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In honour of the second printing of her sold out book, here's a little back story

Photographer Johany Jutras in town to shoot Edmonton Eskimos for CFL
Terry Jones, Edmonton Sun August 29, 2015

You’ve heard of ‘Grey Cup Or Bust’?

It’s now the Johany Jutras story. Except in her case financially she was already bust before she embarked on a 75-day road trip to get to the big game.

Jutras is a 28-year-old French-Canadian female freelance photographer who sold everything she owned, including $7,000 of camera equipment, to follow her own ‘Grey Cup Or Bust’ dream.

Jutras woke up one morning and decided to sell everything she could get a dollar for and drive from one end of the league to the other. The idea was to spend a week with each CFL team including game day and try to tell the story in pictures about what made each unique and produce a high quality, full color hard cover book on the go to be ready to hit the printer Oct. 1 and be ready to go on sale at the Grey Cup in Winnipeg.

“I sold all my cameras for $7,000 and all my furniture. I only have a bed, a mattress and a couch left,” she said.

What photographer sells all her cameras and then hits the road to take pictures? She made a special deal with Nikon to borrow state-of-the-art equipment to take on the ‘Our League – Our Country’ book assignment.

“For me this is not a job. The toughest part is just not being anxious about the money. But if I had all they money in the world I would do the same, exact thing. I wouldn’t even change my car. I don’t care about money. I care about being happy and waking up and doing what I love most. It’s my passion.”

To some people in her life this seems like an absolutely insane thing to do.

“Everybody told me that when I had the idea. They tell me ‘You are crazy in the head. You are going away for three months and spending $20,000 that you don’t even have.’

“But I said ‘I think it’s a good idea and I think people will like it and people will buy the book.’ And since I began the trip, I get people telling me every day that they envy what I’m doing. ‘I’m so jealous of you. I would love to do that’ they tell me.

“My feeling is that the memories I’ll have from this summer … you can’t buy that. And when I get to Winnipeg at the Grey Cup there will be a big book launch with 5,000 books and hopefully I’ll have succeeded in illustrating what a great league, great country, great fans and great people are involved,” said Jutras.

It’s been a trip.

If this is the last week in August, this must be Edmonton.

Next week is Calgary. The week after it’s Vancouver. Then she’ll make the long drive home to Montreal to put it all together.

Oh, except one thing. There will be a quick flight from Calgary to Regina next Sunday because the Saskatchewan Roughriders were so impressed by her and her work, they wanted her to have a chance to shoot the scene around their annual Labour Day weekend game.

“I couldn’t believe they called to offer to pay my plane tickets and hotel to go back. They called to say ‘If you miss this day there is going to be an important thing missing in your book that you won’t understand if you’re not here.’

“I shivered when they said it.”

It’s been great since the beginning, she said.

“In Ottawa, to begin the journey, I had a very good experience. The Lumber Joe guys kind of adopted me.

“In Hamilton I was able to get up in a helicopter to shoot the stadium at night and, because of a lightning delay, I still had time to get back to shoot the game and the scene for a couple of quarters.

“I’d never been to Winnipeg before. Everybody just told me ‘You are going to hate that city’ and I loved it. I had fun and people were nice and friendly. One of the photographers there drove me to all the best shots to take photos. The team was super-nice, too.”

She discovered why Saskatchewan is considered the heartland of Canadian football. She got a picture of a farmer flying the Roughriders flag on his combine in a wheat field.

She did a rooftop shoot in Ottawa that worked well.

But not all her ideas turn into good pictures.

Thursday after the Eskimos practice she drove to Elk Island Park to try create a picture of bison kicking an Eskimos-logo football around.

“Elk Island was a disaster. The bison didn’t care at all. I threw two Eskimo-logo balls their way that I bought in the team store. They never even noticed. They never even moved. It was like they were blind.

“But those things happen. I always try to find something because I want the book to be unique. Sometimes it ends up like Hamilton with helicopter shots that are perfect. Sometimes it ends up like here with the bisons. Total fail! I wasted my entire afternoon.”

Jutras is planning a picture of three or four prominent Calgary Stampeders players in jerseys at Lake Louise. Hopefully that will work better.

She’s been granted access to every dressing room in the league except one (I’ll give you one guess which team that might have bEEn) to shoot the room on game day before the players arrived.

To me Johany Jutras is one of the best stories this CFL season. In a league that every now and then needs a little love, she’s been pouring her heart into it all season. And she’s been getting lots of love back.

