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TSN’s Dave Naylor Talks ‘Universal Enthusiasm’ By Owners Of XFL/CFL Talks, Comes With Risks

TSN’s Dave Naylor was a recent guest on CJME 980 The Green Zone with Jamie Nye. He was on to respond to a tweet he put out over the weekend that caused quite a stir amount CFL fans. When talking about the CFL owners he said.

“But the universal enthusiasm among @CFL folks for the XFL idea makes me wonder.”

The issue with fans was the ‘universal enthusiasm’ part by CFL owners. But Naylor says the CFL and its owners are fully interested in exploring their options with the XFL.

“I would say, to explore this idea fully, and there doesn’t seem to be the kind of sacred cows that are out there among the fans on Twitter, which are openly expressed, as you know, over my dead body and things like that.”

He goes on to say that no one from the league or its owners thinks this is a bad idea.

“I have not found anybody high up in the team who think this is a terrible idea. I have not found pushed back. I have not found sacred cows. I have not found those kinds of things.”

As we know these talks have been going on for several months and if what Dany Garcia, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and RedBird Capital were selling was bad, then these conversations would have ended a long time ago, but they’re not. These talks seem to be more than just two leagues helping each other out.

“I don’t think we’re talking about, referee clinics that we’re going to share
I’m talking about, integration of this league(CFL) in that league (XFL). There is, I think, very broad support for this idea, at least the full exploration of this idea.”

One issue with some CFL fans is the 3 downs rule. In Naylor’s view, that rule could be done and go to 4 downs.

“We have some of those elements woven into the three down into the game? Yeah. Would it probably be a four-down game? You know, again, speculatively, I think there’s a very strong likelihood of that. And I don’t find too much difficulty finding people to agree with me on that.

On the ratio, you know, might be a tougher one. But I think there’s there’s probably a way to keep a contingent of Canadian players, on teams, if that’s what the league so desires.

Even though there is ‘universal enthusiasm’ from CFL owners, this doesn’t mean in working with the XFL doesn’t bring with it major risks. That is the issue for the CFL, and the CFL ownership knows it. However, staying with the status quo is also risky for the future of the league.

“there’s massive risk associated with this. There absolutely is. No question. You can’t look at the failed history of spring football in the United States, the failed history of U.S. expansion. All the things that would be unpredictable and say there’s no risk here.

“So if all the teams seem to be on board with exploring this, even though it represents a lot of risk. What does that tell you about the risk associated with the status quo? That tells me there’s a lot of risk associated with the status quo because otherwise I don’t think we’d see the league this far down the road and I don’t think we’d see, you know, this degree of, as I put it on Twitter, enthusiasm for exploring this idea.”

Naylor goes on to talk about the financial situation the current CFL is under. It is worth a listen. Interview starts at the 15:41 mark.

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  1. Martin Boser

    April 1, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    At this point, the XFL is nothing more than a twice-failed league. IF it becomes a viable concern again – and that’s a VERY big “IF” – there might be merit in the idea in playing up to four interleague games per team in or around June the CFL and XFL seasons overlap. Using CFL rules in Canada and use XFL rules in the USA makes the most sense, especially for CFL players who would love the opportunity to play a few games in front of NFL scouts in American stadiums under US rules. Of course, the XFL would have to harmonize its number of teams for that to work, otherwise there’s no way to balance the interleague schedule balance, but that’s not really a big deal for a centrally-owned operation.

    • Mitch

      April 1, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      Merge already need something new instead of hearing about all the trouble in the 3 big markets we either die with the xfl or die as the cfl better chance with a merge if done right

  2. David Tress

    April 1, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    There is great enthusiasm for a CFL XFL merger because of greater competition. But it will be CFL rules. Just look at XFL Newsroom. It has already rebranded to CFL Newsroom.

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