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Author Topic: MBT coming out swinging at the Commissioner  (Read 988 times)
The Zipp
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Who gives a flying Buck...


« on: November 17, 2022, 06:42:47 PM »

There is a lot of truth in what this guy is talking about...


https://3downnation.com/2022/11/17/it-starts-from-the-top-guy-argos-mcleod-bethel-thompson-takes-aim-at-cfl-commissioner-randy-ambrosie-for-negative-league-narratives/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter


The Grey Cup is still a few days away but Toronto Argonauts' quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson is already firing darts in the direction of CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the 34-year-old gunslinger addressed what he perceives as negative narratives surrounding the league in a fiery rant. Though he did not publicly name the commissioner, Bethel-Thompson made clear that any issues could be traced directly to the CFL's leadership.

"It starts from the top guy, let's be honest with it. The face of this league, I've never met him,?" he stated.

"I'm not here to judge, it's not me versus him. I'm not trying to knock anybody, I'm just saying let's do better. Let's all collectively grab like we do on a football team. We fight for a better purpose to grow this league. It's a great frickin' league. Don't lose it.?"

A fierce advocate for the CFL since arriving in the league six years ago, Bethel-Thompson has taken aim at the head office before. He was critical of the league's leniency towards former Saskatchewan Roughriders' defensive tackle Garrett Marino following his late hit on Jeremiah Masoli in July, taking issue with the league's weak response to allegations of racist remarks.

Masoli missed the remainder of the season due to a leg injury while Marino received a four-game suspension for the incident. The controversial defender was later barred from the league but only after returning from suspension and being fined again for dangerous play.

Bethel-Thompson rehashed the issue on Wednesday, noting that he remains deeply unsatisfied with the league's initial response.

"We saw what happened this year. Come on, there was no leadership in that room," Bethel-Thompson said. 'We saw that dirty crap that was going on and the players had to stand up for themselves. Come on, man. Players had to stand up for themselves?"

"That's my brother and I saw him have to stand up for himself on social media. There's no leadership there."

Beyond the mishandling of player safety, Bethel-Thompson believes that the league hasn't done enough to grow the game. He noted that the Argos did not host a single kids camp when they attended training camp in Guelph this summer and locals hardly knew they were there. Meanwhile, the hype machine south of the border ensures that the NFL is constantly in front of fans with positive storylines.

"They pump it in there. They're constantly conversing, talking about, and pumping the league," Bethel-Thompson explained. "When there's a 7-6 game or a 10-6 game in the NFL, they talk about how great the defence played. That's what they talk about, that's their focus, because they know that they're protecting a brand. They're making a culture."

Bethel-Thompson believes the CFL hasn't always succeeded in generating positive messaging and fails to address pervasive narratives around the league's talent level.

"There's a top 20 percent of the NFL that are freak daddies, no doubt. The Aaron Donalds of the world, freak daddies, right? And there's the middle 60 percent just like us - I was there, just like me - and there's a bottom 20 percent where it's like, bruh, you would get cut from a CFL team," Bethel-Thompson explained.

"That's the talent level, right? But the narrative around that is, 'Oh my god, it's the NFL. Oh my god, it's juiced up, it's full of people.' We don't do that up here. We talk about the negatives. We find ways to drag each other down. It's like crabs in a barrel."

Ambrosie is scheduled to address the media on Friday morning following his state of the league address and will face questions regarding his six-year tenure at the helm. With globalization posing an existential threat and the pervasive shadow of the NFL growing ever darker, it remains unclear if the league's current plan to grow revenues and connect with new fans can be effective.

For Bethel-Thompson, negative narratives are not a reflection of the media, but rather poor leadership. The secret to success lies in the players themselves, should the commissioner choose to truly embrace them.

"This is a great league with great men that have scars. We've all been under attack, the game has been taken from us. We play the game with a level of passion and grit and love," he said.

"The talent's there, the passion is better, the level of desire is higher and it's not conversed about in a positive light all the time. It's dragged down. It's refining the flaws in it."

While sharply critical, Bethel-Thompson does not believe his comments are truly negative but a call to action for all involved that he hopes the top brass can hear.

"Let's speak positive of the things that are going on. Let's grow this thing together," he stressed. "It's everyone pull the rope and let's make this thing go, because it's a special league."

« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 11:53:38 PM by ModAdmin » Logged
bluebeard
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2022, 08:16:07 PM »

My respect has grown in leaps and bounds for Bethel-Thompson after reading this.
He should be the commissioner.
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drahgon
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2022, 08:17:59 PM »

I don't disagree with anything he (MBT) said in the article.
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TecnoGenius
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2022, 09:34:14 PM »

Yup, MBT is a fiery, wild-eyed guy who lays it all out there.  I've always liked him, even before he was deemed "good" -- or on the way to a GC.

However, we basically already know the things he said, and while he offers a couple of ideas, he, like everyone else, is short on solutions.  Maybe publicly acknowledging the problems first, and doing so in a rougher manner, will help others find the solutions.

Us fans can also do our part.  For instance, everyone I see or talk to in WPG I ask "are you going to the cup?", and then "why not?".  I point out how cheap the stubhub tickets are now and encourage them all to go.  We all need to do this.

I find it very sad that many people I know who are low- to mid-level fans aren't going and don't want to change their minds.  Even STH and frequent-IGF attendees aren't going.  SMH
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Throw Long Bannatyne
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2022, 10:05:01 PM »

Yup, MBT is a fiery, wild-eyed guy who lays it all out there.  I've always liked him, even before he was deemed "good" -- or on the way to a GC.

However, we basically already know the things he said, and while he offers a couple of ideas, he, like everyone else, is short on solutions.  Maybe publicly acknowledging the problems first, and doing so in a rougher manner, will help others find the solutions.



MBT should start his quest by visiting the MLSE head office and giving Tanenbaum hell.  He probably wouldn't even recognize him and have security throw him out for being a wild-eyed ranting lunatic.  Cheesy
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bwiser
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2022, 10:10:03 PM »

Yup, MBT is a fiery, wild-eyed guy who lays it all out there.  I've always liked him, even before he was deemed "good" -- or on the way to a GC.

However, we basically already know the things he said, and while he offers a couple of ideas, he, like everyone else, is short on solutions.  Maybe publicly acknowledging the problems first, and doing so in a rougher manner, will help others find the solutions.

Us fans can also do our part.  For instance, everyone I see or talk to in WPG I ask "are you going to the cup?", and then "why not?".  I point out how cheap the stubhub tickets are now and encourage them all to go.  We all need to do this.

I find it very sad that many people I know who are low- to mid-level fans aren't going and don't want to change their minds.  Even STH and frequent-IGF attendees aren't going.  SMH
Its not cheap to attend a Grey Cup. Tickets to the game are close to 300 dollars and hotels are around 300 a night many requiring minimum 3 nights. All the events are not cheap to attend as beer prices will be at least 8 dollars a beer. Not everyone has an extra 1500 dollars kicking around to spend on a weekend.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 11:35:59 PM by ModAdmin » Logged
bomb squad
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2022, 12:00:10 AM »

There's a lot to unpack here, but sure of course, more has to be done to grow the league in a lot of areas and from a lot of people. The league, the teams, the media, the players, and yes, like Techno said, even the fans. We've covered that stuff over and over again in this forum. And sure, the commissioner bears the primary responsibility, and he does need to do more. Fair enough and I have nothing against him drawing attention to that and admire his passion.  However..... I found a lot of the other stuff he was slinging around to be quite misguided and misdirected and quite frankly, just wanton bashing of the commissioner.

Negative narrative around the talent? Yes, but how does that come from the commissioner? Every time I hear him speak he always talks up the talent in the league. Big time. I never hear negative about the talent from the league, the teams, or the players. It comes from the Media, mainly in Toronto, and non CFL football fans. Off target on that one.

"The game has been taken from us?" What is he talking about? The CFL game is really a player's league. Way more so than any other North American professional sports league. Who is taking the game away from the players and how?

Marino/Masoli: "Who's standing up for our brother?" What? They gave Marino a four-game suspension and eventually forced him out of the league. That's not exactly doing nothing to stand up for the players. How about your Player's Association? How did they stand up for your brother?

Like I said, I have nothing against him speaking out like this, but he needs to be more careful and fairer with where he's directing his criticism. I would also suggest he look at himself first before he casts aspersions on others. The way he conducts himself on the sideline in a game in front of the cameras is not exactly positive promotion of the league.



 


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dd
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2022, 12:05:56 AM »

Yup, MBT is a fiery, wild-eyed guy who lays it all out there.  I've always liked him, even before he was deemed "good" -- or on the way to a GC.