This is a girl who grew up in Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Comseil, a Quebec of 541 residents, speaking no English, but taking pictures of her younger brother’s football games. She became completely captivated by the CFL shooting pictures of the Montreal Alouettes games on freelance assignment for Journal de Montreal and others.

“I grew up on a farm. My parents don’t speak any English at all,” she said of mom Sylvianne and dad Alain.

“My younger brothers, Dempsey, Jean-Sebastian and Karl-Philippe all played football. When I went to my first game with my parents, I thought the game was so boring and so long that I asked permission to go on the sideline and started to take pictures then.

“Two or three years ago I started a blog about football, then I got a job with Journal de Montreal as a free lancer shooting the Canadiens, the Alouettes and the Impact.”

At the time she didn’t have a clue she’d develop such an emotional attachment to the CFL or decide to embark on such an odyssey.

This entire journey, she believes was sort of meant to be from the beginning.

“Since as far as I can remember I always wanted to become a photographer. It’s inside me. It has evolved through the years.

“Seeing my brothers growing up I always wanted to be around and follow their football careers. I guess my dream became different. I became very passionate about football. I wanted to become a sports photographer. I always wanted to have the best shots, the most unique shots, on and off the field.

“For two complete seasons I shot every single CIS game in the province of Quebec. There were always three games every weekend. Some weekends it was driving from Montreal to Sherbrooke to Quebec City and back. I was doing it because I wanted to become better at it. I wanted to be around.

“When I’m on the field to shoot a game I think I feel the same way as a player. It’s tough to describe this feeling. I don’t really know how they feel because I’ve never played a football game in my life. But I can tell you I can feel their pain when they’re down on the field and also their emotions and feelings through my lens. It’s tough for me to describe with words but I could tell you a story with my photographs.

“This journey is a part of me that wants and needs to travel and discover new things, learn about different culture and meet new people. Another part of me is that I love our league and I want to show the whole country how great it is.

“There’s another part, too. I want to show the photography and media industries what I am capable of and what kind of photos I take. I want to build my future as well. As a freelance photographer living life with no guarantee at all, this is something you have to think about and build up.”

But more than anything it’s turning out to be about manufacturing memories.

“I have great memories all the way.”

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Eskimos great and former Alberta Lieutenant Governor Norman Kwong used to joke about his legacy
Terry Jones, Edmonton Sun September 03, 2016

CALGARY — Normie Kwong used to refer to me as ‘The Voice of Doom.’ When his phone rang and it was your correspondent on the line, his reaction was usually ‘OK, who died?’

Kwong was my go-to-guy to call to talk about an Eskimos teammate who had passed away. He was brilliant with the way he captured the essence of every one of them, offering a treasure trove of anecdotes and memories to celebrate the life of the latest absent friend.

When Kwong died here Saturday at age 86, there were almost no survivors of the 1950s Edmonton Eskimos glory gang to call to offer tribute to him. And nobody deserved the kind of eulogy that Kwong used to deliver only seconds after he absorbed the news of the death of a teammate, as the China Clipper deserves today himself.

He was one of the greatest Canadians ever to play the game and one of the greatest guys — one of the greatest characters — ever to walk through a clubhouse door.

The man who broke into the league with Les Lear’s celebrated 1948 Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders team that turned the game into the national celebration it is today, used to be a popular emcee on the sportsman’s dinner circuit, trumpeting himself as ‘The Living Legend.’

He was always making fun of himself when he went into that routine. But when Kwong died here yesterday there was no question that he’d been just that — an actual living legend in far more ways than just a football player.

In Edmonton he was, along with Jackie Parker, Johnny Bright and Rollie Miles, one of the Mount Rushmore figures of the 1954-55-56 Grey Cup champions.

Of course, Kwong, the great commedian, always had fun with that.

For years Bright and Kwong were the stars of the twin fullback formation head coach Pop Ivy invented to accommodate the two talents.

The two carried on a running Vaudeville routine that lasted well into their retirement years.

“In 10 years, Normie scored seventy touchdowns, and if you looked it up, he only had seventy yards rushing. I’d lug it down to the one, and he’d carry it in,” Bright would say.

“If Johnny blocked for me like I blocked for him, I’d have won the rushing title every year,” Kwong would respond.

Kwong actually scored seventy-seven touchdowns and rushed for 8,769 yards, second in club history to Bright’s 9,966. And Kwong’s totals come with an asterisk. The statistics from the first few years of Kwong’s career were never recorded. There were no statistics kept prior to 1952.

