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  #141  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2018, 5:14 AM
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Could a public-private partnership secure a CFL stadium?
JOSH HEALEY The Chronicle Herald January 4, 2018

Halifax may want to take some cues from Canada’s capital city

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part seven of a series on the latest attempt to bring a CFL team to Halifax.

PART 1: CFL in Halifax: A gamble with lots of field to cover
PART 2: Stadium talks dominates CFL expansion discussion
PART 3: Halifax CFL franchise would make football a coast-to-coast sports, says commissioner
PART 4: Would Halifax support pro football?
PART 5: Roughriders show that CFL fan support can be province-wide
PART 6: Retired CFL pros want to see Halifax team
PART 8: Stadium will make or break Halifax’s CFL bid

On Nov. 29, 2016, more than 40,000 crazed Canadian Football League fans took to the streets of Ottawa to celebrate their Redblacks winning the 104th Grey Cup.

The Grey Cup win was momentous, given that Ottawa had only rejoined the league in 2014.

But the win also represented the culmination of a project begun in 2007, including the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park and the 24,000-seat TD Place Stadium, the home of the Redblacks.

Roger Greenberg, the executive chairman and managing partner of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), said that the task of attracting a CFL team can be all-consuming.

“I could talk about it for hours. This has taken over a big chunk of my life for the last eight or nine years,” he said. “You have to have solid local ownership that is committed to sticking it through.”

And as it’s the most recent expansion in the CFL, there is an opportunity for Halifax to learn from Ottawa’s complicated return to the football world.

No easy task

Greenberg explained that when the idea of bringing a CFL team back to Ottawa was first discussed in 2007, there were a number of setbacks.

Like Halifax, the need for a stadium was the talk of the town.

The idea was that Ottawa, which had previously fielded CFL teams, would play at the old Frank Clair Stadium but it became apparent that the building was in poor shape.

“That was what really led to a very, very different process than what we had anticipated at the outset,” said Greenberg.

This new route involved a joint venture between OSEG and the City of Ottawa and included a complete redevelopment of the 40-acre Lansdowne Park area.

The project, dubbed the Lansdowne Partnership Plan (LPP), encompassed the construction of a football stadium, upgraded sports facilities for soccer and hockey, 360,000 square feet of retail space and another 100,000 square feet of office space.

Greenberg noted that there was some opposition to the project, such as an organization called the Friends of Lansdowne.

Like Halifax, those critical of LPP asked why the city should spend money on a sports facility when the money could be spent on other infrastructure.

“I think a balanced city needs to have priorities but also needs to have a balance of economic opportunities,” said Greenberg when asked how cities should prioritize expenditures.

“Lansdowne has been a huge economic driver for the city of Ottawa, creating many jobs.”

Has the project boosted the local economy?

A recent report from the City of Ottawa’s finance and economic development committee has shown the LPP has generated an increase of visitors and business to the area.

In 2016, 3.4 million people visited Lansdowne, a 41-per-cent increase from 2015. The 105th Grey Cup Festival alone was anticipated to create $100 million in economic activity for the area.

Greenberg explained that the new facilities have also attracted events such as a FIFA game, the NHL 100 Classic and dozens of festivals.

“That never would have happened but for the redevelopment of Lansdowne,” he said. “We’ve created an urban park. I would not look at it as strictly building a stadium.”

Greenberg recommended that Halifax should find an area that can support a lot of commercial development but he said that it comes at a price.

To facilitate the return of the Redblacks and the revitalization of Lansdowne, OSEG and the City of Ottawa paid nearly $600 million.

According to a representative of OSEG, the city invested $240 million to the building and renovation of the stadium and arena complex.

“Sometimes, in my view, you need to invest in order to get a return. You can’t expect cities to grow if the infrastructure is not in place,” said Greenberg.

Glen Hodgson, a senior fellow at the Conference Board of Canada and an expert in macro-economics, said that the most profitable part of Ottawa’s project is not the football team but the property development.

“A CFL team typically has revenues of around $16 million to $18 million. That makes it a fairly small business in a community,” Hodgson said. “That’s where the Ottawa model is interesting because they were able to do some property development along with attracting the CFL team. That’s where they probably made their money back, by building a condo tower and then the commercial space around the stadium.”

Mindful of the message

Ian Lee, an associate professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, was opposed to the LPP. He was involved in the process as both an analyst and activist, being a member of the Friends of Lansdowne.

Lee explains that Halifax should learn from Ottawa’s expansion and be mindful of how the project is sold to the public.

“You have to ask yourself, can Halifax, as a city, afford to do this? And ought we pay for this?” said Lee.

In previous interviews with The Chronicle Herald, Anthony

LeBlanc, one of the members of Maritime Football Ltd., has said that the question of a stadium, and who will pay, is the elephant in the room.

Estimates for a stadium in Halifax are north of $200 million.

Lee explained that from the beginning of the LPP, the boosters in Ottawa tried to say that taxpayers wouldn’t have to worry about footing the bill.

