The current “state of the CFL” is just fine, but try telling that to the media!


It is Grey Cup week in Winnipeg, with the big game between Ottawa and Edmonton set for Sunday. As part of the week, today has been the big State of the League address by new commissioner Jeffrey Orridge. 

The big news from this address: the CFL has decided it isn’t content to keep its current logo. So unlike the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NHL, and other leagues that have had pretty much the same-looking logo for years, the league is changing to a new logo that looks like this, above. 
I should point out somebody likely got paid to design this. This, my friends, is where your money from your high ticket prices is going. 

Personally, I thought the old logo they had back in the Eighties and Nineties was just fine — the old “maple leaf on the football helmet”. They never should have changed from that logo, which was identifiable and classy looking, but I guess this league feels the need to rebrand just for the heck of it. 

All in all, the Canadian Football League has its usual problems, like the overzealous officiating we’ve seen and lack of a drug testing policy, and their crummy website, and a few other things. But in spite of all of what was thrown at the CFL this year, this league is still standing. Orridge is right about the Pan Am Games, FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Blue Jays, etc. being tough competition. 

Yet the ratings have stayed resilient, and this past weekend this league got good TV ratings. Over a million people watched the two semifinal games, and there will be a big rating for the Grey Cup. 

As well, teams across the league are getting new stadiums that look good on TV, and the Ottawa RedBlacks have been a success story in a market that previously had seen no end of problems.

But if you listen to the media, especially our media here in Saskatchewan, you would think the entire CFL is at death’s door! They point to the problems in Toronto this season with poor attendance and the team being kicked out of their stadium all the time this season; they also point to the interest in all the other sports leagues, and in particular the NFL. The media here is freaking out about how everyone outside Saskatchewan would rather watch the NFL, and they always freak out over the CFL always scheduling games on Sundays against that league.

They are also freaking out about how the Grey Cup in Winnipeg has had trouble selling out, and about the new commissioner and about how “invisible” he is. But of course, here Orridge was today, facing the angry lions. 

I dunno. Overall, I think this league is in far better shape than people let on, but they do have some issues they need to address.

Update: I am currently tuning into Sportscage on 620 CKRM radio, and boy oh boy, are these guys ever tearing up the Commissioner and ripping his State of the League address. Wow.