Few teams loved life more than the Edmonton Eskimos glory gang of the 1950s.

“Rollie Miles thought of it as a game. Johnny Bright thought of it as a war. Normie Kwong thought of it as a way to promote his laundry business. Jackie Parker thought of it as something to get out of the way so he could get on with the rest of his evening,” said Don Getty, when he inducted them to the Eskimos Wall of Honour years later.

We lost Getty, who went on to become Premier of the province of Alberta, earlier this year.

Kwong had an entire routine he worked up along those lines for sportsmen’s dinners, and always included this bit:

“Rollie Miles asked me one day what it felt like to play in the backfield between Bright and himself. He said ‘You must feel like the lemon icing in a chocolate cookie.’ ”

Kwong always seemed to be in the centre of everything.

“He practical-joked everybody,” said Bright.

Training camp was one of Kwong’s favourite times of the year. Being a Canadian, and one so obviously safe from competition, Kwong would tiptoe around the nervous Americans and have his fun.

“He knew he wasn’t getting cut, and he knew who was edgy,” said Morris. “He’d go to any length. He’d get road maps from every corner of North American, and he’d draw the best routes for the rookie to get home. He didn’t do anything halfway. He even gave rookies a list of three-star motels to stay at along the routes. Then he left the package in the player’s locker.

“He was at his best when Pop Ivy was coach. Pop didn’t like to call guys in to tell them they were cut. He’d just clean out their lockers. Normie loved that. He’d come to the locker room a few hours early and clean out a locker himself. He’d usually pick out a guy who was looking pretty good. I’ll never forget the time John Goff came into the dressing room. He was a good friend of Kwong, and he had the locker next to him. It was empty. He chased Kwong around the dressing room for half an hour trying to get him to confess where he hid his stuff. It really looked like Normie was playing this one to the hilt, and everyone was enjoying it. It turned out Ivy cleaned out the locker. Goff had really been cut.”

Frankie Anderson loved the time Kwong did it to Bob Heidenfelt.

“He was a pretty nice guy, and a pretty religious kid. He came into the room and saw his locker, and his face just dropped. It was the ultimate expression. He just couldn’t believe it. He trudged into Ivy’s office and said ‘Coach, I thought I was doing pretty good …’

“ ‘Kwong, you stupid …’ ” Ivy yelled instantly.

“One thing about Normie, he didn’t play a practical joke on somebody he didn’t like.”

You can’t spin stories about that team without mentioning gambling and drinking.

“I couldn’t believe some of those card games. The money just piled up. On a dead day, Jackie and Normie would play gin as long as they thought they could keep the bus waiting. I never saw two gamblers like them. They’d be standing by the elevators waiting for one to arrive at their floor, and would have a $20 bet on which one was going to stop for them.”

Bob Dean had one of the best stories along those lines.

“I remember one day it was so miserable outside that there just wasn’t anything to do. Nobody else was around. Normie and Jackie sat there and stared out the window. All of a sudden one of them says, ‘Ten dollars on the raindrops and I got this one.’ They sat there betting on which raindrop would get to the bottom of the windowpane first,” said Dean.

Jim Quondamatteo didn’t become one of the legendary names from that team, but in the fun and games department, Bugsy was big.

“Kwong called him ‘Bugsy’ because he looked like one of Al Capone’s boys,” said Frankie Anderson. “I was one of the losers in most of those card games. Kwong, Parker and Bugsy were usually the winners.”

“One day Quondamatteo confessed to me he was really worried he was going deaf,” remembered Kwong. “We were going on a road trip on one of those really noisy North Star planes, so I spread the word. Everybody went up to him and moved their lips as if they were talking to him. ‘Normie, I know I’m going deaf,’ he kept telling me. The topper was when Ivy came up to him and did it, too. Even the stewardess. Even better was the team meeting in Regina. We actually had a guy get up and mouth the whole talk. We had a signal for when to pretend to clap. It was beautiful.”

Bright, a player Kwong had nicknamed ‘Owl Brows’, in his first few years, had a problem of being easy to knock out.

“I’d go up to him and touch him on the head and say ‘Goodnight, John.’ The problem began at Drake University with a fellow named Wilbank Smith, who broke Johnny’s jaw in a famous incident in which the picture made Life magazine. I’d go up behind Johnny and just yell ‘Wilbank’ real loud sometimes.”

