Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 2)

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The CFL was a big part the celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday as the entire weekend featured special nods to Canada and the game.

It was a good weekend too as the competition continued to be great on the field with good battles between rivals new and old.

Some teams came down to earth while others rose and in the end, the second week provided even more promise for the season to come.

In one of the biggest markets for the league, the week also provided some promise for the future of the league.

In Regina, the Saskatchewan Roughriders opened their brand new state-of-the-art stadium against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Their first game was a great one that went to double overtime but they came up just short in a somewhat disappointing finish to their home opener.

The game was not really the big story for some though as it was instead the fact that this stadium rivals some in bigger leagues out there like the NFL.wk2

The New Mosaic Stadium has everything that a 21st-century stadium is about as there are massive improvements for the players and for the fans.

Any player that calls his home Regina for the 2017 season will see state-of-the-art locker rooms, massive new meeting rooms, a brand new weight room and even a barber shop.

For the fans, there are wider seats, cup holders at every seat, a new general admission lounge and all of the new concessions that fans can expect from a new stadium.

It is the crown jewel in the collection of the stadiums in the CFL but it is also just the latest step in a pattern forming in the league.

That has been the evolution of stadiums throughout the league where teams are continuing to evolve in their homes.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers opened Investor’s Group Field in 2013 replacing Canad Inns Stadium while the Tiger-Cats built Tim Horton’s Field on top of the same area as Ivor Wynn Stadium in 2014.

Last year the Toronto Argonauts moved into a much newer space at BMO Field leaving behind the Rogers Centre.

The Riders are the latest to move into new digs and if some teams have their way they won’t be the last team to move into new digs.

It is a big deal for the league as they have often been considered a secondary league and almost amateur.

There are places where the league is not considered professional by any stretch and where it is almost a joke compared to the other professional leagues around the country.

It is not as big and as flashy of the other pro leagues in North America but it is certainly not a joke especially for the fans and the players that are a part of the league.

Yet for years when looking at the stadiums it was hard to argue that the league wasn’t a joke.

Most teams were sitting in stadiums that either weren’t their own or were so old that they resembled something closer to high school stadiums complete with a snack bar.

The old stadiums had plenty of charm and many people will always remember them in their heydey but they were still not befitting a professional sports franchise.

Now things are beginning to change and teams are in stadiums that are as good as any league in North America.

football-sidebarIt is giving some extra legitimacy to the outside observer as the New Mosaic Stadium isn’t just a good CFL stadium, it is a good stadium period.

So is Time Horton’s, Investor’s Group and BMO as all three are fit for any professional organisation in any league.

Some may be smaller than the NFL’s massive stadiums but they don’t need to be big to be great they just need to be at the right standard.

They are beginning to be and although there are still some old stadiums that could do with a refurbishment or teams that need to find new places the steps are being taken.

The CFL has always been a serious league that includes great talent and great competition but for the first time in a long time, it is beginning to look the part.

New Mosaic Stadium is a great new stadium for one of the best fan bases in the league but it is also so much more than that.

It is a sign that the league is evolving and as it evolves the league can only be taken more seriously as the professional league that it has always been.

There will always be that small town appeal for a league with teams in Regina and Hamilton but it is a professional league with professional athletes.

The bigger it gets the better it gets and for the league, it is the simply the continuation of the evolution of Canada’s only truly Canadian league.


Fourth Down

The New Commissioner

At the start of the season, Jeffrey Orridge and the CFL Board of Directors had a disagreement on the future of the league. That led to the mutual parting of ways leaving the league without a commissioner for the second time in three years. The search for a new commissioner began immediately and unlike the last time didn’t take very long. Reports this week have named former CFL player and Winnipeg businessman Randy Ambrosie as the newest commissioner.

White Out Again

John White has been one of the more frustrating players in the CFL and he is likely just as frustrated with how things have gone as any fan. He has been one of the top running backs in the league but has struggled to stay on the field to claim the title as the top rusher in the league. His injury woes have cut his time on the field short and for another season he will not get the chance to add up the rushing yards as he will miss the entire 2017 season after a knee injury in Week 2.

A New Evaluation

The CFL is evolving on and off the field with new stadiums and better players but also with their dive into the new era of statistics. The league looked to solve the biggest issue for most football leagues, evaluating the quarterback with one single number. Quarterback rating has been a way but recently has been proven to be less than reliable in comparing QBs. The CFL will attempt to do that using QUAR which takes passing efficiency into account along with team-based performance to try to come up with a better way of rating QBs.

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