The NFL in Toronto-Your opinion

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The NFL in Toronto-Your opinion


I'm a writer currently living in Ottawa, writing for a Chicago Bears web page. I'd like to give Chicago readers some insight into Canadians' thoughts regarding Toronto getting an NFL franchise. I believe that the NFL's goal is to move the Buffalo Bills to Toronto.

Anyone at all, with any interest in the subject is welcome to reply. I submit these questions as a foundation only. Please feel free to respond however you see fit. Your answers will be used as a general basis in describing Canadian attitudes towards the subject. If you choose to provide your real name, I will ascribe any quotes of yours, to you. Thank you in advance for your help.


Do you enjoy the NFL? Do you follow the CFL? Which do you prefer?


Do you think that an NFL franchise would enhance Toronto, as a major North American city? Is it Toronto's due to have an NFL franchise? Do you follow the Raptor's and/or the Blue Jays?


If the NFL does put a team in Toronto, should it be the Bills? Would an NFL team in Toronto be good for the city's economy? Would it harm the Argonauts or the CFL, if an NFL team was in Toronto?


As I said, do not feel limited to these questions, or even obligated by them. I welcome any thoughts offered on the subject.


Thank you,

Don Hamel

autoworker autoworker's picture

An NFL franchise in Toronto (with half its home games played in Buffalo) might provide enough space for the CFL Argos to remain viable (given their season's earlier start).  Also, there's little or no competition fron college football here, as there is in the States.

A strong Toronto franchise could provide a good rival for Chicago, and other Midwestern teams.  Besides, living in Windsor, I've given up on the Lions-- Go Blue!


NFL = No Fun League.

Have I communicated my bias enough? Undecided

I can't see it helping the Argos.

I am an Argo fan, and a Raptor fan.  I stopped following baseball much a while ago for idiosyncratic reasons.




I'd be concerned that an NFL team in Toronto would kill the CFL.

I haven't watched an NFL game since the early 70s, and I won't watch an NFL game should the CFL fold.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

NFL Football is a farce.  The Fair Catch Rule is a pathetic joke.  Shutting down play with two minutes left is idiotic.  The lack of the rouge is  clear evidence that the NFL is a pointless waste of energy.


Despite being a Pats fan, I find the Canadian game far more entertaining. The NFL game is often packaged for television pap. 


NFL will go bankrupt in To because quite frankly it is not the cultural driver in Canada that it is in the States.  American college teams attract more fans than our CFL not because of the quality of the product but because of the culture of the fans.  Reminds me of the futile efforts to promote hockey in the sun belt.  Other than snow birds no one is really enthused except maybe if somehow a winning team emerges and then they get fans for a year or two.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

The Toronto business elite have some sort of NFL-envy.  Apparently on the side of the Rogers Centre has pictures of a notional Toronto Maple Leaf, a notional Toronto Raptor, a notional Toronto Blue Jay and a notional Buffalo Bill.  Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

autoworker autoworker's picture

Malcolm wrote:

The Toronto business elite have some sort of NFL-envy.  Apparently on the side of the Rogers Centre has pictures of a notional Toronto Maple Leaf, a notional Toronto Raptor, a notional Toronto Blue Jay and a notional Buffalo Bill.  Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

The Bills are playing the Bears there on Sunday.  What's notional about that? 

Not to worry: todays's Toronto Star (doing its part for the CFL) asks rhetorically in their sports section headline, if the Bills (0-7) are 'The WORST team in pro sports?"...and I thought the Lions were hopeless!

Freedom 55

I love the NFL. I grew up watching the CFL, but my interest has greatly diminished over the years. I may have watched a grand total of 20 minutes of CFL football so far this year, and I doubt I'll watch any of the playoffs. For me it's not even close... I find the NFL infinitely more compelling than the CFL.


I think an NFL franchise would only enhance Toronto's image as a major North American city, but I wouldn't say that it's Toronto's due to have one. Maybe it's because I don't live in Toronto, but I don't feel a strong desire to see an NFL franchise located in Canada - in fact, I'd probably be against it. I can't see the Rogers Centre as a viable NFL stadium, and I certainly don't want the public to pay for a new stadium.


Having said that... if the NFL does put a team in Toronto, I would hope that it wouldn't be the Bills. That's Buffalo's team. Their struggles aren't from a lack of interest and love for the Bills, but are a result of their devastated local economy. I wouldn't want Toronto to gain a team at Buffalo's expense. I already feel like they've been cheated by having to play one 'home' game a year in Toronto. At least this year it's against an NFC team, and not a division rival. If Toronto does eventually get a relocated franchise, I'd feel better about the Jags moving. I think their poor attendance is more a result of a regional preference for college and high school football.