Kwong, make no mistake, enjoyed life like few who ever played the game. And, boy, could he play the game.

The Schenley Award winner as most outstanding Canadian in 1955 and 1956, Kwong was the son of immigrants from Canton, China, who was named Canadian athlete of the year in 1955. The following year, Kwong set the CFL record for most yards rushing by a Canadian, with 1,437 yards, the ultimate of the 30 records he established in his career. The record lasted 56 years until Jon Cornish broke it in 18 games, three more than Kwong played to set it.

During his 14-year career, Kwong was a CFL All-Star five times, and a West All-Star eight times. He’s a three-time inductee to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, once with the 1948 Calgary Stampeders, once with the 1954-55-56 Eskimos, and once on his own.

Kwong was inducted into the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1975, but he wasn’t finished his career in sports.

It was, perhaps, fitting that he should die on Labour Day weekend and the traditional Edmonton-Calgary game.

Calgary has an equal reason to celebrate the life of Kwong today, too.

He became a part owner of the Calgary Flames of the NHL, one of the original six businessmen who bought the Atlanta Flames, and moved it to Calgary.

When the Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989, the man who had his name on the Grey Cup in 1948, 1954, 1955 and 1956, became one of a very short list of people who had their names on both trophies.

Kwong was made president and general manager of the Stampeders in 1988 after a SOS (Save Our Stamps) crisis, promising he’d bring Edmonton Eskimos stability to the organization, and hiring Wally Buono as his head coach. They had Calgary in the Grey Cup game by 1991.

And his life is to be celebrated by all Albertans as well.

Receiving the Order of Canada in 1998, Kwong became the first person of Chinese heritage to be accorded the honour when he was named the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta in 2005. He finished his term in 2010.

Few people in the entire history of Alberta were ever loved by so many as Norman Lim Kwong.

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55 minutes ago, Joe MacCarthy said:

It's not bogus, it's exactly what he said, Glad you changed your comment because it was about to be corrected.

Not trying to be controversial. Madani just insinuated that the previously reported numbers were inaccurate. It is frustrating when they don't use a consistent viewership metric.

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1 minute ago, masster said:

Not trying to be controversial. Madani just insinuated that the previously reported numbers were inaccurate. It is frustrating when they don't use a consistent viewership metric.

I'll be controversial, that CFL hating Rogers shill Trash Madani has now turned to soccer, particularly my love, the CMNT.  I quote. "Atiba Hutchinson committed to playing for Canada his entire career. A pro's pro. His national team career essentially wasted. A damn shame"  And there's some other insulting stuff as well.

So playing for your country is a waste?  Even Bob McCown who people think is a Rogers shill, shot Madani down over shilling for the company.  He's such a disgrace of negative spin that the CFL PR guy called him out. When has a league employee ever called out a reporter for bias?

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10 minutes ago, masster said:

It is frustrating when they don't use a consistent viewership metric.

Don't quote me on this but those unique view numbers seem to be released first before the average viewership numbers are compiled.  And then they're released by social media quickly.

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The Great Canadian Ratings Report: Labour Day produces classic TV audiences for CFL
Chris Zelkovich Eh Game 7 September, 2016

It's long been said that the CFL season doesn't really get started until Labour Day, which always made more than a few people wonder why so many fans bothered to show up those first two months.

Regardless, it's a long-standing belief and the CFL is certainly hoping that it bears out this season. If this year's Labour Day Classic schedule is any indication, the league is in for a big bounceback in its television numbers.

Prior to the first weekend in September, CFL ratings were showing some improvement: up 7 per cent overall and up an impressive 14 per cent in the much-valued 18-49 age bracket.

But after this Labour Day, the league is no doubt dreaming of bigger numbers ahead.

The most encouraging sign was the average of 902,000 viewers who tuned in to watch a wild-and-crazy game between the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday. That was a 60 per cent jump over the 559,000 who watched last year's game.

It was the most-watched CFL game of the season for TSN and the most-watched Hamilton-Toronto Labour Day game in seven years.

Taking into account the belief that these two teams reside in the most challenging media market in the league, that's pretty impressive. Take into account that a total of 2.9 million Canadians watched at least some of the game and you have the potential for big growth.

If enough of those liked what they saw - and what wasn't to like in a 49-36 game that featured an incredible comeback? - the Argos and Ticats just created a few more loyal followers. (The Labour Day games in Calgary and Saskatchewan both had 2.3 million total viewers and there's no doubt some of them might be back, too.)

