"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)

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. 

While there has been in the past a lot of Alex Jones like XFL conspiracy talk and speculation, especially by those who don't know a "province" from a "providence," any talk of any move by any team from the CFL to an American centered league is, at least for the moment, premature. I mean it could happen, but there is so much that needs to happen first before any agreement can be signed that the list of items that need to be agreed upon are damn near endless. However, before we start, we need to look back at where we have been, and for this writer, one must look back at both the failed American CFL expansion and the attempt by Vince McMahon to buy his way into the CFL, which in turn led to the creation of the first failed XFL.

In terms of the CFL experience in America, there are many great books that cover the subject, including "Canadian Football 1983-1994: Gone South" and "End Zones and Border Wars." Additionally, there is wonderful short documentary about the Baltimore Stallions and their short rise and fall as America's Canadian football champions.

When XFL "diehards" talk merger, they often show their ignorance of not just Canadian football, but of Canada in general. Which, for a guy like me, who was born and raised in what used to be Quebec (hyperbole for "I was born and raised in an area of Illinois that was settled by French Canadians"), drives me nuts. These fans of a twice failed league and who also have blind faith in "The Rock," did not, at least in 2021, know much of what the CFL was and is all about.  However, now that time has passed and these XFL know it all's have spent some time watching the CFL on ESPN+, they have a better idea of what the challenges any merger or alliance might entail.

And in future articles, I will try to examine them all. However, as I am in Japan, it's time to watch some sumo and eat sashimi! Sayonara and oyasumi my friends. 

Your Man in Japan

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