[URBAN NOTE] “Everyone loves the CFL (except Toronto)”
The Globe and Mail‘s Cathal Kelly takes a look at the utter failure of the CFL to get Torontonians interested–or keep them interested, at least–in Canadian football, in the Toronto Argonauts, and in the Grey Cup being held this weekend.
On Sunday, we’ll get to watch how the Canadian Football League celebrates the demise of its franchise in the country’s largest city. It died during summer, but we’ve waited this long for the party. Attendance will be grudging. Then, they’ll play a game no one here cares about.
The only mourners – the rest of the CFL – are still stuck in the first stage of grief, which is denial.
“The goal for me is perpetuating the future of the CFL,” commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said this week, making the league sound rather like a coma patient. “It is really focused on making sure that the next 104 Grey Cups are as successful as the last 104.”
There’s a problem with that sentence. It assumes that this weekend’s 104th Grey Cup is already “successful.” By any reasonable measure, it isn’t. It’s a public-relations disaster. The only way it could get worse is if a piece of space debris crashes into BMO Field during the anthem.
On Wednesday, the Toronto Argonauts announced that there were “less than” 2,000 seats remaining for the game. This was framed as exciting news, rather than what it is – an admission of defeat.