2. SOLUTION TO CANADIAN PLAYER QUOTA: The owners seem convinced that lowering the Canadian quota from 7 starters to maybe 5 or 6 would save them money because it would mean less Canadian starters they would have to shell out the big dollars for.
The salary cap is still going to be dictated by a Football Related Revenues formula. One or two less Canadian starters will only raise the price of a good American starter. It really is remarkable how misguided everyone’s priorities in this offseason have been. A commissioner fixated on doing deals with Germany instead of wrapping up a CBA negotiation. Players more interested in picking fights with each other, rather than with the league governors trying to suppress their wages. And owners more fixated on reducing Canadian content, rather than looking for solutions to better utilize the Canadian content available to sell the game.
The solution: Keep 7 Canadian starters and mandate that one of them be a quarterback, be it first, 2nd or 3rd string. This wouldn’t impact the on-field play much, if at all. Plus, it would open up another spot for an American to start.
Y’er welcome. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes these geniuses to figure this out.
3. DAVID SIDOO ARREST COULD RUIN BC LIONS SALE: Former Saskatchewan Roughrider defensive back David Sidoo and his arrest in connection with the same U.S.-college admissions bribery scandal that harpooned Full House star Lori Loughlin could impact the CFL. Sidoo, in many ways, is seen as the savior for UBC Thunderbirds football. His business connections have led to a lot more money pouring into that program. It is believed that if and when the Aquilini family finally convinces David Braley to sell the Leos to them that there’s a good chance Sidoo would be hired as the front man to lead a renaissance of the CFL’s tired, old brand on the left coast.
That’s all in jeopardy now while this court case plays out. I’m no lawyer, but my instincts tell me these court fights don’t usually pass quickly or quietly.
4. ALOUETTES SALE: Each time I ask someone from Montreal about what the up-side would be to the Wetenhalls selling the Alouettes to former running back Eric Lapointe, the answer I inevitably keep getting is something to the effect of, ‘Well Lapointe is an investment banker.’
Which means what, precisely?
Let’s hear a few more things about his (Lapointe’s) vision for the Alouettes before we start pushing away a family(the Wetenhalls) who have saved football in Montreal and the CFL for the past 20 years without demanding revenue-sharing from the west.
5. KAVIS FITS EDMONTON LIKE A GLOVE: Kavis Reed would be a perfect fit for the Edmonton Eskimos open CEO job, vacated by the newly turned politico, Len Rhodes. Kavis is a nice guy who has spent years living in Edmonton and understands that town and that franchise inside and out. And he might have some freedom to say what’s on his mind, rather than puppeteering to ownership like many of us suspect he’s been doing through some of the bizarre choices which coming out of Montreal for the past 2 years.
6. GREY CUP ORLANDO: Thought of this while choking back a foot-long hot dog at the Orlando Apollos-Arizona Hotshots Alliance of American Football game Saturday night. Sitting in Spectrum Stadium (where Danny Barrett coached the running backs for the University of Central Florida a few years back), it occurred to me that the lower bowl of the stadium could easily be removed from the endzones, which would most likely create enough space for a CFL-sized field as it holds a really wide sideline as well. The capacity would still be 30,000-plus.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Think about it.
A Grey Cup in, say 2022, being played in a warm-weather destination as a way to mitigate concerns over these cold-weather Grey Cups being played outside. Doesn’t have to be Orlando. But somewhere like Orlando with room to accommodate a Canadian-sized field. The league could probably rent the facility from the city for a loonie in return for dragging thousands of tourists along for the local economy.
Doesn’t have to be a trend but it’s worth a look and not the dumbest idea this commissioner has had lately when it comes to expanding the CFL’s global footprint.
7. TWEET OF THE WEEK: When the Cleveland Browns signed Odell Beckham Jr. last week, Mitchell Blair unleashed this gem via @scruffyregina, “It’s good to see the Browns get Beckham. It gives Chris Jones another cornerback to work with.”
8. BURTON CUMMINGS: You came all the way to Moose Jaw to spend your golden years but can’t let some young lady operate her YOGA-dance studio in the building next to yours? My neighbors in the condo below me sing and play bongo drums all the time. It’s just part of their charm. This Burton Cummings story makes him sound about as welcoming and inclusive as the politicians in Weyburn who chose to not allow a group home in a nice area because the residents don’t want to live close to “those people”.
9. BEST SASK HOPE IN WHL PLAYOFFS: The Saskatoon Blades. Why not Prince Albert you ask? The Raiders backup goaltending just isn’t good enough.
10. MARCH MADNESS: Just filled out my bracket for another year. I’ve got Virginia winning it all. Not the Hokies, but the Cavaliers. Who’ve you got?
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)