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Thread: CFL Offseason 2018/19

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by adb View Post
    April Fools I'm assuming?
    yup - this one though seems legit. Yikes for Ottawa fans.


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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Ouch.

    I'm not sure that I can remember one team losing so many key pieces in a single off-season. Not even the 2016 Eskimos got raided this badly.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    The polka dots for the refs kind of makes sense even though it's just an April Fools thing... I mean, they act like a bunch of clowns anyways right?
    And there was much rejoicing... yaayyy....

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by OK14 View Post
    Ouch.

    I'm not sure that I can remember one team losing so many key pieces in a single off-season. Not even the 2016 Eskimos got raided this badly.
    Big loss. Their "O" never skipped a beat when he came over from the Argos to replace Jason. Seems a bit strange that he would leave so close to training camp and to a job that seems could be short term when considering that the AAF has not been a roaring success.

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    He ain’t stupid...
    lost to many pieces....

    He will be the first one fired if the o is mis firing or under performing

    Ocs always get fired first

    He got out why the going was good imho

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    I thought Ottawa might still be okay if Jennings bounced back. They had a good Thorpe defense, and Elizondo seemed to be a creative force on offense.

    Wonder if Elizondo was annoyed about not getting the opportunity to interview for Riders HC job?
    XFL 2.0 seems like a bad bet if AAF or XFL 1.0 was any indication. But I guess he can collect a short term paycheue and return to CFL if he ever desires.
    I wonder about the implications of the XFL poaching people under contract...

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by cmbuk View Post
    He ain’t stupid...
    lost to many pieces....

    He will be the first one fired if the o is mis firing or under performing

    Ocs always get fired first

    He got out why the going was good imho
    It will be interesting to see where Ottawa goes for a replacement. They've not been known to be overly receptive in letting their coaches move on , wonder if they will get some payback. iirc they balked at Jason coming here as the OC plus the refusal to let Elizondo interview for the Regina HC job.

    Maybe take a run at Condell in Hamilton or the WR coach in Calgary or Calgary's QB coach. Not much experience with the two asst/ coaches on the O side left in Ottawa and I can't think of any CIS coach that could be the OC.

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by turftoe27 View Post
    It will be interesting to see where Ottawa goes for a replacement. They've not been known to be overly receptive in letting their coaches move on , wonder if they will get some payback. iirc they balked at Jason coming here as the OC plus the refusal to let Elizondo interview for the Regina HC job.

    Maybe take a run at Condell in Hamilton or the WR coach in Calgary or Calgary's QB coach. Not much experience with the two asst/ coaches on the O side left in Ottawa and I can't think of any CIS coach that could be the OC.
    yeah... it is slim pickings. It's a tough situation when Ryan Dinwiddie is one of your leading candidates to be your new OC.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by turftoe27 View Post
    It will be interesting to see where Ottawa goes for a replacement. They've not been known to be overly receptive in letting their coaches move on , wonder if they will get some payback. iirc they balked at Jason coming here as the OC plus the refusal to let Elizondo interview for the Regina HC job.

    Maybe take a run at Condell in Hamilton or the WR coach in Calgary or Calgary's QB coach. Not much experience with the two asst/ coaches on the O side left in Ottawa and I can't think of any CIS coach that could be the OC.
    Always liked Herveys philosophy of not holding people back if they had a chance at a promotion and it seems Brock has similar beliefs. I know if I had higher aspirations in the coaching world I would be looking to those teams and avoiding the ones that hold you back.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by Looner View Post
    Always liked Herveys philosophy of not holding people back if they had a chance at a promotion and it seems Brock has similar beliefs. I know if I had higher aspirations in the coaching world I would be looking to those teams and avoiding the ones that hold you back.
    Exactly, in the long run it pays to be classy. I remember Sunderland when he first came here doing an interview where he mentioned he was refused the chance at promotion once and would never do it to any of his staff.

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by turftoe27 View Post
    It will be interesting to see where Ottawa goes for a replacement. They've not been known to be overly receptive in letting their coaches move on , wonder if they will get some payback. iirc they balked at Jason coming here as the OC plus the refusal to let Elizondo interview for the Regina HC job.

