
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« Reply #107 on: April 08, 2022, 08:31:55 PM »

The 'New' CFL wouldn't last long directly competing for fans with the NFL and having nothing but some Canadian players to differentiate it from the NFL. The CFL would go the way of the XFL and the USFL pretty quickly IMO. Us old folks saved the CFL many times in the past and once we're gone, I don't like the CFL's chances of remaining.

The 18-25 demo have already made their choice and that's the NFL. Changing to NFL rules won't bring them over to the CFL. It will just solidify the second rate nature of the CFL in their minds.



Agreed - so I think you're going to have to mold the league into the game that the majority of the new fans seem to gravitate toward or invent a great anti-aging tonic to keep 90-year-olds in the seats. I personally think if the league went this way it would be able to retain much of their following. The majority of CFL fans are not on this forum and are not so invested in the rules of the game that you'd get a visceral reaction. You'd absolutely have people who would take their ball and go home. But I think you'd have way more people continue to go cheer on the Bombers, enjoy beer and a hot summer night at IGF with their friends/family. Football is football at the end of the day (for most, or at least that's my bet).
« Last Edit: April 08, 2022, 08:36:29 PM by Sir Blue and Gold » Logged
theaardvark
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« Reply #108 on: April 08, 2022, 09:15:37 PM »

Every XFL/USFL/AFL has been an attempt at your "New CFL" paradigm, and in markets that already are accustomed to the NFL game, with fans ready for affordable alternatives.  And how many have survived?  Its not the game, the rules or even the talent, its the mystique.  Its NFL stars getting in trouble, its taking a knee, its all the rest....

Sorry, the unique nature of the CFL is what sets it apart, and will allow it to survive.
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Sir Blue and Gold
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« Reply #109 on: April 08, 2022, 11:35:31 PM »

I could point out how a startup league is very different from an established league changing around some rules to entice new fans but I'll just close by saying, obviously, we all get to find out how things go.

I will repeat that the league has a lot of good things going for it but also some major challenges and some pretty concerning data emerging about fans of the future.

The four down idea might never take root in the CFL but I do think there will be some big changes needed in the future to help grow the league (or at least find a way to forecast a break even scenario of young fans to old). I don't think that new billboards, an app or podcast is going to do anything. It's going to need to be big, bold and different and it's going to have to fundamentally change the product. Of course, just my opinion. Happy to be wrong as I absolutely love the league. If things we're going great there would be no need to have this discussion at all.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2022, 11:38:10 PM by Sir Blue and Gold » Logged
TecnoGenius
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« Reply #110 on: April 09, 2022, 12:25:03 AM »

Okay, but, and please bear with me, the CFL might not be able to afford the best players, coaches or stadiums but they could align the product to more closely resemble the NFL game. This could be a logical choice if the current market trends continue and NFL interest amongst young people continues to climb (while simultaneously, CFL interest in those demos continues to fall).

Many have hinted at it, but I'll throw out one big question: how many of those supposed 18-45yo Canadian NFL fans watched XFL/USFL/AAF?  My guess is almost none.  And the ones that did are probably all on this forum.  Those leagues all have 4 downs and closely align with NFL rules, but that didn't help them capture worthy crumbs from the NFL.

Turning the CFL into "NFL Lite with NATs" only hurts the CFL brand.
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #111 on: April 09, 2022, 12:46:09 PM »

I would go to a 4 down style game, same field dimensions as NFL with 11 men on the field. I would market it as a "new" CFL and try to align and work more closely with the NFL. I would go after those growing market segments of Canadian fans from the all important 18-35 demo who watch the NFL but not CFL. I think that's the lowest hanging fruit and a potential easier audience to grow/sustain the CFL over the longer term. This would align our game not only with the NFL, but every single other country (globals, whom it seems as though we still feel is an important audience).

The tricky part is timing. Do it too soon and you might lose too many existing fans (the aging ones won't be there forever but they're largely still paying the bills). Do it too late and there might not be a league left to save. As a guess, I'd probably work towards a goal of five years before implementation and from then to now start to get existing fans mentality prepared for the change through formal communications, leaks and pre-season experiment. You'd have some mad folks but some would be optimistic as well. Change is usually exciting if nothing else. If it's foreshadowed for long enough people will have time to get used to it.

