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Heading into Grey Cup?  Also I think they really pissed off a lot of people with their unwritten stance against the league which I think they have definitely lessened.  They even now allow Donnovan Bennett (a lifelong CFL fan) to get an article in here and there.

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On 11/16/2017 at 6:18 PM, Complete Homer said:

Could make a good partner for SEA when the time comes for a permanent stadium, if it has legs

Can't wait to see a team in Halifax(Maritimes) and hopefully one in Quebec City and another in the west(Victoria?) one day.

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I'll be honest, these last season has left me with a sour taste in my mouth, at least with the Ti-Cats. Espcially when combined with last year's decline.

They lost two coordinators and a line coach in very short order, and while bigger and better may be at work, most other CFL franchises don't lose staff that quickly to the NCAA of all places.

They then go into the off season and signed one single player during free agency which in the CFL is where you live and die for personnel, despite the fact we've hemorrhaged receivers the last few years.

They follow that up with having a combined 20 rookies/sophomores on the gameday roster at the start of the season. They started a rookie import offensive lineman (which is completely absurd), knew they had lost personnel at receiver and didn't replace any of them (even knowing Andy Fantuz was going to be out for the first half of the season). They also produce a rather pourus secondary (although slightly more understandable as their one FA signing got hurt early in the season).

Despite these issues, they still try to run a pass first offense, so we lose the first 4 games of the season and then they then fire their Defensive coordinator, which I suppose was understandable as their were issues on defense, but continue to not address the clear offensive personnel and play calling issues and lose 60-1 to Calgary. We then have our head coach step down, after her hires a consultant coach, he then goes 0-8 and steps down, but in truth steps up into management as a VP and the consultant coach takes over.

At this point the organization decides to try and hire Art Briles, in one of the most brain dead, disgusting moves I've ever seen. After international backlash, the team CEO doubles down on the hiring and it takes the commissioner of the CFL to step in to stop them from hiring the guy.

We then barely break .500 for the reset of the season, by winning two games against the worst team in the league, beaten and then getting beaten by the next two worst teams in the league and then pulling out a decent win against Winnipeg. The season then ends of players in secret sound off to the media saying if that former head coach is still with the org, they aren't signing.

Throughout all of this, a single person has been fired by the organization. A defensive coordinator. Am I off base for wanting some accountability here? Does anyone recall the last time a team had the bad a train wreck of a season with both on and off field issues and the management staff managed to survive it?

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I think you are beating a dead horse because the team in my estimation rebounded fairly well from what you've called a train wreck season (I guess i would too).  The team seems to be moving forward but attaching an anchor to them of past issues serves what purpose exactly?

The only issue I can see is if Austin is the guy to run the ship going forward.  He has Young's backing and certainly has seemed "humbled" by this terrible season.  If he can stay "humbled" and learn from that disastrous season I'd keep him, if not, it's time to usher him to the door.

There has been a lot of positive vibes for the league in what happened in Toronto Sunday, seems a shame to detract from that with past issues many of which were overcome.

I'll get myself in trouble here but WTH, I do anyway.  I have some problems with the whole Briles thing.  He was found guilty by association, there was never enough evidence to charge him let alone convict him and we in this country get on our self appointed moral high horse.  We pay off a murderous teenager and make excuses for him to high heaven but don't see fit to look into Briles' case too closely other than to take the word of ESPN which is becoming the sports' fake news equivalent of CNN.

I honestly don't know if the TiCats were sincere in trying to give him a second chance (The CFL and Canadian Way) or if they cynically wanted to try and sneak him in there.  It is super easy for people to judge and crucify this guy but I wonder how they would have acted in his shoes.

I'm not going to get into it because frankly I'm not interested enough or care enough about it to do the research and have a proper discussion about it.  Rightly or wrongly, I'm just giving ol' Joe Mac's politically incorrect opinion.

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On 11/20/2017 at 10:10 AM, -Hammer- said:

Does anyone recall the last time a team had the bad a train wreck of a season with both on and off field issues and the management staff managed to survive it?

How is the Als GM still there?:(

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Sunday’s CFL playoff games watched by 1.4M on TSN and RDS
TSN.ca Staff November 21 2017

Sunday’s nail-biting CFL PLAYOFFS doubleheader were watched by 1.4 million Canadians on TSN and RDS, overnight data from Numeris confirms. The CFL’s Eastern and Western Finals grew 19% with total viewers on the two networks over last year, with almost 6 million Canadians watching some or all of the finals.

On TSN, the CFL’s Eastern and Western Finals saw double digit increases across all key adult demos, with growth in A18-34 (+39%), A18-49 (+27%), and A25-54 (+16%), and both finals matchups ranked in the Top 3 programs of the day on Sunday behind only the AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS on CTV.