The other Labour Day weekend games weren't quite as impressive, but still not discouraging. The Edmonton-Calgary game averaged 781,000 viewers, up 3 per cent from last year. The Winnipeg-Saskatchewan game on Sunday averaged 889,000, a 20 per cent drop from 2015.

But when you take into account that one of those teams - the Roughriders - went into the game at 1-8, a double-digit drop isn't that worrisome.

Despite those strong numbers, the weekend was dominated by the Toronto Blue Jays, who hit the million mark in three of four games on the holiday weekend. Their games were the most-watched TV programs in the country on Friday and Saturday.

The Jays averaged 1.2 million viewers per game in August, which oddly enough is actually an 8 per cent drop from the same month in 2015.

The reasons? One was an outsized game against the New York Yankees last year that hit the 2 million mark. Another might be that the fan base, so energized last year, is starting to lose faith as the Jays stumble a bit.

But a few wins, and a weekend series against Boston, should change that.

Here are the most-watched sports events on English-language television over the Labour Day long weekend,according to Numeris overnight ratings:

1. MLB, Blue Jays at Rays, Friday, Sportsnet: 1,400,000
2. MLB, Blue Jays at Rays, Saturday, Sportsnet: 1,160,000
3. MLB, Blue Jays at Rays, Sunday, Sportsnet: 1,130,000
4. MLB, Blue Jays at Yankees, Monday, Sportsnet: 926,000
5. CFL, Argonauts at Tiger-Cats, Monday, TSN: 902,000
6. CFL, Blue Bombers at Roughriders, Sunday, TSN: 889,000
7. CFL, Eskimos at Stampeders, Monday, TSN: 781,000
8. MLB, Red Sox at Athletics, Sunday, Sportsnet: 393,000
9. MLB, Red Sox at Padres, Monday, Sportsnet: 295,000
10. Auto racing, F1 Italian Grand Prix, Sunday, TSN: 222,000
11. PGA, Deutsche Bank Challenge, Sunday, Global: 157,000
12. MLB, Red Sox at Athletics, Saturday, Sportsnet: 137,000
13. Tennis, U.S. Open third round, Saturday, TSN: 118,000
14. Soccer, Canada vs. Honduras, Friday, TSN: 115,000
15. Tennis, U.S. Open round of 16, Sunday, TSN: 110,000
16. Tennis, U.S. Open second round, Friday, TSN: 100,000

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And afternoon out at an Argonauts game proves as entertaining and fun as to be expected
Doug Smith Sports Reporter thestar.com Sept. 12, 2016
...
It’s obvious that things haven’t gone quite as well on the field for the Argos this season as they had hoped – yesterday’s win over Hamilton notwithstanding – but I have to report first-hand that they have made the “experience” of attending a game at BMO Field quite something.

Completely in the interest of first-hand investigation – and at the behest of long-time Argo fan Baseball Steve and a gaggle of other Ferrins and sundry very cool relatives and friends -- going to the game yesterday turned out to be one of the more excellent sporting days out in a long time.

And total credit to the Argos and whichever civic licensing boards were involved because from star to finish, it was an event.

The tailgate party is tremendous at so many levels, with families of all shapes and sizes hanging out and having fun, barbecues going, relatively inexpensive beer was plentiful if that’s your sort of thing and there was collegial atmosphere that kind of caught me by surprise.

I’ve done tailgates at Bills games and they seem a bit overwhelming, with a lot of people keeping to themselves, at least more than they were at the Argos yesterday where everyone seemed to chat with everyone else, Argo fans joked with Ticat fans with little animosity and any time you can be serenaded by the ArgoNotes as you traipse over to the park is a good finish to an afternoon.

I’m sure the atmosphere had a lot to with the late afternoon weekend start time and the exceptional weather but it was an outstanding time I would recommend to anyone, even if guzzling beer outside with your buddies isn’t your cup of tea, so to speak.

The park itself is excellent on a nice day, fine sightlines, seats right on the field and the only thing they need to do is put some kind of auxiliary scoreboard on the south end of the stadium – we sat in the northwest corner and had a hard time craning the old neck to see down and distance.

I don’t know what the attendance was – it struck me as smaller than I would have thought – but I would bet anyone who went to the game enjoyed themselves.

(Okay, maybe not the thousands of Ticat fans who made the GO Train trip home right after the game a crush of humanity, but you get my drift).

