Monday, March 14, 2011

Rider Prophet Salutes US Expansion: Miami Manatees

Today we wrap up our salute to US Expansion with a look at the worst CFL team that never was. 

The idea for a team in Miami came up prior to the 1995 season. Plans were made to purchase the Las Vegas Posse… or at least their tattered remains… and launch the Miami Manatees in time for 1996 season.

They even staged an exhibition game at the Orange Bowl between Birmingham and Baltimore to introduce the Canadian game to Florida. The game was very poorly attended. While there were likely many factors that led to this, one major factor may have been the fact that Miami football fans found it hard to take a match up between two teams called the Cudas and the CFLers, seriously.  

Years in the League: None, thank goodness

Overall Record: n/a

Notable Players: Gamzo (an actual manatee that was adopted in honour of the team)

The Good
- Thankfully the CFL dodged a bullet and never had to associate itself with a team called the Manatees.

- As if that logo isn’t awesome.

The Bad
- The name Manatees. Also known as the sea cow. While it may be an intimidating moniker when you are talking about an overweight woman, it definitely isn’t when talking about a football team… unless it was a football team of overweight women.

- A portion of ticket sales for the team was to be donated to save the manatees. While I’m all for teams and players supporting charities and the community, I’ll be damned if I’ll respect a team that supports dirty hippies and their stupid causes. It also makes no sense since I doubt the hippies that care about saving the manatees more than they care about personal hygiene even watch football. From a marketing perspective you would have had more success donating proceeds to causes like “punch the manatees” or “nuke the whales”. Now that’s something I would support!
League suspended US operations in 1995 so the plans never came to fruition. The Manatees were banished the footnotes of CFL history.

Video Evidence
There's this...

This hilarious song about manatees....
Or this...


Anonymous said...

I must give the Rider Prophet credit. I really enjoyed reading about the history of the US expansion. The American fans only want the NFL. Anything short of that is bush league. Who wants to be associated with bush league? They think the NFL is God-like. To mention the excitement in most TV games I watched was next to watching paint dry is simply not acceptable. Most NFL fans have bought into the hype that the league is the best most entertaining football on the planet. They put up with 10-3 games because they expect a defensive battle. They don't consider the problem is poor play.
TV picks high profile games which offer potential to be good games. Remember any TV with last place teams playing? Doesn't happen because they have an advantage of picking from a multitute of games.

Go Rider. Go CFL.

A Canadian Football Fan in Regina

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