The Eastern and Western Finals delivered strong results in the Toronto/GTA market, with viewing of both games more than doubling (+115%) compared to last year. In Calgary, audiences for both games also grew 31% vs last year, with the Eastern and Western Finals ranking as the #1 and #2 programs of the day in the Calgary market.

The Eastern Final, featuring Saskatchewan @ Toronto attracted an average audience of 1.5 million as the Argos secured a win with a last-minute touchdown drive, leading to a 25-21 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In the Western Final, an average audience of 1.4 million viewers watched as Calgary withstood a valiant fourth-quarter rally from Edmonton to claim a 32-28 victory.

The CFL PLAYOFFS culminate with complete live coverage of the 105th GREY CUP presented by Shaw – one of 60+ iconic championships that live on TSN – live from Ottawa’s TD Place Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET on TSN and RDS.

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Having watched my first Argos game on TV since the 100th Grey Cup and honestly feel I don't value this team enough. Like I want my teams to do well and want the CPL but ignore the ONE team that has won my home multiple league championships during my adult life that's done so in what is legit CANADA'S LONE PRO LEAGUE. Like fuck me. The game was entertaining and reminded me why I liked CFL as a young kid. Next year I'll do my best to give the Argos some love.

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If you watched that whole game and stayed with it, while not being much of a fan in the past, you were certainly rewarded.  The CFL and the Grey Cup live up to the motto every time, "No lead is safe"

Edited by Joe MacCarthy

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I would like to see the CPL have a single-table, with no conferences. But, I found myself cheering for the Argos, and our Grey Cup party went wild when they returned the fumble for the TD. We're TiCats fans, always have been. Hate the Argos. Did we cheer for the Argos because they were the underdogs? No, we cheered for them because the represented the East. Perhaps because the West has been so dominant that any East team would be the underdog, but it makes me think twice about single-table or conference in the CPL.

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34 minutes ago, RickC said:

I would like to see the CPL have a single-table, with no conferences. But, I found myself cheering for the Argos, and our Grey Cup party went wild when they returned the fumble for the TD. We're TiCats fans, always have been. Hate the Argos. Did we cheer for the Argos because they were the underdogs? No, we cheered for them because the represented the East. Perhaps because the West has been so dominant that any East team would be the underdog, but it makes me think twice about single-table or conference in the CPL.

I will definitely not be cheering for TFC in the final because of conference 

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Grey Cup ratings see double-digit jump in 2017
Drew Edwards 3downnation November 27, 2017

Not only did the snow look cool on TV, it also delivered high ratings for TSN and the CFL.

The Grey Cup game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Calgary Stampeders, which was played in snowy weather conditions, had an average audience of 4.1 million – up almost 14 per cent over the 2016 contest between Calgary and Ottawa – and similar to the numbers the league saw in 2015.

Last year’s 3.6 million was the lowest since 2006.

The number still falls short 5.5 million that watched Toronto’s last championship win in 2012, which was also the 100th anniversary of the league.

TSN also did well with its pre and post game shows both of which averaged just under two million viewers.

That gave the network the three top-rated TV shows in the country on Sunday. And not just sports: the CFL beat everything from NCIS: Los Angeles to CTV News to the Walking Dead.

The numbers do not include RDS or digital streams from TSN.ca or other sources.

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Grey Cup draws 10% increase in viewership on TSN, RDS
CFL.ca Staff November 27, 2017

TORONTO – Annually one of the biggest events in Canadian television, last night’s snow-covered 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw captivated viewers nationwide, becoming the most-watched since 2013 and growing 10% over 2016, according to overnight data from Numeris. An average audience of 4.3 million Canadians tuned in to TSN (4.1 million) and RDS (220,000) to watch the Toronto Argonauts dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Calgary Stampeders in the instant-classic championship game.

Overall, nearly 10 million unique viewers, or almost 30% of Canadians, watched some or all of the Argo’s dramatic 27-24 victory over the Stampeders. The game achieved a 34% share, meaning more one in three Canadians watching television across Canada on Sunday were tuned into the game.

The audience for the 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw peaked at nearly 6 million viewers late in the fourth quarter as Stampeders’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell’s Hail Mary pass was intercepted by Argo’s defensive back Matt Black, sealing the Argo’s Grey Cup victory.

Fans of the winning team rallied around televisions, with audiences in the Toronto/Hamilton market up +58% on TSN compared to last year’s championship game.

The 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw finished as the most-watched program of the day, with TSN becoming the most-watched channel in Canada on Sunday.