    Maybe take a run at Condell in Hamilton or the WR coach in Calgary or Calgary's QB coach. Not much experience with the two asst/ coaches on the O side left in Ottawa and I can't think of any CIS coach that could be the OC.
    Has to be internal at this point..

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugoagogo View Post
    yeah... it is slim pickings. It's a tough situation when Ryan Dinwiddie is one of your leading candidates to be your new OC.

    Is dinwiddie on staff at otta?

    It has to be someone who knows the playbook from last year and can teachvit, it’s far to late in the year to bring someone outside of the Ottawa staff to implement an offence, that and the pieces they have..


    I don’t know who is on the Ottawa offensive staff.. but it imho has to be promotion at this point

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by cmbuk View Post
    Has to be internal at this point..

    Is dinwiddie on staff at otta?
    Yeah, sorry, he is QB coach in Calgary. I figured with the success of the Stampeder offense, he would be a candidate, but you are right - I doubt they can recruit from another club anymore according to the new guidelines. (are there guidelines?, lol)

    Their RB coach Beau Walker has been in the system for three years. He's really their only candidate on staff.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by popo View Post
    I thought Ottawa might still be okay if Jennings bounced back. They had a good Thorpe defense, and Elizondo seemed to be a creative force on offense.

    Wonder if Elizondo was annoyed about not getting the opportunity to interview for Riders HC job?
    XFL 2.0 seems like a bad bet if AAF or XFL 1.0 was any indication. But I guess he can collect a short term paycheue and return to CFL if he ever desires.
    I wonder about the implications of the XFL poaching people under contract...
    The RedBlacks apparently feel that way.

    https://www.tsn.ca/cfl/video/naylor-...tional~1649936
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19


    "No dress rehearsal, this is our life" - Gord Downie

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugoagogo View Post
    yup - this one though seems legit. Yikes for Ottawa fans.


    Glanville joining Trestman and Elizondo

    https://3downnation.com/2019/04/01/f...-hired-in-xfl/
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by turftoe27 View Post
    It will be interesting to see where Ottawa goes for a replacement. They've not been known to be overly receptive in letting their coaches move on , wonder if they will get some payback. iirc they balked at Jason coming here as the OC plus the refusal to let Elizondo interview for the Regina HC job.

    Maybe take a run at Condell in Hamilton or the WR coach in Calgary or Calgary's QB coach. Not much experience with the two asst/ coaches on the O side left in Ottawa and I can't think of any CIS coach that could be the OC.
    I'd look at Jaimie Barresi out of U Ottawa Or Greg Marshall or Will Finch out of UWO
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by popo View Post
    I thought Ottawa might still be okay if Jennings bounced back. They had a good Thorpe defense, and Elizondo seemed to be a creative force on offense.

    Wonder if Elizondo was annoyed about not getting the opportunity to interview for Riders HC job?
    XFL 2.0 seems like a bad bet if AAF or XFL 1.0 was any indication. But I guess he can collect a short term paycheue and return to CFL if he ever desires.
    I wonder about the implications of the XFL poaching people under contract...
    The reports certainly portray that he was disappointed in being denied the opportunity.. and if it was considered too late and disruptive in late January, then it is exponentially more so now in early April. That said, it's hard to imagine that was the primary driver of this move for him, as I expect he'd remain quite loyal to Rick Campbell, who elevated him to OC and wasn't likely the bad guy in the Rider job situation. I don't think it was quite this late, but I remember Rick Campbell, himself, departing the Esks as ST coordinator for the DC role in Calgary at a rather late date (I checked - it was Feb 29). A coach can't control when an opportunity will come up. The decision to deny him the chance in Regina, likely will have more impact on other coaches interest in Ottawa roles in the future if it comes down to multiple offers.

    This makes sense for Elizondo on a few levels... 1) more money, 2) more term. As cmbuk points out with the changes to the Ottawa offence, he was set up more for rebuilding than success in 2019, and with it being the final year of his contract, he'd face the possibility of being a scapegoat, even if Campbell hasn't shown a tendency toward that. To stay and honour his contract (when he apparently doesn't legally have to) and make less and have less stability for it, makes this an understandable choice.

