"I have loved football as an almost mythic game since I was in the fourth grade. To me, the game wasn't even grounded in reality. The uniform turned you into a warrior. Being on a team, the mythology of physical combat, the struggle against the elements, the narrative of the game..." ~ Steve Sabol (NFL Films)

Monday, February 27, 2023

Flashback to the Proposals for the CFL/XFL Alliance

In what seems like forever ago, there was a moment where CFL fans were worried that the league was on the edge of falling into the abyss when the paper tiger that was XFL 3.0 came courting.  Now that we see that the reality of the new league was all bark and zero bite, it's kind of fun to go back and read the old articles about that time. 

I was one of those guys during those days that was open to the idea, because, let's face it, the CFL is far from out of the woods as the Montreal ownership situation has shown us. But unlike all of the outdoor spring American gridiron leagues, the CFL has survived the other things that would have killed a similar American league. What follows is now pure speculation and fantasy, but hey, perhaps in a parallel universe the leagues did merge and are the dominant gridiron league.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

It's a Tecmo Bowl World

Well, here we are in final game of week two of the XFL season, and I write this at my kitchen table here in   Japan on a Monday morning tomorrow as I watch the game on my laptop and write this missive on my laptop.  It is amazing how much technology has allowed all of us football fans to connect and interact (for ill or will depending on how you read my ongoing Twitter battles with the right wing XFL media and spin doctors).  Even more amazing are the content creators, and for this article I am focusing all of my love and attention on Rick 8-Bit, the creator of the world’s first XFL video game, which is available for free at TecmoBowl.org.

It is because of guys like Rick that football Twitter does not suck, for he, like me, is clearly a 12-year-old at heart, and in this world, we need so much more of that. The real-world sucks, but when we can escape back to our childhood fandom, even for a few hours, we can reset ourselves by revisiting the joys of youth. Such is the magic of Tecmo Bowl, for it allows us all, for free through PC emulation, to be a kid, or in my case, a 21-year-old college student, all over again.

Friday, February 24, 2023

XFL Infowars- The Battle For Your Mind Has Begun

I arrived in Japan over three months ago, and it has been a slow process of settling in to a place where is both home and on the other hand completely foreign.  However, the one constant since I have arrived has been the ability to still feel as if I have never left America via the magic of the internet and all the devices and means by which we now are able to instantly communicate here in the third decade of the 21st Century, without which you would not be able to read these words.  Suffice it to say, gridiron wise, my life has not changed much since I left America; however, for America, things are changing; but for now let's focus on the one place we can all unite, the virtual stadium we sit in during every sporting event.

And so it was this week, the third version of the XFL took flight, with, as I watched, has been an unasked gift that has been presented to us for each of the three decades this Century by the world of professional wrestling.  Needless to say, this version, despite all its denials, has deep professional wrestling roots, and as a result it has echos of that first version of the league whom failed so spectacularly in front of our eyes in those innocent days before 9/11, Twitter, smart phones and streaming.  Yes, this is not your father's XFL, or even the one you fell in love with during those pre-pandemic weeks before the world felt another seismic change.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Here Comes the Long Bomb- Toronto & Montreal to the XFL

Sitting here on XFL kick off eve in Japan reading the news and catching up on all the articles regarding the latest bad news of the Montreal Alouettes.  After my hangry fueled essay yesterday I figured that it might be best to cool off and think about not where the CFL and the Als have been these last many years, but more importantly, where the CFL and all of its teams are heading... And in a few days, should the XFL launch be successful (which I believe will), and if my projections are correct, the XFL/CFL and USFL merger speculation will really heat up. Especially over at many of the leading advocates of such a merger, including all of the American based alt football branded news hubs. 

L’émission Spéciale Blue Light des Alouettes de Montréal

Attention aux acheteurs de Kmart. La vente des Alouettes de Montréal a maintenant commencé. L’offre de départ, c’est un dollar Canadien!

This lone hat represents all that is wrong
with the CFL, for it was the only one I
could find in the entire city during my
vacation there in November 2022.

Free agency began on the same day, ironically, that the news of the owners of the former Baltimore Stallions had given back the keys of the front office and ownership to Randy and the league office, As noted by the Ottawa Sun, "You have to admire Randy Ambrosie’s sense of comedic timing..."

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Where is My Damn XFL, CFL & USFL Video Game?

And Here We Go, Again...

Dear Jaded Spring Football Fan,

Well here we are, for yet another XFL launch. One that seems as promising as the last two (or three if we count the AAF as it was a bastard child of the original XFL), filled with all sorts of proclamations, energy, hype, etcetera. I would mention the new USFL, but unlike Vince, we weren't bombarded with hyperbolic proclamations and press events like each version of the XFL has done. No, USFL 2.0 kept their roll out low key and business like, unlike the over-the-top images the marketing arm of each version of the XFL has blasted into our living rooms and on to our social media feeds. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

It is Still "Our League"

(Originally published on March 15, 2021) As one of those few Americans who follows the CFL religiously but also lives in a country where anything not "NFL" is deemed inferior, the last week in Canadian football news has been, by all accounts, a very surreal one.  It began with the death of a beloved player and one who unfortunately, due to my lack of access to the Canadian airwaves 40 years ago, I never got to see play. The remembrance of him reminded me of the days after Walter Payton's untimely death here in the home of American pro football, Chicago (sorry Canton, but that is a fact).  We as fans both north and south love our heroes of the past. However, it abruptly turned when news broke about where the Canadian pro game is heading.

"It Was More Than Just a Game...."

So, as you take a look at the two videos below you may be thinking, this isn't CFL or for  that matter even football related. Oh dear reader, rest assured this is not click bait, but rather an ode to what it is that makes all of us root for our leagues and teams, the passion of being a fan.  As a Cubs fan from my earliest days (1977 to be exact is when baseball became part of my world) I think I know a few things about being not just a fan, but a long suffering one. I am also a die hard Arizona Cardinals fan, as well as a Bears and Sox fan, and like with many of the women who I have dated, I know disappointment.  However, that is not not why I am writing this, but rather to remind you, the reader, that whenever someone questions you on your CFL or XFL loyalty and passion, tell them to go stuff themselves, for they don't know what a true fan is if they are questioning your passion or loyalty for leagues and teams that many have neither heard or or care about.