Rod Pedersen was a guest on The Drive on TSN 1200 in Ottawa and drop a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes information on the current status of the CFL season and talks with the XFL.
Will the CFL play a season this Spring into Summer, Pedersen got his information straight from Health Canada. It is unlikely this Summer but they could start in the Fall.
“Some health models in this country tag stadiums, fans in stands, September, October. That’s what the CFL is clinging to right now. And there’s a very good chance that they will play.”
If they can’t get a season in, a second year without playing on the field could be devastating for the CFL.
“There are some teams very low on cash, very… I wouldn’t put the REDBLACKS in that category, nor the Stampeders, obviously not the Argos. But these community-owned teams have lost millions and millions… So what’s going on in the CFL right now? There are some teams that I have no idea how they’re keeping the lights on. I have no idea.”
The question for some people within CFL team offices is why even play a season if a merger with the XFL is a forgone conclusion.
“There’s a lot of talk about the new spring/summer league starting as early as one year from now… the next CFL… Some have said, why even try to play this year? Why not turn the lights out and go full bore towards next year?
I think there are some people that want to do that. Why would you play right now other than for the people who are in the league right now?”
Pedersen believes it will be a full-blown merger with the XFL as the damage has been done to the CFL due to not playing last year.
“The good news is that the Canadian Football League won’t go away. I believe there will be pro football in Canada merged with the XFL and we’ll have our 18 to 19 teams.”
Rod was asked how far along are the XFL/CFL in talks and its a lot farther than people think.
“Based on what I hear, it is that full-on merger. I think they’re close to having a manual, a rule book, printed. Naylor’s dropped a few hints on this. I guess it’s no big secret.
They’re talking 4 downs. and Naylor has said that. 15 yd end zones, 100 yd fields long. 65 wide which is what it is now. American stadiums, uprights in the back, Canadian stadiums, uprights in the front. There will be pre-snap motion, there’ll be XFL kickoff rules… So from what I am told, a lot of that’s been figured out already.”
One sticking point for many Canadian football fans is the player ratio rule. Right now each CFL team may have a maximum of 46 players, including 2 players identified as quarterbacks and 44 other players. Of those 44 players no more than 20 can be American.
Of the 24 starters on a team, a minimum of 7 need to be Canadian players. But these rules might be out the door in a merged league.
“The guy that I talked to on the phone from the states, who is a Canadian, said ratio gone from what he hears, there won’t be one. And that’s just what he’s hearing.”
He goes on to say, the ratio rule is something the XFL/CFL are working on now.
“I believe a task force needs to be struck to figure out how to save the ratio. From what I understand, that has happened. I don’t want to say who I heard is heading it up. This is all being talked about right now, not pie in the sky stuff.”
When asked when he thinks the merger will begin, he said it might not be too far down the road.
“Well, I’m hearing next year, but I don’t know how that’s possible, I would think 2023.”
Buckle up XFL and CFL fans it is going to be an interesting and exciting time over the next several months. You can catch The Rod Pedersen Show weekdays at 12 PM ET on YouTube.
Our own Reid Johnson of the XFL Markcast appeared on the show a few weeks ago.
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