    I don't think anyone is betting on XFL 2.0 being the one that breaks through and succeeds where others have crashed and burned, but they're certainly acting like the have a fat wallet. I'd heard that they have 3 years of operating reserves invested, and I believe I'd read that salaries can be up in the $500k USD range - not sure what average is projected to be. Coaching contracts tend to be guaranteed, and I'm not sure what that means if the league no longer exists, but look at a player like Dylan Wynn that went to the AAF. He signs, gets paid his pro-rated salary for the season, and if they fold, he likely is free to sign in either the XFL or CFL, double-dipping with two contracts in 2019. Elizondo, so long as the cheques don't bounce, isn't likely hurting his CFL stock by doing this, and if the XFL doesn't pan out, would it surprise anyone if he's one of the top candidates for the next OC, or even HC positions that comes up?

    This must seem like the ultimate musical chairs bad dream for the RedBlacks - you thought the game was over and you were settling in and getting comfortable, and then the music stops a few months later.

    I give Rick Campbell a lot of credit for making his way where he is right now, but this is one time when he might have to rely on the Campbell name to open a few doors in a coaching search if they don't have a viable internal hire, as I don't think they'll get anyone that is currently under contract. If the AAF does cease operations sooner than later, it could free up some possibilities.

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
    The reports certainly portray that he was disappointed in being denied the opportunity.. and if it was considered too late and disruptive in late January, then it is exponentially more so now in early April. That said, it's hard to imagine that was the primary driver of this move for him, as I expect he'd remain quite loyal to Rick Campbell, who elevated him to OC and wasn't likely the bad guy in the Rider job situation. I don't think it was quite this late, but I remember Rick Campbell, himself, departing the Esks as ST coordinator for the DC role in Calgary at a rather late date (I checked - it was Feb 29). A coach can't control when an opportunity will come up. The decision to deny him the chance in Regina, likely will have more impact on other coaches interest in Ottawa roles in the future if it comes down to multiple offers.

    This makes sense for Elizondo on a few levels... 1) more money, 2) more term. As cmbuk points out with the changes to the Ottawa offence, he was set up more for rebuilding than success in 2019, and with it being the final year of his contract, he'd face the possibility of being a scapegoat, even if Campbell hasn't shown a tendency toward that. To stay and honour his contract (when he apparently doesn't legally have to) and make less and have less stability for it, makes this an understandable choice.

    I don't think anyone is betting on XFL 2.0 being the one that breaks through and succeeds where others have crashed and burned, but they're certainly acting like the have a fat wallet. I'd heard that they have 3 years of operating reserves invested, and I believe I'd read that salaries can be up in the $500k USD range - not sure what average is projected to be. Coaching contracts tend to be guaranteed, and I'm not sure what that means if the league no longer exists, but look at a player like Dylan Wynn that went to the AAF. He signs, gets paid his pro-rated salary for the season, and if they fold, he likely is free to sign in either the XFL or CFL, double-dipping with two contracts in 2019. Elizondo, so long as the cheques don't bounce, isn't likely hurting his CFL stock by doing this, and if the XFL doesn't pan out, would it surprise anyone if he's one of the top candidates for the next OC, or even HC positions that comes up?

    This must seem like the ultimate musical chairs bad dream for the RedBlacks - you thought the game was over and you were settling in and getting comfortable, and then the music stops a few months later.

    I give Rick Campbell a lot of credit for making his way where he is right now, but this is one time when he might have to rely on the Campbell name to open a few doors in a coaching search if they don't have a viable internal hire, as I don't think they'll get anyone that is currently under contract. If the AAF does cease operations sooner than later, it could free up some possibilities.
    Even though the XFL have a huge war chest you wonder how long they will put up with hemorrhaging money. The AAF likewise looked like they were well equipped to deal with significant losses in the first few years in the hopes of striking it rich down the road with a significant TV contract but the first year results (empty stadiums, hardly anyone watching on TV or the internet) has put a significant dent in their resolve and they appear to have much better connections to the NFL than the XFL does. I didn't know much about Vince Mcmahon because I'm not a wrestling fan but from the story I saw on him in regards to how he treats his WWE performers he doesn't appear to be the type of guy who will suffer losses for very long. I feel bad for the players and coaches because from their perspective the more options out there to make a living the better and I don't begrudge them that but as a CFL fan who realizes that the league does operate on a narrow edge of profitability I am feeling pretty good about that and at the same time somewhat guilty. In either event I do believe guys like Elizondo may be back sooner rather than later.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by adb View Post
    Even though the XFL have a huge war chest you wonder how long they will put up with hemorrhaging money. The AAF likewise looked like they were well equipped to deal with significant losses in the first few years in the hopes of striking it rich down the road with a significant TV contract but the first year results (empty stadiums, hardly anyone watching on TV or the internet) has put a significant dent in their resolve and they appear to have much better connections to the NFL than the XFL does. I didn't know much about Vince Mcmahon because I'm not a wrestling fan but from the story I saw on him in regards to how he treats his WWE performers he doesn't appear to be the type of guy who will suffer losses for very long. I feel bad for the players and coaches because from their perspective the more options out there to make a living the better and I don't begrudge them that but as a CFL fan who realizes that the league does operate on a narrow edge of profitability I am feeling pretty good about that and at the same time somewhat guilty. In either event I do believe guys like Elizondo may be back sooner rather than later.
    I thought that John Oliver segment was interesting as well from the perspective of a CFL fan who’s wondering how much damage Vinces new league could inflict on ours.

