CFL contemplating 4 major changes to CFL '22

Started by Lake Winnipeg, March 19, 2022, 04:14:21 AM

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TBURGESS

Quote from: Sir Blue and Gold on April 07, 2022, 05:06:07 PM
Unpopular take, I am sure, but I think going to NFL rules would increase fans and interest in the long term. Yes, I know a bunch of people disagree with that and would boycott, get angry, swear off the league etc. Toronto and Calgary did vote for four down football at the past meetings this spring but the motion was defeated 7-2. The fact that it was allowed to be considered and that 2 clubs did want to go in that direction should tell you that there is a real possibility it happens in the future. Something big needs to change if you want to grow interest in the game further and I believe that mentality will eventually win out.
Gotta say that I completely disagree with this take.

7-2 shows that most teams don't want it. I'd guess if you held a poll with CFL fans, the results would be 10% for 4 down football. Open the poll to non-fans and that number would go up to 15-20%. (My guesses, not data) No need to even bring the idea up again unless you can get 50+% of folks wanting it and I don't see that happening.

The CFL has ignored kids for maybe 50 years now. To grow the game, you need to replace us old folks with even more young folks.

Kids today aren't interested in what we were. They don't play football in the streets. They don't get a bunch of kids together to play a game in the park or on a local football field. It's organized football or nothing and many parents don't want their kids in organized football because of the risks. 

Kids lives and millennial's for that matter, revolve around their phones and their tablets. That's where the marketing needs to be. Ads on TV only have a minor chance of getting to the younger crowd because they are streaming, not watching cable, especially once they move out of their parents houses. I'm 65ish & I gave up cable to stream, so it's not just the younger generation.

I don't believe you can 'grow the CFL game' any more. It peaked back in the John Candy, Rocket Ishmail days in Toronto. It peaked in the 80's in BC when they got 50K fans in the stands for multiple games. Those 2 cities need to be strong to save the CFL, let alone grow it.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers - 2019 Grey Cup Champs.

Blue In BC

Quote from: Sir Blue and Gold on April 07, 2022, 05:06:07 PM
Unpopular take, I am sure, but I think going to NFL rules would increase fans and interest in the long term. Yes, I know a bunch of people disagree with that and would boycott, get angry, swear off the league etc. Toronto and Calgary did vote for four down football at the past meetings this spring but the motion was defeated 7-2. The fact that it was allowed to be considered and that 2 clubs did want to go in that direction should tell you that there is a real possibility it happens in the future. Something big needs to change if you want to grow interest in the game further and I believe that mentality will eventually win out.

Changing to 4 down football while technically a " rule " change is more a change to the entire context of the Canadian game of football. Just say no and walk away from the keyboard please.
2019 Grey Cup Champions

blue_or_die

Quote from: Sir Blue and Gold on April 07, 2022, 05:06:07 PM
Unpopular take, I am sure, but I think going to NFL rules would increase fans and interest in the long term. Yes, I know a bunch of people disagree with that and would boycott, get angry, swear off the league etc. Toronto and Calgary did vote for four down football at the past meetings this spring but the motion was defeated 7-2. The fact that it was allowed to be considered and that 2 clubs did want to go in that direction should tell you that there is a real possibility it happens in the future. Something big needs to change if you want to grow interest in the game further and I believe that mentality will eventually win out.

Re the bolded, just because something changes doesn't mean it will grow interest. I highly, highly doubt that there is a swath of would-be fans out there who aren't interested in the CFL because of the number of downs.

It's not the fact that the NFL has 4 downs that makes it popular, it's that it's big, it's cool, and Patrick Mahomes plays in it.
#Ride?

Sir Blue and Gold

I get it. Like I said I know it's an unpopular take. I'm more than happy to continue supporting a 3 down league. I'm 100% invested in supporting the Bombers which I consider to be my main professional sports passion. I'm not going to be campaigning for four down football either. But I am prepared to say that I would enjoy a four down CFL just as much and I believe it would be better for the long term health of the sport if Canada aligned with NFL standards (both professionally and through the youth and CIS games).

GCn19

Quote from: blue_or_die on April 07, 2022, 07:01:34 PM
Re the bolded, just because something changes doesn't mean it will grow interest. I highly, highly doubt that there is a swath of would-be fans out there who aren't interested in the CFL because of the number of downs.

It's not the fact that the NFL has 4 downs that makes it popular, it's that it's big, it's cool, and Patrick Mahomes plays in it.

They go to 4 downs and I become a very casual fan. That's 4 season tix lost right there. I am sure there are many others just on this forum who feel the same way. So to grow the league I am pretty positive it is the wrong step to start in the hole by losing the existing fans you already have. I agree with you...I don't see or hear anyone saying they would be a CFL fan if it had 4 downs. Canadians would hate it...and Americans would remain indifferent. All my friends in the States think the CFL rules are actually good but they just won't follow because summer is for baseball and fishing.
Some people take this forum way too seriously.