Additional ratings highlights:

• Livestreaming audiences for the championship game on TSN Digital platforms marked an increase of 22% compared to last year’s Grey Cup
• The magical halftime performance by CTV’s THE LAUNCH mentor Shania Twain during the Shaw Halftime Show attracted an average audience of 4.3 million viewers
• A total of 10.6 million Canadians watched some part of TSN and RDS throughout Sunday
• Nearly 2 million viewers tuned in to TSN’s Countdown to Kickoff pre-game show, and an average audience of 1.9 million viewers stayed to watch TSN’s extensive post-game coverage

The 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw caps off a successful CFL ON TSN post-season that saw the CFL’s Western and Eastern Semi-Finals become the most-watched divisional semi-final series in three years. As well, the Eastern and Western Finals delivered an average audience of 1.4 million Canadians, growing +19% year-over-year.

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9 hours ago, Joe MacCarthy said:

Prime Time Sports
December 01 2017

Friday, 5 pm: Roundtable with John Shannon, Joey Vendetta, and Hugh Burrill

Apparently there are rumours that "Rogers might get back involved with the Argos" (43:30) Who knows what that means or if it is more of PTS's uninformed nonsense.

Maybe that why the CFL was switched from the MORE sports section to being visible :cool:.

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Maybe they want to have a finger in the pie if/when the CFL signs a TV contract with the NFL Network.  NFLN is desperate for live content in the spring/summer, that's why Commish Ambrosie is polling the fans about moving the season.  It's going to have to be a fairly considerable contract to move the season.

CFL could alter schedule to accommodate NFLN deal
Mike Florio profootballtalk.nbcsports.com November 24, 2017

The CFL could be coming to NFL Network. And as part of that deal, the CFL may alter its schedule to move the Grey Cup from late November to the middle of October.

“I’d like to see the Grey Cup earlier, it won’t happen for 2018, but for 2019 it’s possible,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said Friday, via the Ottawa Sun. “I’d like to see it maybe the third week of October. That week, almost everywhere in Canada is a fantastic weekend. I’ve traveled — we’ve lived in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Oakville, Montreal — the third week in October is amazing. The leaves are changing colors. It’s autumn, it’s not cold.”

Of course, that would require starting the season sooner, which could cause problems with TSN, the CFL’s primary Canadian broadcast partner, given a little something known as the Stanley Cup playoffs. TSN, which doesn’t have Stanley Cup playoff rights, wouldn’t want to put CFL games up against high-stakes hockey games. However, an adjustment to the season would give NFLN game content during the slow months, if a deal can be done between the CFL and the NFL.

“We’ve talked about the idea of what are they doing for programming on the NFL Network, could we be a positive source of amazing content?” Ambrosie said. “I’m entirely on board with sharing our game with more people around the world . . . and I’m not just talking about the U.S. market. We should stop being so Canadian and shy about this. With three downs and a big field and it’s wide open and these are world-class athletes — we’ve got the greatest game in the world.”

The NFL may disagree with that one, but the CFL is good enough to potentially take a spot on the NFL’s platform during the months when NFLN is a wasteland of NFL Films programming, Hard Knocks reruns, and the goofy top 100 player list.

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^ I know traditionalists will be upset but I'm OK with moving the Grey Cup to an earlier date.

You play virtually the whole season with similar field conditions but have to prove you can play in snow to win the championship.  Yeah, wouldn't mind seeing that change.

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Atlantic Schooners name has been re-registered
3Down Staff 3downnation December 12, 2017

Maritime Football Limited has registered as a business in Nova Scotia and also re-registered for the Atlantic Schooners trademark.

Anthony LeBlanc is listed as the president, CEO and director while Gary Drummond is vice president. They are heading a group that made a pitch to the board of governors for a CFL franchise in Halifax. Part of that proposal was to request a conditional team be awarded in 2018, with games to begin in 2020.

The CFL awarded a conditional franchise to Halifax in 1982 – it was named the Atlantic Schooners – but financing for a stadium never came about. The league played regular-season games in Moncton, N.B., in 2010, 2011 and ’13.

The Schooners trademark has been formalized by the Canadian government.

W8jPzMo.png

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7 minutes ago, Joe MacCarthy said:

Atlantic Schooners name has been re-registered
3Down Staff 3downnation December 12, 2017

Maritime Football Limited has registered as a business in Nova Scotia and also re-registered for the Atlantic Schooners trademark.

Anthony LeBlanc is listed as the president, CEO and director while Gary Drummond is vice president. They are heading a group that made a pitch to the board of governors for a CFL franchise in Halifax. Part of that proposal was to request a conditional team be awarded in 2018, with games to begin in 2020.

The CFL awarded a conditional franchise to Halifax in 1982 – it was named the Atlantic Schooners – but financing for a stadium never came about. The league played regular-season games in Moncton, N.B., in 2010, 2011 and ’13.

The Schooners trademark has been formalized by the Canadian government.

W8jPzMo.png

Interesting. 