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19




    A bit surprising we are down so low...
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugoagogo View Post



    A bit surprising we are down so low...
    The fact that both Ottawa and Sask are above us, tells me that someone who isn't in tune with the CFL put this together.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    but they have great qb's!
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by ben_the_eskimo View Post
    I thought that John Oliver segment was interesting as well from the perspective of a CFL fan who’s wondering how much damage Vinces new league could inflict on ours.
    My concern with new leagues challenging the CFL over the long term isn't so much on the resolve side of the ledger (size of war chest, ego, etc) it's more on the product side. Unless you can differentiate your product and attract a significant following of fans over the long term I don't think you're going to be successful. For me the rule differences in the CFL make it a somewhat different game which is one of the reasons I watch in addition to it's Canadian content or history or identity (whatever you want to call it). If we played NFL rules I would think that many of us would just end up watching the NFL. If I'm an American why wouldn't I just watch the Atlanta Falcons instead of the Atlanta Legends? Starting up teams in towns with no NFL clubs (like the AFL successfully did) isn't enough in today's world as it's a much smaller place with competition for your attention everywhere. There has to be a reason to get engaged and that means differentiating your product. Maybe if someone would have started a rival league to the NFL when sports betting first became accepted would have worked (that's assuming the NFL didn't jump right on board with betting on games, I'm not sure of the chain of events there). For me Vince McMahon will scare me a lot more if he does something on the product side of the equation like have WWE half time shows or get some of the players to also wrestle in the off season. Something crazy like that might just work. Anyways my 2 cents.
    Last edited by adb; 04-03-2019 at 09:03 AM.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by Looner View Post
    The fact that both Ottawa and Sask are above us, tells me that someone who isn't in tune with the CFL put this together.
    Well, people were picking us to be Grey Cup Contenders last year, and that failed miserably.

    In fact, I almost think that an underdog moniker would be healthier for the Esks instead of the "on-paper contender" status that they've had the last two years.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19




    Obviously these things are fun, nothing more, but I think Smith would be a good pick for us.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugoagogo View Post



    Obviously these things are fun, nothing more, but I think Smith would be a good pick for us.
    Love these but wonder if we would go with Smith over Betts, guess we'll probably see.
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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by Looner View Post
    Love these but wonder if we would go with Smith over Betts, guess we'll probably see.
    Big differences from today's mock draft from Marshall Ferguson and the one on March 8th from John Hodge on 3DownNation. 3DN had Connor Griffiths going in the 1st rd at 5th overall and Ferguson has Griffiths going in the 3rd rd at 20th overall. Still trade possibilities also. Going to be very interesting to see what Sunderland does following him hitting a homerun in free agency . We will likely get some trade interest at 3rd overall .

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by Looner View Post
    The fact that both Ottawa and Sask are above us, tells me that someone who isn't in tune with the CFL put this together.
    Generally, when it comes to betting and money, you can rely that the oddsmakers have factored in all of the available information and put in a lot of diligence. I'm not saying that didn't happen here, but I'm more than a little confused by BC leading the pack. Yes - they added a marquee QB... but last year proved that Reilly, even in an established offensive system built for him, was not enough to lift a team to contention. Throw in a rookie head coach and a coaching staff that has a fair number of inexperienced (but intriguing) guys, such as Phillips, Lewis, Tate and Stokes, and I'm not sure how it's screaming Grey Cup favorite. Ottawa, with the losses they've suffered, and compounded by the recent Elizondo move, is surprisingly high as well.