Pigskin

Quote from: GCn19 on April 07, 2022, 07:34:30 PM
They go to 4 downs and I become a very casual fan. That's 4 season tix lost right there. I am sure there are many others just on this forum who feel the same way. So to grow the league I am pretty positive it is the wrong step to start in the hole by losing the existing fans you already have. I agree with you...I don't see or hear anyone saying they would be a CFL fan if it had 4 downs. Canadians would hate it...and Americans would remain indifferent. All my friends in the States think the CFL rules are actually good but they just won't follow because summer is for baseball and fishing.

Agree, if we go to 4 downs, we would also be casual fans. Leave the game as it is.
Don't go through life looking in the rearview mirror.

theaardvark

The 4 down discussion has been had too many times, and is over... we all know that 3 downs is a Canadian thing.  It would be like the NHL adopting the Olympic ice surface size.  Or Baseball going to 4 outs. 

Tweaks are as good at creating discussion as the 4 down argument.  Hashmarks, QB's in the ratio, Global player wages... these are all things that are pertinent to potentially improving the game.  Which is what we are interested in.

4 downs does not improve the game, it changes it completely.

And not for the better.
Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.

Horseman


Pigskin

Quote from: Horseman on April 07, 2022, 09:18:55 PM
Just say no to 4 down football.

We need some CFL t-shirts that say, say no to 4 down football.
Don't go through life looking in the rearview mirror.

theaardvark

Quote from: Pigskin on April 07, 2022, 10:52:56 PM
We need some CFL t-shirts that say, say no to 4 down football.

"Real men only need 3 downs"

"4 downs to get 10 yards?
Do you even lift, bro?"

"Want some quiche to go with that extra down?"

"2nd and manageable is a thing... with 3 downs."

"3rd and one from the gun, you just don't understand"


Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.

TecnoGenius

Quote from: Blue In BC on April 07, 2022, 06:36:16 PM
Changing to 4 down football while technically a " rule " change is more a change to the entire context of the Canadian game of football. Just say no and walk away from the keyboard please.

If you go 4 down you must also get rid of the 1-yard neutral zone!  That itself changes the game nearly as much as 4 downs.  You cannot give 4 downs and have the neutral zone because you essentially get 4 "free" yards every time before you convert.  If you get 7 yards on 1st down, you can just do 3 sneaks to convert.  Lame.

I'm not surprised TOR voted for idiocy, but CGY??  Severely disappointed.  They should know better.  Their fans are as hardcore as ours.
Never go full Rider!

Sir Blue and Gold

#86
I offer two points, one fact, one observation:

Observation: a CFL forum (during the off-season no less) is not an accurate barometer for the marketplace overall on the topic of NFL vs CFL rules (ie. 3 downs vs 4). It is never going to be a popular idea within this community.

Fact: A quarter of 18-44-year-old consumers in Canada follow the NFL, compared to one in six who follow the CFL. Meanwhile, the CFL skews older; three in ten consumers over the age of 45 follow this league. Perhaps the most illustrative finding about younger consumers is how many young football fans are watching the NFL exclusively. Nearly half of 18-44-year-old football fans watch the NFL but do not follow the CFL and only one-fifth are CFL-only fans. So not only are younger consumers more likely than older ones to watch the NFL, they are more likely to only watch the NFL when it comes to football (source: 2020, Mintel, a leading marketing intelligence company).

Back to my opinions, these trends can only go on for so long before the league is forced to adapt or die. It's very convenient for fans on here to blame marketing issues or virtually anything but the product, but customers and potential customers (fans) speak with their wallets and eyeballs and that's all that really matters in the end. Part of the allure of the NFL is certainly its most recognized names, but their game is fundamentally different due to the rules. There is absolutely no doubt that if the CFL were do adopt the NFL rulebook verbatim, 'marketing' and whatever else you may think is the problem would have a far easier time getting people to try out the league (especially amongst 18-44 year olds in Canada who only watch NFL).

Jesse

Quote from: Sir Blue and Gold on April 08, 2022, 01:29:56 PM
I offer two points, one fact, one observation:

Observation: a CFL forum (during the off-season no less) is not an accurate barometer for the marketplace overall on the topic of NFL vs CFL rules (ie. 3 downs vs 4). It is never going to be a popular idea within this community.

Fact: A quarter of 18-44-year-old consumers in Canada follow the NFL, compared to one in six who follow the CFL. Meanwhile, the CFL skews older; three in ten consumers over the age of 45 follow this league. Perhaps the most illustrative finding about younger consumers is how many young football fans are watching the NFL exclusively. Nearly half of 18-44-year-old football fans watch the NFL but do not follow the CFL and only one-fifth are CFL-only fans. So not only are younger consumers more likely than older ones to watch the NFL, they are more likely to only watch the NFL when it comes to football (source: 2020 Mintel, a leading marketing intelligence company).

Back to my opinions, these trends can only go on for so long before the league is forced to adapt or die. It's very convenient for fans on here to blame marketing issues or virtually anything but the product, but customers and potential customers (fans) speak with their wallets and eyeballs and that's all that really matters in the end. Part of the allure of the NFL is certainly it's most recognized names, but their game is fundamentally different due to the rules. There is absolutely no doubt that if the CFL were do adopt the NFL rulebook verbatim, 'marketing' and whatever else you may think is the problem would have a far easier time getting people to try out the league (especially amongst 18-44 year olds in Canada who only watch NFL).

