Unless St. Louis want's to wait another 20 years for the NFL to grant us another team (as LA did), the CFL is our best option to have Professional Football in St. Louis. So, do we waste our time begging the NFL for the next 2 decades (or more) or do we get creative, and strategic, and develop a football franchise that is uniquely St. Louis?
There is a very good reason it did not work out. One expansion to too many cities at once, secondly the US coaches understanding of the Canadian game was lacking and then you have those that no matter if they had a team in their city would only watch the NFL. Most American fans are so hooked on the NFL hype that they would not support a franchise. The American fan does not realize the difference in the game it is football at the end of the day. But the players need to be faster on the line of scrimmage and coaches require better knowledge of the game if they implement game plans suitable for the NFL they will get taken to the cleaners. Coaches fail to realize a bigger field is tougher on defenses fast defensive players are required. The game is more passing! A coach that loves the passing game would love it of course. But these are truly the problem with the expansion to the USA. Any thoughts how to get around this?
Here's why it will work. Coaching wasn't the issue in 1995. If it were, American-born Baltimore Stallions coached, Don Matthews, who easily made the transition from college football in the U.S. to the CFL, wouldn't hold the record for most Grey Cup wins and appearances in Canada. And if Americans didn't understand and support Canadian football, the Baltimore Stallions wouldn't have averaged 37, 347 in attendance (best in the CFL) in 1994. The problem for the CFL was the NFL, and nothing more. When the NFL saw how successful the Baltimore Stallions were as a team, and the enthusiastic fan support that the CFL enjoyed in Baltimore, the NFL felt threatened, and immediately took Cleveland's team and relocated them to Baltimore. The NFL then began promising NFL teams to all of the other CFL cities in the U.S. in order to kill fan support for the CFL. But, once all the teams had folded and the CFL threat was no longer there, the NFL reneged on their promise.
After being screwed twice by the NFL, St. Louis is no longer looking in their direction as an option for having Professional Football in St. Louis. But what's really great about the CFL, is that St. Louis and all of America loves football, and hate that the NFL shuts down right after Super Bowl and doesn't start back until the fall. During the summer, American football fans, along with every bookie in Vegas, and every sports bar franchise across the country are starving for football action. Which means the American summer could actually belongs to the CFL in every football-starving town in America. That is, if the CFL promoted and utilize the right strategy to market it to the U.S.
As a Canadian, I love both the NFL and the CFL because they offer me what I like and that´s entertainment. I love football and enjoy cheering for my favorite teams (NFL and CFL). I have friends in St. Louis and, needless to say, they have expressed their disappointment and the feeling that they have been betrayed in what has happened. You make a lot of good points (all of them in fact). American and Canadian fans are very loyal to their teams – they celebrate when they win and suffer when things go badly. No matter what happens, they wear the colors of their teams proudly. Of all the points you have made, the one that stands out to me (and possibly to the CFL higher ups) is that “the problem for the CFL was the NFL, and nothing more. When the NFL saw how successful the Baltimore Stallions were as a team, and the enthusiastic fan support that the CFL enjoyed in Baltimore, the NFL felt threatened, and immediately took Cleveland's team and relocated them to Baltimore”. The question asked by the CFL management, is what happens when St. Louis because successful like Baltimore? Does the NFL move back into St. Louis again and kick the CFL out?
I´d love to see American teams in the CFL because of the passion seen by their fans (Baltimore is the perfect example). Personally, I miss seeing Baltimore and the other American teams in the CFL. I hope the idea becomes a reality.
When the CFL becomes successful in St. Louis, I find it difficult to believe very many St. Louisans would welcome the NFL back to town with open arms.
We have been lied to, repeatedly, by the League and Rams' management. Also, knowing that every NFL team onwer, except Oakland and San Diego, voted to allow the relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles was the final insult to our city.
I, for one, have left the NFL for dead. I have not watched one minute of League programming since the move was approved. I have found quite a number of St. Louis Rams fan who feel the very same way.
That's what people in Baltimore said too, but the minute the NFL announced it was coming back the Stallions were as dead as week old roadkill.
Monty, I don't know the full details in Baltimore, but we were told that we would qualify for $100M for our stadium project, only to have that rescinded at the last minute; we were told that the Rams had NO plans to move, only to find out that plans were made as early as 2012; and we were unjustly described as unfit to host an NFL team by StanK(roenke), which poisoned the well for any other team's ownership looking for a new venue.
If, as has been discussed, the Dome falls under the wrecking ball and is reconfigured as a convention-only facility, any team coming to St. Louis, either by expansion or relocation, will first need to secure a place to play.
That won't happen here. First, the Rams move from here was approved by the NFL 30-2. The NFL does not believe that we are an NFL caliber city. They do believe that about Baltimore. Secondly, the owners of the Raiders, Chargers, and Jaguars have stated explicitly that they have NO interest in moving a team here. We threw them a $400M dollar carrot (subsidy) and no one is biting. That speaks volumes. Las Vegas, San Antonio, London, and Mexico City are considered viable candidates above St. Louis.
Just want to say good luck on your cause, from a hockey-hating Canadian. Though your stadium would need a renovation to fit a CFL-sized field.
As for the ratio issue, for the best chance for success, the team should employ a certain quota of Missouri born players (and/or surrounding states).
Yes that could work for the ratio aspect. But then again US coaching do not know the dynamics of the Canadian game. All though most coaches in the Canadian game today are American but it took them years as assistant coaching to finally get the idea of the bigger field, motion in the back field and three downs. Fair catch for some reason I remember in a CFL game in Vegas I was at the returner on a punt called for a fair catch and almost got killed.
Edward Jones Dome is designed to allow multiple stadium, seating and convention configurations. The entire lower seating section is moveable. If you ever go to the St. Louis Auto show you'll notice the different configurations.
Yes, the content rule in Canada is very interesting when you consider the fact that most players in the NFL do not play on teams in the city or state where they originate. In fact most teams have none or only a very few players that are actually from the city where the team plays. But, if Canadian teams desire player from Canada or their particular province, then, that should be respected. And since Canadian fans wouldn't have any provincial connection to the cities where teams play in the U.S., the team makeup of the U.S. teams shouldn't be an issue for them.
However, the solution to this issue could actually be an easy one. Create a draft system that's designed specifically to address any disparities in team talent between the winningest and losingest teams.
Yes, any US team would need a coaching staff familiar with CFL rules, which--correct me if I am wrong--was one of the reasons for the failure of CFL USA. But if bereft of an adequate supply of suitable coaches, the STL CFL team could always do what Saskatchewan did and poach their whole coaching staff (perhaps from Saskatchewan itself, fittingly enough). Part of the appeal of the CFL game is the larger sized field and the three down rules.
Thankfully, there will be no US division this time, maybe only one, two or three US teams (ala CHL the Portland Winterhawks).