    Ultimately, I guess if we don't agree with the odds, it presents a chance to put our money where our mouth is and place a bet, but if you figure that a 1 in 9 chance would normally be represented by a +900, I'm going to suggest that there is not a lot of attractiveness in betting on the favorites or the longer shots given what they're offering.

    Quote Originally Posted by adb View Post
    My concern with new leagues challenging the CFL over the long term isn't so much on the resolve side of the ledger (size of war chest, ego, etc) it's more on the product side. Unless you can differentiate your product and attract a significant following of fans over the long term I don't think you're going to be successful. For me the rule differences in the CFL make it a somewhat different game which is one of the reasons I watch in addition to it's Canadian content or history or identity (whatever you want to call it). If we played NFL rules I would think that many of us would just end up watching the NFL. If I'm an American why wouldn't I just watch the Atlanta Falcons instead of the Atlanta Legends? Starting up teams in towns with no NFL clubs (like the AFL successfully did) isn't enough in today's world as it's a much smaller place with competition for your attention everywhere. There has to be a reason to get engaged and that means differentiating your product. Maybe if someone would have started a rival league to the NFL when sports betting first became accepted would have worked (that's assuming the NFL didn't jump right on board with betting on games, I'm not sure of the chain of events there). For me Vince McMahon will scare me a lot more if he does something on the product side of the equation like have WWE half time shows or get some of the players to also wrestle in the off season. Something crazy like that might just work. Anyways my 2 cents.
    I agree fully that there has to be a reason for engagement.

    There is a small slice of any fan base that loves a game so much that they'll watch anyone play it, at any time, and at various levels. There is another slice that is a fan of a brand of the sport... someone that would watch NHL hockey, but not necessarily KHL or women's hockey. There is a bigger slice that is a fan of the game, but more so, a fan of the team - needing a rooting interest to become actively engaged, but they can be passionate about their team or cheering against other teams. Then there is the casual fan - the one that needs to be engaged, and re-engaged at almost every buying decision, where you're likely competing for a share of their spending with concerts, family activities, other sports, etc.

    The die-hard football fans that will watch pro-football at most any level, is not enough to support a league. From the early chatter, some of the most intrigued guys I saw were American CFL players, curious to see the level of play in the league and what sort of an opportunity it would ultimately grow into. It was going to take years to actually grow a fan-base of those loyal to the AAF brand of football - appreciating the things they were doing different as more than just a passing fancy. I thought that there might have been more team/city engaged local interest than there turned out to be, with going into a few non-NFL markets, and employing a territorial strategy to a certain degree to try and capture some of the NCAA luster that players would have had. Getting the support of casual fans helps, but there's got to be more buzz to stand a chance there, and I suspect that was gone by week three in some places where small crowds were evident from the start. To give this an honest shot of building something sustainable, they would have had to have the resources and financing to absorb the costs for 3 seasons and the willingness to know that they'd likely lose money for most of that time. They didn't... and they didn't.

    The shame of it is that I thought they'd talked about some interesting differentiation, but I never saw it come about for the most part, and it didn't connect with the marketplace if it did.

    In the year leading up to the AAF, I heard about the involvement of the gambling/fantasy element, and with having Casinos involved in the ownership, it seemed a natural and credible extension of trends that were out there in established leagues. I believe the attraction of Fantasy Football comes from playing with identifiable players though - a little less appeal if we're playing pre-season CFL FF with guys unlikely to make rosters and who most of us know little about. I'd heard about the AAF App that was going to allow for real-time prop betting, and even that player compensation could be tied to how much betting a player attracted. I'm not sure if that ever even came to fruition, and I don't think I heard anything reported about it once things started.