And not that anyone asked, but as a fan, I am strongly opposed to an 18-game NFL schedule. The NFLPA and fans need to put a stop to that.

aka Mycroft

The problem with all major league sports in Toronto is that, generally, the only people who can afford to regularly attend games are corporate which is one reason the mood in the stands is so passive and dead. Toronto FC proved an exception due to their cheap tickets which normal people could afford but this may change with ticket hikes.

As to CFL vs NFL while there is a rump of Canadian nationalist or anti-corporate types who are anti-NFL because it's American and some football connoisseurs who prefer the Canadian game because it's faster paced I suspect most fans prefer the NFL because it's more heavily marketed and seen as "major league" while the CFL is viewed as a minor league composed of NFL cast-offs or up and coming players waiting to get into the big league.

A full time NFL team will probably kill off the Argos because many won't want to buy season's tickets for both. I suppose if both NFL and CFL teams are owned by the same company they could provide a creative package deal but even so the Argos would end up being an add on side order to the main dish and would decline and perhaps ultimately seen as an unnecessary expense by the corporate owner. If a Toronto NFL team ends up being more of a shared affair, most likely the Buffalo Bills playing half their games in Toronto, the Argos may be more viable but Buffalo fans will scream.


I was at Taylor Field yesterday to watch the Riders spot the Eskimos a first-half lead, then trounce them handily, as they tuned up for the playoffs.


What's the NFL?


Malcolm Malcolm's picture

al-Qa'bong - wasn't that a great game?  At least from minute 25 on.

The game a couple of weeks ago between Toronto and Montreal is all the evidence necessary to prove that the NFL is an overstuffed, overhyped, overmarketed, overdosed and overdone waste of time.





radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Malcolm wrote:

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

Lima Oscar Lima!!!


I think it's important to remember that the game of football is 90 percent mental.


I much prefer CFL the Thanksgiving game between Montreal and Cagary was excellent. The CFL game offer a lot more interesting play development. While some say pass pass punt, that isn't really true. I prefer that over the american rush 1 yeard rush 2 yard then finally throw. Or some variation on that. CFL has points scored in a variety of ways and the use shovel passes, sneaks, so one where the guy was 3 inches from kneeing and had handed off, his team made a 30 yard run. You never see that in the NFL.

I go to superbowl parties every years and usually the only thing people pay attention to is Kick off half time and the last 2 minutes if its close. Otherwise it's food, beer , poker, or just conversation with 10 TVs throughout the house blaring away making you talk really loud. Though that may just be because of the party atmosphere and not the superbowl. The allure of superbowl is winner take all in one game. While this doesn't really represnt who is the best team, it is dramatic for epic fails like new england going 16-0 and losing it anyway..wah wah.

NFL should stay where it belongs. If they hadn't been moving so many team all the time, the CFL might have kept it half dozen american teams and been a viable football league instead of the joke it is considered by the vast majority.

I tend to stick with hockey, but even then the refs have made the game near impossible to watch without me wishing I had something to throw at the TV that wouldn't break it!


Any consideration of the CFL has to keep in mind that the CFL is far more popular in Western Canada, than it is in the East.  It's embedded in the culture here in a way it's not in Central Canada (almost on a par with hockey).  With the exception of maybe Oilers-Flames, the big inter-city sports rivalries in the West are in the CFL.

So, if Toronto gets a NFL team, it won't mean that much to the fan appreciation of the CFL in the West.  It's only impact would be on the health of the league if attendance took a hit back east.  Still, if ticket prices for the CFL in Ontario remain reasonable, I can't see it being much of a problem.  AAA Hockey still thrives in Canada despite the presence of the NHL in nearly every major city.


What do you mean by AAA hockey?  It means minor hockey, such as Midget and Bantam, on the prairies.  AAA baseball is minor pro, which is roughly equivalent to the AHL in hockey.


I much prefer the watching CFL, follow it closely, although I certainly watched the NFL back in the 90s, esp. the 49ers-Dallas tilts that were full of characters and skill...

but overall, Toronto is an empty vessel, prosperous and successful, but  no sense of self; it believes at some level in these baubles that will make it seem more important to the world; they won't

Toronto born and bred, but I think NFL there is just stupid and reflects badly on the yokels; a real world-class city knows better, both NFL teams leave L.A. and no one notices