However, we basically already know the things he said, and while he offers a couple of ideas, he, like everyone else, is short on solutions.  Maybe publicly acknowledging the problems first, and doing so in a rougher manner, will help others find the solutions.

Us fans can also do our part.  For instance, everyone I see or talk to in WPG I ask "are you going to the cup?", and then "why not?".  I point out how cheap the stubhub tickets are now and encourage them all to go.  We all need to do this.

I find it very sad that many people I know who are low- to mid-level fans aren't going and don't want to change their minds.  Even STH and frequent-IGF attendees aren't going.  SMH

To each their own. People have different reasons for not wanting to go the the GC, and so be it. Doesn't make them any lesser of fans, just they have different priorities. Ive never missed watching the Grey Cup since the low scoring Als vs Eskimos games in the 70's when Wilkie was Edmontons Qb and Don Sweet was kicking for the Als. Only been to the Grey Cups that were in Winnipeg, but i would consider myself up there in terms of being a fan and ambassador for the CFL
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TecnoGenius
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2022, 12:37:01 AM »

Its not cheap to attend a Grey Cup. Tickets to the game are close to 300 dollars and hotels are around 300 a night many requiring minimum 3 nights. All the events are not cheap to attend as beer prices will be at least 8 dollars a beer. Not everyone has an extra 1500 dollars kicking around to spend on a weekend.

Ya, but that's a weak argument with the 25+ people I've told that they should think about going.  All these people make more than enough to cover a mini-trip to SSK.  And it doesn't have to be as pricey as you said: tix are sub-$200 on stubhub now, $200 hotels in Moosejaw, $100 in other small towns, with no minimum stay, or stay at U Regina for peanuts, and free ride with me if they want.  Pay for all the hotels with airmiles or points like I did.

This isn't like when I was asking people to fly with me to 2019 CGY.  This is a hop skip & jump to our closest neighbour.  I get what you're saying, but for my crowd the $300-$600 all-in money is not the reason they want to stay home.  Hell, if I offered to pay their tix and hotel, I doubt the uptake on my offer would be any higher... maybe I'd get 2-3 interested.  Not because they can't afford it themselves, but because they are "Winnipeg cheap".

I'm not saying they are "less of" a fan than me, I'm just disappointed that not 1 in 25 changed their mind as the ticket prices dropped and affordable hotel options we offered.  It's just Regina!!  It doesn't get any easier than this.

To each their own. People have different reasons for not wanting to go the the GC, and so be it. Doesn't make them any lesser of fans, just they have different priorities. Ive never missed watching the Grey Cup since the low scoring Als vs Eskimos games in the 70's when Wilkie was Edmontons Qb and Don Sweet was kicking for the Als. Only been to the Grey Cups that were in Winnipeg, but i would consider myself up there in terms of being a fan and ambassador for the CFL

And that's great, and you're totally right.  My disappointment is in the complete lack of interest amongst my fan, semi-fan, and non-fan friends, acquaintances and neighbours.  I guess I figured at least 1 in 10 could be swayed when given the details.  Warmth and 70" TVs are spoiling too many people these days.

I remember 2019 GC and basically every seat was filled.  I got tickets just below face and thought I was doing really good!  And look at how HAM filled up 2021.  From TM and StubHub it's clear that even in the "good" sections there's going to be a ton of holes.  And that looks bad on everyone.
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TecnoGenius
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2022, 12:41:34 AM »

"The game has been taken from us?" What is he talking about? The CFL game is really a player's league. Way more so than any other North American professional sports league. Who is taking the game away from the players and how?

Marino/Masoli: "Who's standing up for our brother?" What? They gave Marino a four-game suspension and eventually forced him out of the league. That's not exactly doing nothing to stand up for the players. How about your Player's Association? How did they stand up for your brother?

I think "taken away" is in reference to the covid lost year.  Many players are mentioning this in their pressers, on all teams.  More of a "grateful to be here now" thing.

Marino: Maybe he thought the punishment should have been more swift and severe.  I think he's thinking he should have been kicked out immediately.  We did allow him to come back in and try to beat up on other QBs again.  That wasn't the best look.  I get "due process" and all that, but if you're a player (QB!) looking at getting crippled by a dirty player, maybe you have a different take on it.