    There were steps toward player safety. There were some good production value additions to games. I liked the innovation of watching video reviews play out in real-time and hearing the conversation. They couldn't differentiate so much as to not be recognizable, but had to find enough to be fresh - I thought they had a chance at that going in. They had credible people - Polian and Ebersol, Polamalu and Ward, Spurrier, Singletary, Martz, Erickson and Riley as coaches, but they ultimately never got the stamp of approval that they were likely hoping for from the NFL in terms of positioning as a feeder league. To me, whether that was it, or they were expecting something else to materialize, there was something that they must have been counting on that didn't turn out to be there, and it left them short-stacked at a poker table with the blinds eating them alive.

    The other thing, aside from lack of financing to give them time to last, build and grow, was seemingly lack of preparation or foresight. It may be a little thing, but not having health insurance in Florida for the Orlando team, and having to hold practices in Georgia as a result, just to be able to insure their players - that sort of oversight is indicative of a lack of attention to detail. With the inability to handle much margin for error, those are not the sorts of things that you can afford to miss on.

    Ultimately, I feel like it turned out to not be what was promised - a player-focused league that couldn't even pay for flights home after they shuttered it - a technology forward league that promised interesting extensions of the game that didn't seem to come about - a league with credible people and a TV deal that ensured stability, but that needed an outside investor to put in $80 million after just a few weeks. As a CFL-first fan, I recognize that the AAF posed a threat of some degree, and won't shed a tear that it didn't make it in that sense, but as a football fan, I was intrigued by some of the things they talked about and am a little saddened that it didn't live up to it - whether ultimately about them or about the market for Spring Pro Football in the US.

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
    Generally, when it comes to betting and money, you can rely that the oddsmakers have factored in all of the available information and put in a lot of diligence. I'm not saying that didn't happen here, but I'm more than a little confused by BC leading the pack. Yes - they added a marquee QB... but last year proved that Reilly, even in an established offensive system built for him, was not enough to lift a team to contention. Throw in a rookie head coach and a coaching staff that has a fair number of inexperienced (but intriguing) guys, such as Phillips, Lewis, Tate and Stokes, and I'm not sure how it's screaming Grey Cup favorite. Ottawa, with the losses they've suffered, and compounded by the recent Elizondo move, is surprisingly high as well.

    Ultimately, I guess if we don't agree with the odds, it presents a chance to put our money where our mouth is and place a bet, but if you figure that a 1 in 9 chance would normally be represented by a +900, I'm going to suggest that there is not a lot of attractiveness in betting on the favorites or the longer shots given what they're offering.



    I agree fully that there has to be a reason for engagement.

    There is a small slice of any fan base that loves a game so much that they'll watch anyone play it, at any time, and at various levels. There is another slice that is a fan of a brand of the sport... someone that would watch NHL hockey, but not necessarily KHL or women's hockey. There is a bigger slice that is a fan of the game, but more so, a fan of the team - needing a rooting interest to become actively engaged, but they can be passionate about their team or cheering against other teams. Then there is the casual fan - the one that needs to be engaged, and re-engaged at almost every buying decision, where you're likely competing for a share of their spending with concerts, family activities, other sports, etc.

    The die-hard football fans that will watch pro-football at most any level, is not enough to support a league. From the early chatter, some of the most intrigued guys I saw were American CFL players, curious to see the level of play in the league and what sort of an opportunity it would ultimately grow into. It was going to take years to actually grow a fan-base of those loyal to the AAF brand of football - appreciating the things they were doing different as more than just a passing fancy. I thought that there might have been more team/city engaged local interest than there turned out to be, with going into a few non-NFL markets, and employing a territorial strategy to a certain degree to try and capture some of the NCAA luster that players would have had. Getting the support of casual fans helps, but there's got to be more buzz to stand a chance there, and I suspect that was gone by week three in some places where small crowds were evident from the start. To give this an honest shot of building something sustainable, they would have had to have the resources and financing to absorb the costs for 3 seasons and the willingness to know that they'd likely lose money for most of that time. They didn't... and they didn't.

    The shame of it is that I thought they'd talked about some interesting differentiation, but I never saw it come about for the most part, and it didn't connect with the marketplace if it did.

    In the year leading up to the AAF, I heard about the involvement of the gambling/fantasy element, and with having Casinos involved in the ownership, it seemed a natural and credible extension of trends that were out there in established leagues. I believe the attraction of Fantasy Football comes from playing with identifiable players though - a little less appeal if we're playing pre-season CFL FF with guys unlikely to make rosters and who most of us know little about. I'd heard about the AAF App that was going to allow for real-time prop betting, and even that player compensation could be tied to how much betting a player attracted. I'm not sure if that ever even came to fruition, and I don't think I heard anything reported about it once things started.