I’ve long held that outdoor football on a crisp late summer or fall afternoon in Toronto would be fun; turns out I was right.

And yeah, we’re already making plans for the Thanksgiving Day game. Some of you should, too.

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On September 9, 2016 at 6:55 PM, Joe MacCarthy said:

The Great Canadian Ratings Report: Labour Day produces classic TV audiences for CFL
Chris Zelkovich Eh Game 7 September, 2016

It's long been said that the CFL season doesn't really get started until Labour Day, which always made more than a few people wonder why so many fans bothered to show up those first two months.

Regardless, it's a long-standing belief and the CFL is certainly hoping that it bears out this season. If this year's Labour Day Classic schedule is any indication, the league is in for a big bounceback in its television numbers.

Prior to the first weekend in September, CFL ratings were showing some improvement: up 7 per cent overall and up an impressive 14 per cent in the much-valued 18-49 age bracket.

But after this Labour Day, the league is no doubt dreaming of bigger numbers ahead.

The most encouraging sign was the average of 902,000 viewers who tuned in to watch a wild-and-crazy game between the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday. That was a 60 per cent jump over the 559,000 who watched last year's game.

It was the most-watched CFL game of the season for TSN and the most-watched Hamilton-Toronto Labour Day game in seven years.

Taking into account the belief that these two teams reside in the most challenging media market in the league, that's pretty impressive. Take into account that a total of 2.9 million Canadians watched at least some of the game and you have the potential for big growth.

If enough of those liked what they saw - and what wasn't to like in a 49-36 game that featured an incredible comeback? - the Argos and Ticats just created a few more loyal followers. (The Labour Day games in Calgary and Saskatchewan both had 2.3 million total viewers and there's no doubt some of them might be back, too.)

The other Labour Day weekend games weren't quite as impressive, but still not discouraging. The Edmonton-Calgary game averaged 781,000 viewers, up 3 per cent from last year. The Winnipeg-Saskatchewan game on Sunday averaged 889,000, a 20 per cent drop from 2015.

But when you take into account that one of those teams - the Roughriders - went into the game at 1-8, a double-digit drop isn't that worrisome.

Despite those strong numbers, the weekend was dominated by the Toronto Blue Jays, who hit the million mark in three of four games on the holiday weekend. Their games were the most-watched TV programs in the country on Friday and Saturday.

The Jays averaged 1.2 million viewers per game in August, which oddly enough is actually an 8 per cent drop from the same month in 2015.

The reasons? One was an outsized game against the New York Yankees last year that hit the 2 million mark. Another might be that the fan base, so energized last year, is starting to lose faith as the Jays stumble a bit.

But a few wins, and a weekend series against Boston, should change that.

Here are the most-watched sports events on English-language television over the Labour Day long weekend,according to Numeris overnight ratings:

1. MLB, Blue Jays at Rays, Friday, Sportsnet: 1,400,000
2. MLB, Blue Jays at Rays, Saturday, Sportsnet: 1,160,000
3. MLB, Blue Jays at Rays, Sunday, Sportsnet: 1,130,000
4. MLB, Blue Jays at Yankees, Monday, Sportsnet: 926,000
5. CFL, Argonauts at Tiger-Cats, Monday, TSN: 902,000
6. CFL, Blue Bombers at Roughriders, Sunday, TSN: 889,000
7. CFL, Eskimos at Stampeders, Monday, TSN: 781,000
8. MLB, Red Sox at Athletics, Sunday, Sportsnet: 393,000
9. MLB, Red Sox at Padres, Monday, Sportsnet: 295,000
10. Auto racing, F1 Italian Grand Prix, Sunday, TSN: 222,000
11. PGA, Deutsche Bank Challenge, Sunday, Global: 157,000
12. MLB, Red Sox at Athletics, Saturday, Sportsnet: 137,000
13. Tennis, U.S. Open third round, Saturday, TSN: 118,000
14. Soccer, Canada vs. Honduras, Friday, TSN: 115,000
15. Tennis, U.S. Open round of 16, Sunday, TSN: 110,000
16. Tennis, U.S. Open second round, Friday, TSN: 100,000

The NFL never made it on here?

Edit: NVMD this is last week.

Edited by Macksam

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It's back!

