Monday, February 21, 2011

Rider Prophet Salutes US Expansion

Much like budding flowers and chirping birds have become a symbol of spring, a Rider Prophet Salute has become the official sign of a slow offseason. 

As part of my ongoing efforts to entertain you the reader and fill this blog with content (though not necessarily prioritized in that order), I have presented salutes to things such as bad team names and bad jerseys. Well as the 2011 offseason rolls on and actual news becomes scarcer and scarcer its time for a new salute. This time we will be looking back and saluting a part of the CFL’s long a storied history… a part they’d probably prefer be stricken from the record.

It was dark time for the CFL. Their financial papers had more red ink than a communist tattoo parlour (if such a thing existed).  In their desperation the league came up with the idea of expanding the league to include some American franchises. The franchise fees that the teams would have to pay would inject some much needed cash into the CFL. While I’m sure nobody involved thought that US expansion was an ideal solution for Canadian football, I don’t think anyone involved imagined the hilarious lows that this escapade would lead to. 

So sit back and enjoy as we take a stroll down memory lane as the Rider Prophet Salutes US Expansion.


UncleJim said...

Well first of all .. communist tattoo parlours DO have a lot of red ink.

Secondly, I agree that the CFL's little experiment into the USof A was a bit of a disaster. I was never opposed to the expansion, I just thought that they should have staggered it over a decade or so. If in the first year there would have been one Eastern US city added to the East Conference and a Western city added to the West Conference, we could have stuck our toe in the water for a couple of years to see if the experiment would work. But oh no, we had to jump with both feet .. way too fast.

I used to check ebay from time to time to see if there was any memorabilia from the US teams but that stuff is rare.

Rider Prophet said...

Yeah I agree going from zero US teams to a full conference of them in just 3 years was way too fast.

I would love to snap up some CFL USA merchandise if I ever came across some. Though i assume most stuff would have been burned by now... or currently being used to clothe the homeless.

Ronbo the Riderfan said...

It was an emergency situation. Those fees may have saved the league.

It was followed by a deal with the NFL in which the CFL borrowed $3,000,000 in exchange for the deal which allowed them to cherry pick our free agents.

Incidently I have memorabilia from several of the teams which I bought from the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton plus I picked a number of items from fans who regularly attend Grey Cup celebrations; any offers?