“Their mantra was it won’t cost the taxpayers a dime. I’m old enough and have enough experience as a business banker to know that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody is paying,” he said.

Moreover, Lee said, he hopes that Halifax’s ownership will have a long, detailed discussion about different options because he feels Ottawa missed an opportunity for debate once the Frank Clair Stadium was ruled unfit.

“We never discussed any alternatives.”
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  #142  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2018, 5:18 AM
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Stadium will make or break Halifax’s CFL bid
FRANCIS CAMPBELL The Chronicle Herald January 5, 2018

New attempt after 1982 bid foundered

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part eight of a series on the latest attempt to bring a CFL team to Halifax.

PART 1: CFL in Halifax: A gamble with lots of field to cover
PART 2: Stadium talks dominates CFL expansion discussion
PART 3: Halifax CFL franchise would make football a coast-to-coast sports, says commissioner
PART 4: Would Halifax support pro football?
PART 5: Roughriders show that CFL fan support can be province-wide
PART 6: Retired CFL pros want to see Halifax team
PART 7: Could a public-private partnership secure a CFL stadium?

The time is now for the Canadian Football League to expand to Halifax.

But the same was said 35 years ago when the Atlantic Schooners were ready to chart a course for the Eastern Division of the CFL. Plans and money ran short, and despite having been granted a conditional expansion franchise in 1982 that was to give rise to a team taking the field two years later, the ownership group eventually withdrew its bid.

Back in the 80’s

“Going back to the ’80s, you had a team that was working with the CFL and the CFL was kind of keen on it,” said Mike Savage, mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality. “Ever since then, people have kind of popped up and said we should have a team but what they are missing is the business case for a stadium.”

That business case is the rocky shoal on which the Schooners foundered and eventually ran aground. In May 1982, the CFL’s board of governors unanimously approved a conditional expansion franchise for the Halifax area. The team would pay a $1.5-million expansion fee by the next May and take the field for the 1984 season if a 30,000-seat stadium were built in time to host a home opener.

The Maritime Professional Football Club Ltd. ownership group initially included John Donoval, a Toronto-area trucking executive, and J.I. Albrecht, the eccentric former general manager of the Toronto and Montreal CFL teams. Later, Robert Bruce Cameron, a New Glasgow-born industrialist who had served in the Second World War before starting several businesses that included Maritime Steel and Foundries in his hometown, joined the ownership group.

The proposed team, given the name the Schooners by November 1982, planned to hire Acadia Axemen head coach John Huard to guide the franchise in its first season. A league expansion draft was planned and details were worked out for the dispersal of players from existing franchises to staff the Schooners.

The $6-million stadium was to be built on leased land in Dartmouth but the federal and provincial governments were not amenable to providing any funding for the facility. Despite considerable contributions from Cameron, the ownership group was unable to meet league deadlines for a financing plan for the new stadium.

Will CFL hunger set the table for a stadium?

Subsequently, the best bet for a stadium may have been the scuttled bid for Halifax to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Halifax was selected as the Canadian bid city in December 2005 for the 2014 Games but when the bid society was unable to pare the estimate for hosting the Games from $1.6 billion to a preferred $1 billion, the province and the municipality withdrew their support. The Halifax bid withered and the Games were eventually awarded to Glasgow, Scotland.

“The thing that bothers me is that this city does not have the gonads,” said Rick Rivers, who has been a football coach and administrator at the local, provincial and national level since moving to Halifax from Ontario nearly 40 years ago.

“A few years back we won the Commonwealth Games bid; we should have a stadium as a result of that. The federal government, the provincial and local governments, would come together. They got cold feet and left it.”

Savage recalled that, last time, a stadium was seriously considered.

“It was a third federal, a third provincial and a third municipal,” the mayor said. “Basically, the entire capital cost was being borne by levels of government with upfront capital payments. I don’t think there is an appetite for that and, actually, there wasn’t back then either because it didn’t happen.”

Still, another bid for a CFL expansion franchise has surfaced, this time from the Maritime Football Ltd. ownership group, led by New Brunswick-born businessman Anthony LeBlanc, a longtime executive with Research in Motion and the former president and chief executive of the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League. Also on the team are Bruce Bowser, a Halifax native who is president of AMJ Campbell Van Lines, and Gary Drummond, a businessman from Regina who was president of hockey operations with the Coyotes during LeBlanc’s tenure there.

The group has met with the CFL and with the HRM city council. They have spent considerable personal funds on a poll to gauge fan interest, a cost-benefit analysis and legal representation. They hope to soon test season ticket sales and attract corporate sponsors.

“I think it’s fair to say that we need to either get this done or come to a decision that it is not doable,” LeBlanc said. “But we are certainly not looking at it in that (not doable) manner.”

Savage acknowledged that the business group is doing a lot of work behind the scenes.

“There isn’t anything at this point to present to council but we certainly are hopeful and anticipate that when they have formulated a plan, particularly around a stadium, that they’ll come forward. They are a serious group of people, they know what they are doing and I have a lot of faith in their ability to make this happen.”