CFL ON TSN Delivers a Triple Threat of Live Mic Broadcasts on Thanksgiving Weekend
CFL ON TSN’s special Live Mic Broadcasts return to deliver another immersive experience throughout three games this weekend, allowing fans to listen to multiple quarterbacks, defensive players, and coaches, each wearing live microphones all game long

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 — TORONTO (October 5, 2016) – With the CFL season coming to a close and with playoff implications on the line, TSN’s groundbreaking Live Mic Broadcasts return featuring an expanded slate of marquee matchups airing throughout Thanksgiving weekend.

TSN delivers a slate of three Live Mic Broadcasts this weekend, including:

• Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Ottawa REDBLACKS on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. ET on TSN
• BC Lions vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. ET on TSN
• Edmonton Eskimos vs. Montreal Alouettes on Monday, Oct. 10 at 12:30 p.m. ET on TSN

From the sidelines to the huddle, CFL ON TSN Live Mic Broadcasts take fans deeper into the game, featuring in-game sound from the quarterbacks and coaches of all six teams, including Saskatchewan (Darian Durant and Chris Jones, respectively), Ottawa (Trevor Harris and Rick Campbell), BC (Jonathon Jennings and Wally Buono), Winnipeg (Matt Nichols and Mike O’Shea), Edmonton (Mike Reilly and Jason Maas), and Montreal (Rakeem Cato and Jacques Chapdelaine).

In addition, BC Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian and Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive end Trent Corney will be wearing live mics, as well as each team’s backup quarterback.

"The CFLPA is thrilled to work with TSN and the CFL to build off the success of the inaugural Live Mic‎ Broadcast,” said Jeff Keeping, CFLPA President. “We are excited to share this unique experience with our great fans and have them in the huddle with our players during our Thanksgiving weekend games.‎"

“Earlier this season we broke ground on an innovative concept, delivering the first-ever regular season CFL Live Mic Broadcast from coast-to-coast-to-coast,” said Paul Graham, Vice-President and Executive Producer, Live Events, TSN. “Thanks to a great collaboration with the CFL, the CFLPA, and the teams, we’re thrilled to expand this feature on Thanksgiving weekend and hear even more live, in-the-moment reactions from CFL quarterbacks and coaches.”

The CFL ON TSN’s Live Mic Broadcasts feature the network’s acclaimed broadcast teams, featuring play-by-play commentators Chris Cuthbert and Rod Black, alongside game analysts Glen Suitor and Duane Forde.

The games also feature the CFL ON TSN panel – including host Rod Smith alongside analysts Chris Schultz, Matt Dunigan, and Milt Stegall – from the TSN Studio to deliver pre-game, halftime, and post-game news and analysis.

Fans can follow photos, videos, and viral content from the CFL ON TSN’s Live Mic Broadcast on TSN’s official Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter accounts.

The CFL ON TSN’s inaugural Live Mic Broadcast saw a total of 2.4 million Canadians tune in for this unique broadcast experience in a matchup between the Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, Aug. 28

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Looks like interest in the Grey Cup is in serious decline:

http://www.torontosun.com/2016/10/11/time-to-panic-lots-of-tickets-available-for-grey-cup-game-in-toronto

...A quick look at the Ticketmaster website reveals plenty of blue dots, which represent available seats at BMO Field. There are a few sections where only a handful of seats have been sold. Sara Moore, the 104th Grey Cup's chief operating officer, wouldn't reveal Tuesday how many tickets have been sold, but anyone can see via Ticketmaster that approximately half of the 35,000 tickets are available...

...The large number of available Grey Cup tickets less than seven weeks before the big game has simply continued an alarming trend for the three down loop.

Less than a decade ago the game would be sold out before Labour Day. Slowly but surely the sellout date has crept closer to game day, and the 2014 Grey Cup game at BC Place ended up nearly 1,500 tickets short of a packed house. Last year's Grey Cup at Winnipeg's Investors Group Field, which had the second smallest capacity for the title game in 40 years, didn't sell every ticket until two days before the game...

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How much of the poor ticket sales can be attributed to ticket prices? We went to the Sask v Wpg Cup and I think tickets were about $100 (nose bleed section at SkyDome). Tor v Cal four years ago sat under the big screen (end zone) and I think tickets were about $150. Now, the cheapest endzone tickets are $265. Most of the BMO Field will be $300 to $600 per seat. I wouldn't even consider going at these prices. They made a terrible mistake in pricing the public out of the game.

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2 hours ago, RickC said:

How much of the poor ticket sales can be attributed to ticket prices? We went to the Sask v Wpg Cup and I think tickets were about $100 (nose bleed section at SkyDome). Tor v Cal four years ago sat under the big screen (end zone) and I think tickets were about $150. Now, the cheapest endzone tickets are $265. Most of the BMO Field will be $300 to $600 per seat. I wouldn't even consider going at these prices. They made a terrible mistake in pricing the public out of the game.

