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Sunday, February 11, 2018

10 POINTS FROM COMMISSIONER AMBROSIE'S TOWN HALL IN REGINA


REGINA - Randy's Road Trip touched down in the Rider Nation on Saturday.

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie's tour of CFL cities made a stop at Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Saturday before a crowd of roughly 300 Rider fans in Harvard's Studio 620 Lounge.

Ambrosie addressed the crowd for approximately 90 minutes on a wide range of topics.

The fans qualified as Rewards Program members (season ticket holders) and the 300 available spots were snapped up in a matter of a few hours.


Here are some notes from the get-together:

1 - Ambrosie spent the first 15 minutes of the session delivering his own message - sort of a State of the League presentation - about how his tour has gone, and his short- and long-term vision for the CFL. It included league-wide ticketing and marketing strategies.

Meanwhile they will be announcing the 2019 Grey Cup host city in a month's time.

2 - The CFL will feature some league-wide marketing initiatives this season - similar to last year's Canada 150 celebrations in all markets - but these will focus specifically on a Kids Day and Diversity Is Strength.

3 - One of the hot topics across his tour has been officiating and the Commissioner said while there won't be many rule changes for 2018, they continue to tweak the video review and challenge system to reach optimum efficiency. They're also moving to an NFL-style system of specific officiating crews working together for consecutive weeks.

4 - Ambrosie would like to make Canadian quarterbacks count towards the ratio as soon as possible but that's going to have to wait until the next Collective Bargaining Agreement (after the 2018 season). At that time, the matter will go to a vote among CFL players (the CFLPA) before ratification by the governors.

5 - There has been no talk of divisional realignment. There have been murmurs of the CFL moving to one division of nine teams (with the top six making the playoffs) and scrapping the long-standing East-West format. However Ambrosie said that's not on the table, particularly with the talk of the League expanding to 10 teams and having two divisions of five teams each.

6 - Although the tour is making a stop in Halifax, Ambrosie assured us that it doesn't mean expansion to Halifax is a done deal. He said we can't truly call it the CANADIAN Football League if we ignore such an important region of the country like the Maritimes. As far as expansion to Halifax goes, Ambrosie continues to work with the prospective ownership group there on the construction of a new stadium.

Reynolds, Ambrosie & Me. Photo: Larry Schwentke
7 - It appears moving the CFL schedule up by as much as a month will happen, but nothing's set in stone at this point. By a show of hands, 98% of the room was in favour of the concept but Ambrosie said there's not universal support from all nine teams at this time. Fans who weren't in favour of the move were asked to share their reasons why on the live mic, and one fan said having Grey Cup on the third weekend of November has been a long-standing tradition. Others said the weather in November in Regina hasn't been that bad.

8 - Plans for a CFL console video game are being investigated but Ambrosie said they're very pleased with the success of the CFL Frenzy mobile game which was launched in 2017. They had 500,000 downloads of the App and they're hoping to expand on that.

9 - There was very little talk of the statement released by Ambrosie last week regarding the enforcement of the current salary structure (and rookies' complaints about not being let out of their deals to sign in the NFL). However Ambrosie wanted to clarify his comment that CFL players should pursue off-season jobs. He said not only does that supplement players' incomes, but it also sets them up for life after football.

However the Commissioner said that as it stands now, American players' work visas only allow them to work as pro football players and not in industry. He said that's a discussion the CFL will need to have with Canadian Immigration.

10 - One disgruntled fan asked Ambrosie if he'd look at a provision whereby the League would prohibit football operations personnel from having too many job titles (clearly pointing the finger at Chris Jones).

Ambrosie said the Commissioner's Office will not stick its nose into the teams' business on an individual basis.

Rider President Craig Reynolds said not to put much stock into Chris Jones' vast job portfolio. He said Jones has done a good job of delegating responsibility within the Riders' football administration, and on the defensive side of the football. He said all Jones really does on defense is call plays and as far as he's concerned, Jones is the best Defensive Coordinator in the CFL.

RP
@rodpedersen

29 comments:

Dyck Rubnutz said...

Who was the loser hating on Jones, guess they don't like winning. Get over it already, he's not going anywhere ya donkey

Anonymous said...


Trust some jackhole to criticize Jones at something like this which was a league endeavour. There are some Rider "fans" who really should cheer for someone else. Just ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

By the info provided here, it sounds like the only person who made any sound pertinent statement was Mr. Craig Reynolds. Kudos Mr. Reynolds.