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Ooh, baby, this could get interesting

MLSE to acquire Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts
CFL.ca Staff December 13, 2017

TORONTO – Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) today announced an agreement to acquire the Toronto Argonauts Football Club of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Crowned CFL champions at the 105th Grey Cup on November 26, the Argos are currently jointly owned by Bell Canada and the Kilmer Group. Financial terms of the MLSE acquisition, expected to close in January 2018 pending approval by the CFL Board of Governors, were not disclosed.

Joining MLSE brings numerous advantages to the Argonauts, including financial scale and promotional, ticketing and other operational synergies. The Argos play at BMO Field at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, which is operated by MLSE and also serves as home to another MLSE team, Toronto FC of Major League Soccer (MLS).

“Under its current ownership, a transformed Argonauts football club enhanced its presence and fan base in Canada’s largest sports market and ultimately marched to the CFL Championship,” said Michael Friisdahl, President and CEO of MLSE. “We look forward to building on the Argos’ strong momentum as we welcome the team to the leading provider of sports and entertainment experiences in Canada.”

“Everyone at the Argos organization is proud to have delivered the Grey Cup to our fans in what was truly a game for the history books. It’s been an exciting time of renewal and accomplishment for the Double Blue and I speak on behalf of all of us at the organization when I say how excited we are to now be joining forces with MLSE, Canada’s top sports company,” said Michael Copeland, President & CEO of the Toronto Argonauts.

“On the heels of a stunning Grey Cup showdown with the Calgary Stampeders that highlighted the sheer excitement of Canadian football, we’re thrilled that the Argonauts will be joining the MLSE roster,” said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. “We welcome MLSE to the CFL and look forward to working with them to further enhance the experience for Canadian football fans.”

Founded in 1873, the Toronto Argonauts are North America’s oldest continuously operated professional football club and the oldest pro sports team of any kind on the continent that still operates with its original name. The Argonauts have won the CFL championship game a record 17 times, most recently at the 105th Grey Cup earlier this year. The team was founded by the Argonaut Rowing Club, which owned the club for its first 83 years.

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On 12/8/2017 at 11:55 PM, Joe MacCarthy said:

Prime Time Sports
December 01 2017

Friday, 5 pm: Roundtable with John Shannon, Joey Vendetta, and Hugh Burrill

Apparently there are rumours that "Rogers might get back involved with the Argos" (43:30) Who knows what that means or if it is more of PTS's uninformed nonsense.

Guess there was more to that than was publicly known.

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Join the club: Sports giant MLSE announces deal to buy Argonauts
Frank Zicarelli Toronto Sun December 13, 2017

On the surface, it appears to be a marriage made in sporting heaven, the local football team in lock step with the local futbol team all under the same roof.

And now, the Argonauts and Toronto FC, reigning Grey Cup and MLS Cup champions, respectively, will be under the same ownership umbrella.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which kicked the tires when previous owner David Braley had the for sale sign up on the Argos earlier this decade, is now all in, having agreed to buy the CFL franchise.

After announcing the pending agreement on Wednesday, possibilities are now endless for a team coming off an improbable title, not the least of which is selling the game via the many platforms owned by Rogers.

“Under its current ownership, a transformed Argonauts football club enhanced its presence and fan base in Canada’s largest sports market and ultimately marched to the CFL Championship,” Michael Friisdahl, MLSE president/CEO, said.

“We look forward to building on the Argos’ strong momentum as we welcome the team to the leading provider of sports and entertainment experiences in Canada.”

When Tim Leiweke served as MLSE president, the idea was to buy the Argos, move them into BMO and ensure the football team’s viability in a very crowded landscape.

The end-game, at the time anyway, was the NFL and the potential of bringing four-down football to coexist with the three-down version.

When Rogers balked, the Argos were sold to Bell and Larry Tanenbaum as the team quickly moved into BMO for the 2016 season, the same year the venue played host to the Grey Cup.

Rogers has no ties to the CFL, unlike Bell, which controls the entire TV pie through TSN.

It has always seemed to this observer that the unofficial policy at Rogers, and all of is media outlets and personalities, is to disparage the CFL at all costs, disregard all things Argos related unless it hurts the team’s brand.

That all changes now with Rogers now on board, a powerful media company that is sure to elevate the Argos’ profile, perhaps even convince soccer fans, which may not be so easy, that the Argos and TFC can exist side by side.

TFC will remain the main tenants at BMO, but something needs to get worked out that allows the Argos more access.

As of now, the only time the Argos have access to the facility is on game day.

What must happen is to provide the Argos with a more fan-friendly home schedule that is consistent, something the CFL can do to help grow the fan base.

Whether it’s ticketing, marketing, corporate sales, suite sales, MLSE has the wherewithal and clout to make the Argos vibrant and viable, or at least give three-down football its best chance of making some kind of dent in Toronto.

This should have happened two years ago, but it’s taken this long to get the official backing of MLSE and not simply two-thirds of its ownership.

It’s good news for the Argos, the CFL and for fans who enjoy football.

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