You have to ask yourself why people follow the NFL.

Is it the difference in rules? Or is it the fact that the NFL has grown so large it's more of a spectacle than a game? Is there anything the CFL can ever so to replicate the billions of dollars that the NFL generates? If not, you need to develop and grow unique brand in a niche market. Copying another brand will simply do more harm than good - because we can't be what they are.

Now - with the 7-2 vote about 4 downs. We have zero context for that.

Ambrosie has said it was never on the table (takes a shot at Arash for suggesting it was) - then Arash comes back with this supposed vote.

Arash is strongly implying the vote was whether we should play with 4 downs.

My guess is that if there was a vote, it was not on switching to 4 downs, it was "should we discuss the idea of 4 downs". Which is very different and was quickly shot down.
My wife is amazing!

Blue In BC

#88
Quote from: Sir Blue and Gold on April 08, 2022, 01:29:56 PM
I offer two points, one fact, one observation:

Observation: a CFL forum (during the off-season no less) is not an accurate barometer for the marketplace overall on the topic of NFL vs CFL rules (ie. 3 downs vs 4). It is never going to be a popular idea within this community.

Fact: A quarter of 18-44-year-old consumers in Canada follow the NFL, compared to one in six who follow the CFL. Meanwhile, the CFL skews older; three in ten consumers over the age of 45 follow this league. Perhaps the most illustrative finding about younger consumers is how many young football fans are watching the NFL exclusively. Nearly half of 18-44-year-old football fans watch the NFL but do not follow the CFL and only one-fifth are CFL-only fans. So not only are younger consumers more likely than older ones to watch the NFL, they are more likely to only watch the NFL when it comes to football (source: 2020, Mintel, a leading marketing intelligence company).

Back to my opinions, these trends can only go on for so long before the league is forced to adapt or die. It's very convenient for fans on here to blame marketing issues or virtually anything but the product, but customers and potential customers (fans) speak with their wallets and eyeballs and that's all that really matters in the end. Part of the allure of the NFL is certainly its most recognized names, but their game is fundamentally different due to the rules. There is absolutely no doubt that if the CFL were do adopt the NFL rulebook verbatim, 'marketing' and whatever else you may think is the problem would have a far easier time getting people to try out the league (especially amongst 18-44 year olds in Canada who only watch NFL).

People watch the NFL because it's a billion dollar industry with the top players in the world. Single individuals earning more than the entire rosters of players in the CFL. Half time shows with big name performers etc etc. Billion dollar stadiums.

That said there are some really boring NFL games and some really bad teams. The ability for a team to run out the clock in the final couple of minutes is as exciting as watching paint dry. It's the opposite of what can happen in the final minutes of a CFL game.

I agree the NFL is a " spectacle event ". It's not because of the rules. I remember something Rozelle said many years ago. If stadiums could be re-configured to CFL dimensions, that he'd want to switch more towards the CFL game.  All that motion in the CFL and an addition player in a faster tempo game creates excitement.
2019 Grey Cup Champions

Sir Blue and Gold

#89
Quote from: Blue In BC on April 08, 2022, 03:23:18 PM
People watch the NFL because it's a billion dollar industry with the top players in the world. Single individuals earning more than the entire rosters of players in the CFL. Half time shows with big name performers etc etc. Billion dollar stadiums.

That said there are some really boring NFL games and some really bad teams. The ability for a team to run out the clock in the final couple of minutes is as exciting as watching paint dry. It's the opposite of what can happen in the final minutes of a CFL game.

I agree the NFL is a " spectacle event ". It's not because of the rules. I remember something Rozelle said many years ago. If stadiums could be re-configured to CFL dimensions, that he'd want to switch more towards the CFL game.  All that motion in the CFL and an addition player in a faster tempo game creates excitement.

You're right that I'm sure the NFL generates viewers simply because it has so much massive momentum but I don't think the "final minutes" theory holds any truth in today's games. It is a leftover stereotype from a different NFL of yesteryear. After all, if the end of NFL games were as "boring as watching paint drying" I am sure "millennials" and the "younger generation" that people keep talking about would surely go back to their mobile phones or watch something else. Isn't it true they need constant stimulation? Ratings/data/logic are not on your side there.

In reality, the NFL has moved far more towards "traditional" CFL-style games than anyone (in either NFL or CFL camps) probably wants to admit. 2021 maybe was a bit of an outlier in that it was SO good, but the NFL last year had a whole bunch of games that absolutely saw a ton of lead changes and other craziness in the final minutes of games. It really was phenomenal entertainment.

Again, maybe this forum isn't the easiest audience for this discussion but I think there is a disconnect between some diehard CFL fans and the reality of the football sports landscape today. To grow, we are going to have to be open to challenging and ultimately changing long held ideals of what we think (or hope for tradition's sake) is best for the game and what actually is best for the game. (Or we don't and keep what we've built and hope it can hang on. And I'm sure it can in some form. But then don't complain about non-filled stadiums or low TV numbers or bigger markets struggling or younger people not being engaged).