Anonymous said...

If you were at this little shindig today, you can see and hear the passion Ambrosie has. He wants the CFL to take a step that Wright, Cohon and Orridge refused to take.

The vision this man has is amazing!

Greg

Anonymous said...

The fan who complained about Jones having multiple roles must be insecure in the fact that they have trouble doing their current single jobs role.

Anonymous said...

Hey Donkey...record of the Riders for Jones in two years as your coach is 15 wins and 21 losses so what your saying about winning is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

So are those assistants that Jones delegated to do his jobs paid out of his pocket or are we paying Jones and someone else to do the same job?

Anonymous said...

Yes but he was saddled with Durant the first year as well ! This team will be better and is already!
How are things going for Durant!

If you don’t like it just leave, please n thanks

Anonymous said...

What do you mean "we" sunshine? Talking about Murphy, O'Day and the coaching staff. Geeze, get a grip.

Just saying said...

Good grief, I guess some people like the 3 and 15 seasons.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. Only a moron would ask such a stupid question.

Anonymous said...

I echo all the above comments , eff off to that fan asking that at a CFL event.

Rider Woman Prider said...

Look around the league Anon. Every team pays for assistants. It’s not a Riders Blind special.

Anonymous said...

Yes, losing in th EDF is winning. Its the same type of winning that Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump talk about.

Anonymous said...

The Jones comment likely had more to do with the fact that the pay being doled out to Management and Coaching Staffs and that they are guaranteed is unfair and unhealthy for the league. Pay the players!!!!

Dyck Rubnutz said...

You're actually counting the first year when he had to rebuild the franchise top to bottom, lol. Everywhere he goes he wins. He's got a handful of rings to prove it

Anonymous said...

Mr. "Hey Donkey": - Riders were 3 wins in 2015, 5 wins in 2-16, and 10 wins in 2017 and were one 3rd & 5 from a Grey Cup appearance. By any measure that is improvement.

As for the comment above, consolidation of responsibilities are usually a cost saver in most organizations.

Anonymous said...

Okay so the first year you use excuses and maybe Jones does too but would hope not...so what is Trestman's excuse because he was in worse shape then sask and in his first year he took the Grey Cup. Excuses are for the weak.

Anonymous said...

Love the photos! The Rider fan base shown here looks like a real tough, grey and grizzled crew! Hardened, battle tested though the years of sitting in the sun and cold, win or lose, on the east side of old Taylor Field.

Anonymous said...

Could have, Should have, Would have...just hold on to that. Winning is Winning and losing is losing...You either did or didn't no matter how close. Collaros is way overpaid and you will soon find this out.

Anonymous said...

You sheep can call me whatever you want, it still won't make me like Chris Jones. So, to quote several of you "Get over it."

Anonymous said...

That question about people having too many job titles is very Regina-ish.

Anonymous said...

Git, go away.

"In Jones We Trust"

Dyck Rubnutz said...

Still wearing your Brendan Taman underwear? How dare Jones get rid of all my favourite players like little Weston and Darian....lol.

Anonymous said...

Mr. "You Sheep" - personally I'm not into insulting commenters in conjunction with offering an opinion. My input regarding the current coach is not based on an emotional response, but based on the teams record over the last few years and that improvement in the win column. Whether we do well over the next few years or not, my opinion will be based on wins, not sentiment. Not that my personal opinion has any bearing on the team fortunes anyway, I'm just a fan along for the ride(rs).

JPR said...

Goodbye see you later part time fan

JPR said...

Why because Jones says what he thinks and is paid to provide a winning team. Because your old boys club would not make harsh comments.
Do you think it honestly bothers Jones what your opinion of his football knowledge is. But I am sure you could provide a winning flag football team in two years. The man knows probably more about the game than both of us ever will. I am sure that you as our next head coach will do much better with all the talent that you have from your years of coaching experience.

Anonymous said...


My dislike for Chris Jones has nothing to do with Weston Dressler or Darian Durant, I started out liking him. But right from the get-go he has seemed intent on breaking every rule in the CFL rule book to the extent of $160,000 in fines and being smug about it. Then making the Riders the laugh of the league with his Vince Young farce finished me off.

Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to oskee wee wee? They seem to be in some trouble these days...