Published on May 31, 2011 7:45 PM by dbo.
The 2012 Toronto Grey Cup Festival Committee launched details on Monday of the 100th Grey Cup Festival to be hosted in Toronto next year. Festival co-chairs were announced along with some details of the early plans for this major Canadian celebration.
Key to the festival is its extension to nine days, covering two weekends and providing additional time for the experience to be taken in by families from across southern Ontario. The expanded festival will be bigger than ever seen in Canada before and will culminate with the Grey Cup on Sunday, November 25, 2012. Capturing the scope of the celebration, the festival slogan “Invitation to our Nation” welcomes all Canadians to come to Toronto for a cultural event that extends beyond football.
There to distract the media on a big day for the CFL, uninvited according to one scribe, were Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his councillor brother Doug, self-proclaimed football fans and NFL franchise pursuers. There to be seen and make noise but not sense about the need for the NFL in Toronto they took it on the chin in my opinion in two media reports in the Toronto Sun.
Councillor Doug does his best to spin the NFL team pursuit with all kinds of not-thought-out answers. On Monday he was spouting nonsense about overlapping schedules (they would overlap by at lease 8 weeks of the regular season, and 11 weeks with the CFL playoffs) and double-headers. Obviously Doug won’t be put in charge of NFL scheduling anytime soon. He also seems to repeat the suggestion that the two teams could be tied at the ticket office, buy one ticket, be forced to buy the other. He is ambiguous enough that he may just mean he expects everyone to buy both. Either way, an empty thought with no basis behind it. All in all, none of these details are relevant at this time. You don’t solve these challenges with a flippant remark and a wave of the hand. When someone asks about the sharing of the market between the leagues, that should be your answer. But as a politician, he has to have an answer and has to spin it, despite a successful co-existence of the teams being only his unstudied opinion. “Those are tough questions that need to be worked out” would look a lot less inconsiderate to the Canadian institute that you profess your brother cares about.
I don’t have a problem with the Ford brothers’ NFL aspirations or talking about them. They feel that is their role as elected Toronto officials. I think if the NFL does come to Toronto, it will be despite Doug Ford, not because of him, as he has proven to have no skills to attract this billion dollar industry he believes is so desperately needed by the economy of Toronto. The plan to accomplish this seems to be throw out half-formed ideas, draw a lot of attention to yourself and fail to get anything done.
So what should the CFL do? Blacklist these two? Escort them from CFL events when they show up uninvited to take away media attention in a Q&A after the event? No. Just like they weren’t escorted out Monday (if they were in fact not invited), leave them alone and let them do their thing. Despite political popularity and support of the long-awaiting NFL fans, they are transparent to others who may not be so passionate about this pursuit. Time will show them to be ineffectual in making any progress on an NFL team without other players getting serious. Over time it will be clear that these idea men don’t have the knack for getting things done.