The CFL adopted the forward pass in 1929, and I can only assume there were a lot of mad existing fans. Running it forward was the way it always was after all and everyone knows that's the way football should be! The thing about change is once people get used to it, it can open a lot of possibilities. If not, I think the data appears to be showing we can also choose the stay the course and accept a somewhat reduced following with a less profitable business. The pro to that scenario is we didn't do anything to change which may be a victory enough for some, but not for me. (And for the record, if you are in the camp of let's stay the course and see what happens, that's totally fine. I think that's perfectly valid. Just not my preferred approach. I think we've been doing that for the better part of 20 years and something big needs to occur to stay relevant.)

You're entitled to your opinion but I think this is the worst idea I've ever heard on this forum. There have been some doozies in the past but this would be the end of the CFL IMO.

Incremental changes are fine and the game has changed dramatically since the early days. Roster sizes have increased and rules have been modified. I'd say the technical improvements ( replay ) had helped see what needs to change in rules as an example. Replays have been useful. More cameras and better trained refs etc.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2022, 01:50:30 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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Sir Blue and Gold
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« Reply #112 on: April 09, 2022, 02:27:49 PM »

You're entitled to your opinion but I think this is the worst idea I've ever heard on this forum. There have been some doozies in the past but this would be the end of the CFL IMO.

Incremental changes are fine and the game has changed dramatically since the early days. Roster sizes have increased and rules have been modified. I'd say the technical improvements ( replay ) had helped see what needs to change in rules as an example. Replays have been useful. More cameras and better trained refs etc.



It's not going to be popular idea amongst die hard CFL fans of which this forum is certainly comprised of. On the one hand, it's probably not a good idea to upset your most ardent supporters. On the other hand, there doesn't appear to be enough of us across the country and the numbers I have seen show regression.

Does Toronto just limp along indefinitely? If BC continues to slide backwards can two of the nine teams continue to run deficients? The prairie teams need someone to play against and with a form of revenue sharing now in place we all are going to start paying for no one showing up in Toronto or BC.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2022, 02:37:03 PM by Sir Blue and Gold » Logged
TBURGESS
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« Reply #113 on: April 09, 2022, 03:07:47 PM »

It's not going to be popular idea amongst die hard CFL fans of which this forum is certainly comprised of. On the one hand, it's probably not a good idea to upset your most ardent supporters. On the other hand, there doesn't appear to be enough of us across the country and the numbers I have seen show regression.

Does Toronto just limp along indefinitely? If BC continues to slide backwards can two of the nine teams continue to run deficients? The prairie teams need someone to play against and with a form of revenue sharing now in place we all are going to start paying for no one showing up in Toronto or BC.
Does changing the rules to NFL rules fix anything? Does it mean more fans in the stands and more eyes on the TV? I don't think so.
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Winnipeg Blue Bombers - 2019 Grey Cup Champs.
Sir Blue and Gold
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« Reply #114 on: April 09, 2022, 04:03:52 PM »

Does changing the rules to NFL rules fix anything? Does it mean more fans in the stands and more eyes on the TV? I don't think so.

I think there's a good chance over the long haul. Absolutely, one of the barriers to entry for the group of people who like NFL but not CFL is the rules. It is not the only barrier as a bunch of people have pointed out but it is one of the only ones that the CFL completely controls. The group wouldn't be important to the future of the league if things were in great shape, but it doesn't appear to be, so it's the only big idea I can see that has a chance. Happy to hear what you guys think might work but I don't believe it's billboards or happy hour.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2022, 04:07:05 PM by Sir Blue and Gold » Logged
theaardvark
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« Reply #115 on: April 09, 2022, 05:07:28 PM »

I could point out how a startup league is very different from an established league changing around some rules to entice new fans but I'll just close by saying, obviously, we all get to find out how things go.

I will repeat that the league has a lot of good things going for it but also some major challenges and some pretty concerning data emerging about fans of the future.

The four down idea might never take root in the CFL but I do think there will be some big changes needed in the future to help grow the league (or at least find a way to forecast a break even scenario of young fans to old). I don't think that new billboards, an app or podcast is going to do anything. It's going to need to be big, bold and different and it's going to have to fundamentally change the product. Of course, just my opinion. Happy to be wrong as I absolutely love the league. If things we're going great there would be no need to have this discussion at all.



I could point out that changing the very nature of the CFL game and rebranding it CFL 2.0 (as per your notion) effectively is a start up league...
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #116 on: April 09, 2022, 05:47:12 PM »

I could point out that changing the very nature of the CFL game and rebranding it CFL 2.0 (as per your notion) effectively is a start up league...

Valid counterpoint. The CFL game is fine. It's just not filled with million dollar players and revenue.

P. Mahomes earns more than the entire CFL roster of players. Nothing against all the NFL hype but it's not because of the rules, field size etc.
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