TSN Football Insider Dave Naylor has been a person with some close knowledge of the goings-on between the XFL and CFL. We know things are way beyond ‘talking about talking’.
Between Naylor’s article about a shared global vision of the league and the release of CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s video where he talks about their big global vision. All of which happen on the same day, by the way, you get the idea that what the XFL/CFL has planned is big.
“Beyond the XFL-CFL merger itself, the new collaboration could be a launching point to aggressively pursue franchises in places such as Mexico, Germany and other European countries.
It’s only a tiny leap of faith to believe that whatever is on the table between the CFL and XFL has a considerable international component to its vision.”
Naylor also points out a tweet from Dany Garcia on the day of the big XFL/ CFL ‘Talks’ announcement. Notice the US, and Canadian flag along with the globe.
“Further, Garcia added that day during an interview with TSN that the CFL’s international partnerships were something that helped bring the XFL leadership to the table. “
We keep hearing that CFL owners and people involved in the ‘talks’ are excited about what is being discussed. Who wouldn’t be if the vision for the future XFL/CFL involves being a worldwide brand? Remember Naylor’s tweet about ‘Universal Enthusiasm’ by CFL owners?
“It may seem like a far-fetched idea today but could the XFL-CFL collaboration lead to a league with a third of its teams in Canada, a third in the U.S, and a third elsewhere? A global league, playing opposite the NFL calendar, drawing television revenues and sponsorship from several countries, reinforced by sports wagering interest from around the world?”
If this global concept is what brought the two parties to the table. It would make sense for their grand vision of this new league/partnership to be beyond a couple of interleague games played.
It would also explain what the XFL & CFL are talking about now, rather than focusing on things like field size and rules. Let’s lock down our grand vision first and fill in the other parts later.
It is one thing to have NFL games played in Canada, Mexico, and London with random teams each year. It is a whole other ball game when there are leagues in the regions run by one organization.
We know that Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garica are big thinkers, a go big or go home type of mindset. Throw in RedBird Capital’s money and experience with owning teams abroad then add what the CFL has already been doing with international players and leagues. The mix could be something huge for the game of football.
We do know spring football does have its issues. NFL Europe did not work, Spring football in the US has not worked. However, the CFL has a 100 years of history, and joining forces with a global vision is one approach to spring football we have never seen before.
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April 11, 2021 at 7:32 am
Well written and sourced article. Good job and thanks. IMHO, Spring Football in America has actually worked. The USFL folded when it moved to fall. The AAF folded because of leadership financial lies predating the season. The XFL ceased because of COVID–!! I think fans have shown that a consistent product, well packaged with broadcast partners, can make it. When the CFL tried to expand into America, it was intriguing, but ultimately failed because they don’t know how to market to American fans. And it wasn’t exactly the spring, remember. WLAF perhaps had the inverse problem of not being able to market internationally well enough. Admittedly, their American teams failed, too… But the market has changed. If The Rock can quell his political aspirations back to 2028, and remain focused on this effort, this and the CFLs reach internationally could be a very compelling venture. A successful one.
April 11, 2021 at 10:45 am
What brand value does the cfl have outside of Canada? Pretty much none. The XFL is just seeking to acquire infrastructure and the CFL provides that. The game will be redesigned to fit global appeal if this goes through and the cfl that we older Canadians know and love will be gone.
Cfl owners have their backs against the wall, before the pandemic they barely broke even at best. Now they may be facing bankruptcy so this out at least gives them some return, but we lose our game.
Unfortunately the cfl is mostly irrelevant to younger Canadian sports fans anyways, so the pandemic may have just accelerated the end of the league anyways vs cause it/
April 11, 2021 at 10:47 am
They should focus their attention on North America first. The XFL should get ready to play CFL rules.
April 11, 2021 at 5:53 pm
NFL Europe worked in Germany. London wanted better players. Barcelona and Amsterdam were so so. NFL owners didn’t like paying the losses due to the higher Euro, travel, housing, and no fat TV contract to cover all of it. The same will happen to the XFL and CFL if they don’t get that TV and streaming money.
April 12, 2021 at 3:59 am
I love the CFL and it’s tradition. I would hate to see it become just another minor league chasing the NFL.
April 12, 2021 at 8:11 pm
This Canadian says a big no thank you!
April 14, 2021 at 5:00 pm
While NFL Europe failed, there are hundreds of football teams playing right now. And the NFL games in London have sold out. I think teams in cities in the likes of London, Frankfurt, Berlin etc could do well and I don’t think this is pie in the sky. I believe it is doable. I’m not sure in ’21 but in years in the future.
April 17, 2021 at 9:12 am
“While NFL Europe failed, there are hundreds of football teams playing right now. And the NFL games in London have sold out. I think teams in cities in the likes of London, Frankfurt, Berlin etc could do well and I don’t think this is pie in the sky. I believe it is doable. I’m not sure in ’21 but in years in the future.”
If NFL Europe was NOT treated like a Triple-A league, then it would still be around.
Once again if the stupid NFL owners want to succeed in Europe, relaunch NFL Europe as a PRO LEAGUE this time!
April 16, 2021 at 10:57 pm
This has real potential. Long time CFL fans might not like it, but change is inevitable. I love 3-down football but it might be time to change. The CFL is stagnant. Let’s get on board and create a truly global league. It won’t be the NFL’s minor league, it will just be an ALTERNATIVE league. The NFL is a juggernaut, forget about them. Let’s go CFL/XFL.
April 19, 2021 at 9:22 pm
After reading these comments, the one main factor that hasn’t been mentioned; the sole reason why the XFL worked this go round: sports betting, with the addition of the marketing power of Disney/ESPN. As sports gambling expands to Canada (which will need the capital, thanks to a global pandemic), the CFL folding is not an option. Either there is some kind of collective collaboration…or there is no CFL, adapt or die! I agree that the XFL does need the CFL’s infrastructure (including the prestige of the Grey Cup) but the CFL must incorporate some American football rules. Four downs for starters; goal posts in the back of the end zone; 100 yard fields. No yardage apart on the line of scrimmage. Keep 12 players and multiple player motion. Even the MLB structure of maintaining separate leagues is intriguing. Most importantly, an April-October season is the best bet.
May 4, 2021 at 10:56 am
Am I the only person that remembers the WLAF fiasco?