You said it. I'd consider going for $100. At $300, though, it's out of the question.

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$169 seems to have been the low end of the range and most of those are gone. Judging from the prices, they must have thought BMO Field was going to kick new life into the CFL in a Toronto context, but instead the Argos are struggling to even attract people with freebies at the moment.

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...but meanwhile in Toronto the mainstream sports media finally seem to be realizing what has long been obvious. The MLS team has eclipsed the CFL team in terms of interest:

https://www.thestar.com/sports/tfc/2016/10/31/tfc-showing-who-bmos-main-tenants-are-cox.html

The contrast was just too great, too utterly convincing, to ignore.

In the same stadium where the Toronto Argonauts drew tiny crowds all season, the same BMO Field that was supposed to save the CFL in this city, Toronto FC attracted a capacity audience on Sunday night for a raucous, thrilling playoff game against New York City FC and in doing so made a statement.

This was the moment TFC clearly became No. 4 in this sports town, passing the Argos, the oldest franchise in the city.

Passion has vanquished history.

Those who follow the Reds will have a giggle at this statement, believing they left the CFL in their dust long ago, and they may be right. For years, even in the face of strong evidence that suggested the Argos were in serious decline as a sporting concern in the GTA, it was difficult to give TFC it’s due, largely because the team was lousy most of the time and missed the playoffs for the first eight years of its existence.

Traditional media outlets stuck stubbornly to the belief that the Argos still mattered to significant numbers of people and pro soccer couldn’t grow because it never had.

But you just can’t make that case anymore....

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And you feel the need to troll this in the CFL thread why?  I have had many opportunities to troll your TFC thread.  I kept quiet about the sexist sign about the Montreal women when you played the Impact.  TFC and sexism seem to go hand in hand.  I didn't troll you when your playoff game rated 66k and then the biggest game in the team's playoff history rated what? 200k half of a relatively poorly rated CFL game.  If you want to go there great I'll start trolling your thread because there is plenty of ammo.

What will you do if the Argos start getting better crowds?  They only need 25k not the whole GTA.  The management totally underestimated the market, now they have a tough road but that isn't a road that hasn't been trod by almost every team in the leagu3and they all came back .  Who was it that just wrote the article that interest in TFC doesn't extend ten feet beyond BMO.  If you want to go there in the MLS thread, no problem, I'll go there..

I don't need anybody telling me about how poorly the Toronto Argos did last year.  But I choose to want to build something up not tear it down, the fact that you and many of your boys want to try and kill the Argos and CFL is not only reprehensible but also shows your insecurity and that you still feel threatened, by what I don't know.

How convenient that the author is Damien Cox, an avowed Rogers shill.

Aside from a few idiots, most CFL fans could care less about TFC and there's a big difference between that and wanting to see them die.  Fans were just happy the Argos got out of the clutches of Rogers and into BMO. 

I just want to see a strong Argo franchise, if it makes you feel better that TFC has eclipsed them, great, shoot your wad.  Remember as I said long ago even if both teams draw their best TFC still will be a bigger draw as they have a 5k seat larger capacity.  Good for them.

Edited by Joe MacCarthy

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8 hours ago, Joe MacCarthy said:

And you feel the need to troll this in the CFL thread why?

You feel the need to spam a soccer forum with CFL propaganda why? More from the article:

...The Argos drew an average of 16,380 fans, with crowds as low as 12,373. In a shrinking league in which average attendance for the nine teams is now less than 25,000 (it was 29,166 a decade ago) the Toronto squad is disappearing out of sight...

Meanwhile, the recent controversy over price-slashing for the Nov. 27 Grey Cup game at BMO Field hasn’t helped create any better feelings about the Argos. After setting sky-high prices for the games and drawing a moderate response from the public, ticket prices were reduced, which might help fill the stadium but incensed those who had bought at the initial prices.

In a fall in which Toronto sports fans have had to dig deep already for the World Cup of Hockey and Blue Jays playoff games, it will be interesting indeed to see whether the Argos and the CFL can fill BMO Field for the Grey Cup contest.

It’s hard to see how the Argos can survive this, although being owned by TSN and Larry Tanenbaum at least offers deep pockets and commitment. It’s surely better than being owned by David Braley...

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