I like a guy who says what he thinks and doesn't pull punches.  I really like MBT.  The only thing I think he needs to watch out on is yelling at his own coaches.  That'll get you in trouble real quick, and rightly so.  Chain of command is important in football.
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Never go full Rider!
Tehedra
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2022, 12:59:20 AM »

Last I checked tickets were nearly 500 or more for anything half decent.  I wanted to go but want seats were I would enjoy it and the majority of those seats are out of my price range
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TecnoGenius
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2022, 01:07:22 AM »

Last I checked tickets were nearly 500 or more for anything half decent.  I wanted to go but want seats were I would enjoy it and the majority of those seats are out of my price range

Stubhub has a whack ton of tickets between the 30's (yes, mostly upper level) at under $250 right now.  One pair for $155 at the mo!  Go jump on it now!  The outliers don't last long.  However, maybe tomorrow they'll all be $155  Shocked Shocked

I consider any seat between the 30's to be "good".  100-level seats are also often under $300.
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Never go full Rider!
jdrattops
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2022, 03:14:24 AM »

Yup, MBT is a fiery, wild-eyed guy who lays it all out there.  I've always liked him, even before he was deemed "good" -- or on the way to a GC.

However, we basically already know the things he said, and while he offers a couple of ideas, he, like everyone else, is short on solutions.  Maybe publicly acknowledging the problems first, and doing so in a rougher manner, will help others find the solutions.

Us fans can also do our part.  For instance, everyone I see or talk to in WPG I ask "are you going to the cup?", and then "why not?".  I point out how cheap the stubhub tickets are now and encourage them all to go.  We all need to do this.

I find it very sad that many people I know who are low- to mid-level fans aren't going and don't want to change their minds.  Even STH and frequent-IGF attendees aren't going.  SMH


Agree with the short on solutions.  As far as tickets go, picked mine up today for $100 below face value.  Looking forward to being there and sharing the experience with my son.  His first, my second.
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Lincoln Locomotive
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2022, 04:04:24 AM »

There's a lot to unpack here, but sure of course, more has to be done to grow the league in a lot of areas and from a lot of people. The league, the teams, the media, the players, and yes, like Techno said, even the fans. We've covered that stuff over and over again in this forum. And sure, the commissioner bears the primary responsibility, and he does need to do more. Fair enough and I have nothing against him drawing attention to that and admire his passion.  However..... I found a lot of the other stuff he was slinging around to be quite misguided and misdirected and quite frankly, just wanton bashing of the commissioner.

Negative narrative around the talent? Yes, but how does that come from the commissioner? Every time I hear him speak he always talks up the talent in the league. Big time. I never hear negative about the talent from the league, the teams, or the players. It comes from the Media, mainly in Toronto, and non CFL football fans. Off target on that one.

"The game has been taken from us?" What is he talking about? The CFL game is really a player's league. Way more so than any other North American professional sports league. Who is taking the game away from the players and how?

Marino/Masoli: "Who's standing up for our brother?" What? They gave Marino a four-game suspension and eventually forced him out of the league. That's not exactly doing nothing to stand up for the players. How about your Player's Association? How did they stand up for your brother?

Like I said, I have nothing against him speaking out like this, but he needs to be more careful and fairer with where he's directing his criticism. I would also suggest he look at himself first before he casts aspersions on others. The way he conducts himself on the sideline in a game in front of the cameras is not exactly positive promotion of the league.



 



Albeit some of what he says is true about not growing and promoting the CFL enough, I found his comments contradictory and to be exactly the type of negativity he was bashing?   His own confrontational actions don't exactly qualify him as an expert on creating goodwill within the CFL.    His inflammatory behaviour wouldn't be tolerated in MOS's world.   One can talk all they want but it's what you do that matters and he isn't setting any kind of example for the CFL.....imho! 
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Happy to be able to watch a rematch of the 2019 game in Hamilton's back yard!
dd
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2022, 05:40:11 PM »

Albeit some of what he says is true about not growing and promoting the CFL enough, I found his comments contradictory and to be exactly the type of negativity he was bashing?   His own confrontational actions don't exactly qualify him as an expert on creating goodwill within the CFL.    His inflammatory behaviour wouldn't be tolerated in MOS's world.   One can talk all they want but it's what you do that matters and he isn't setting any kind of example for the CFL.....imho! 
He is one weird dude!!!
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