    There were steps toward player safety. There were some good production value additions to games. I liked the innovation of watching video reviews play out in real-time and hearing the conversation. They couldn't differentiate so much as to not be recognizable, but had to find enough to be fresh - I thought they had a chance at that going in. They had credible people - Polian and Ebersol, Polamalu and Ward, Spurrier, Singletary, Martz, Erickson and Riley as coaches, but they ultimately never got the stamp of approval that they were likely hoping for from the NFL in terms of positioning as a feeder league. To me, whether that was it, or they were expecting something else to materialize, there was something that they must have been counting on that didn't turn out to be there, and it left them short-stacked at a poker table with the blinds eating them alive.

    The other thing, aside from lack of financing to give them time to last, build and grow, was seemingly lack of preparation or foresight. It may be a little thing, but not having health insurance in Florida for the Orlando team, and having to hold practices in Georgia as a result, just to be able to insure their players - that sort of oversight is indicative of a lack of attention to detail. With the inability to handle much margin for error, those are not the sorts of things that you can afford to miss on.

    Ultimately, I feel like it turned out to not be what was promised - a player-focused league that couldn't even pay for flights home after they shuttered it - a technology forward league that promised interesting extensions of the game that didn't seem to come about - a league with credible people and a TV deal that ensured stability, but that needed an outside investor to put in $80 million after just a few weeks. As a CFL-first fan, I recognize that the AAF posed a threat of some degree, and won't shed a tear that it didn't make it in that sense, but as a football fan, I was intrigued by some of the things they talked about and am a little saddened that it didn't live up to it - whether ultimately about them or about the market for Spring Pro Football in the US.
    Well it sounds like VM is more prepared on the money side so I guess we'll see how innovative the XFL turns out to be. If he gets as creative as the AAF sounds like it was then maybe he has a shot but if it's just more of the same then you wonder if the American public really wants watered down NFL springtime football. On a somewhat similar note I always thought that CFL expansion into the US was handled incorrectly. Probably because at the time it was done as a desperation move for survival but if it were meticulously thought out I think it could succeed. The CFL game because of the field size and different rules is a more exciting game IMO and under the right circumstances could have succeeded in the US. They shouldn't have been putting clubs in Shreveport instead the league should have been going to places like Spokane, or Portland or Flint (smaller centers in the Northern States which might be more familiar with the CFL) and using players from around each of their local areas to make up their equivalent of "National" players on the roster (otherwise eventually you would get something similar to what we previously had with the Baltimore Stallions towards the end of their existence where they were beating up on every other CFL team with a full roster of the best US players they could find). Although field size would be the one problem that would be a challenge to overcome. Anyways just spit-balling here.

    As far as your comments regarding betting I've always thought the CFL to be a good place to bet in general as there doesn't appear to be a lot of real well informed US sports betters out there when it comes to the CFL.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Looner View Post
    Love these but wonder if we would go with Smith over Betts, guess we'll probably see.
    Betts would scare me as a pick in the 1st round as I am hearing that he is drawing a lot of NFL interest even though he has been described as somewhat undersized.
    Last edited by adb; 04-04-2019 at 01:42 PM.
    “RUN THE DANG BALL!" -Leigh Anne Tuohy character from the film The Blind Side

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    Re: CFL Offseason 2018/19

    Quote Originally Posted by adb View Post
    Glanville joining Trestman and Elizondo

    https://3downnation.com/2019/04/01/f...-hired-in-xfl/
    Now Trestman is even poaching CFL front office staff...the Tampa Bay XFL club will have a lot of CFL flavor to it.

    https://3downnation.com/2019/04/04/c...nt-office-job/
    “RUN THE DANG BALL!" -Leigh Anne Tuohy character from the film The Blind Side

    "Next time, take a case of Pil into the huddle. If you don't get a beer, get the hell off the field!" -New special teams coach for the Riders

    "When the Eskimos are out on defense it looks like there are two or three number 47s out there." -Duane Ford

    "...I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, I enjoy the banter though ..." -Looner

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