LeBlanc said the capital structure and ownership of the stadium has not yet been discussed.

“Usually what happens is there is a public-private entity that owns and operates the facility,” LeBlanc said. “That’s kind of getting ahead of ourselves. From our perspective, the perspective of the ownership group of the franchise, we certainly understand that we are going to have to participate in the ownership, or at least the money that goes into building a stadium. Who operates or owns it, those are things that will get figured out.”

Savage doesn’t figure on the city owning it.

“As a municipality, we don’t want to own a stadium,” Savage said. “If you build a stadium, then you have to run it. I don’t think governments are ideally suited to do that. The idea would be that somebody would own it and run it. I think that is where you have your concerts instead of tearing up the Commons. You could have games, whether it is the Indigenous Games, the Senior Games, the University Games, the Commonwealth Games, all those kinds of things.”

If it was built

Moshe Lander, a Concordia University professor who specializes in the economics of sports, said a stadium would have limited use.

“If you end up with a stadium, how else is it going to be used other than the 10 times a year for the CFL?” Lander said. “Are you really going to have outdoor concerts in a 30,000-40,000-seat stadium? Are you going to have an MLS (Major League Soccer) franchise in Halifax? It’s unlikely. That sort of economics is that it’s going to be used 10 times, you might be able to squeeze a few other uses out of it. Other than that, it is going to sit primarily empty. So, who bears the cost if it is sitting empty?

What then, if anything, is different this time around from previous CFL rumblings?

“It’s definitely different,” Savage said. “Whether it’s different enough, we’ll find out.

“Getting an arrangement with the CFL whereby they would come here would take some work but it is very manageable. Putting an ownership group together for a team is a little more difficult but manageable. Getting the stadium, that’s the ballgame. That’s the jackpot right there.”

Lander said the difference from 35 years ago could be the growth of the city.

“Halifax is not going to build itself up to a world-class city but it’s certainly a very respectable Canadian city as an anchor of Atlantic Canada,” Lander said. “You can see the beginning of the high-rise developments that are starting to surface on the skyline, corporate headquarters that are starting to locate to Halifax or locate offices there. Lower Water is becoming more of a younger-trending area. Incomes are rising and it’s moved away from the stereotype old-fashioned fishing town to something a little more modern and dynamic.

“Now is the time to be a professional sports city. This is probably it. You are not going to be an NHL town, you are not going to have an NFL team, you are not even going to have MLS, so this is kind of the last missing piece.”
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  #143  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 3:36 PM
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Extra: Catching Up With The Flutie Brothers
The Waggle Season 2 - Episode 89

James Cybulski sits down with Darren and Doug Flutie to chat about their time in the CFL and when they were briefly teammates with the BC Lions.

The Waggle is the official podcast of the Canadian Football League hosted by Canadian Screen Award nominee, James Cybulski and three-time Grey Cup Champion Davis Sanchez as they chat all things CFL.
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  #144  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 4:14 PM
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POLL: What's in a name for an Atlantic CFL team?
FRANCIS CAMPBELL The Chronicle Herald January 7, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part nine of a series on the latest attempt to bring a CFL team to Halifax.

PART 1: CFL in Halifax: A gamble with lots of field to cover
PART 2: Stadium talks dominates CFL expansion discussion
PART 3: Halifax CFL franchise would make football a coast-to-coast sports, says commissioner
PART 4: Would Halifax support pro football?
PART 5: Roughriders show that CFL fan support can be province-wide
PART 6: Retired CFL pros want to see Halifax team
PART 7: Could a public-private partnership secure a CFL stadium?
PART 8: Stadium will make or break Halifax’s CFL bid

The Atlantic Schooners’ 23-year undefeated record could soon be in jeopardy.

The Schooners were granted a conditional Canadian Football League expansion franchise in May 1982. The franchise ownership group, Maritime Professional Football Club Ltd., was unable to attract the financial backing necessary to build a stadium in Dartmouth to host the team that was tentatively scheduled to begin play in 1984.

The franchise application was withdrawn.

In recent years, a Schooners group has held Grey Cup parties during the annual championship game weekend and promoted the trademarked logo with an Undefeated Since 1984 slogan.

The trademark was registered again in early December by a trio of businessmen who are making another bid to bring the CFL to Halifax. When the recently registered Maritime Football Ltd., fronted by Anthony LeBlanc, Gary Drummond and Bruce Bowser, reclaimed the Schooners trademark, it spawned the impression that a successful bid this time around would revamp the Schooners’ name.

“I'm getting lots and lots of feedback on that topic,” LeBlanc, the former president and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League, said earlier this month. “Obviously the Schooners is one that's come up a lot.”

LeBlanc said the Schooners trademark was secured for safety reasons in the event that the new team would want to use it, but “this is by no means a confirmation that this will be the name.”

“Personally, I would like to go out and do a name-the-team contest and get people engaged when possibly we do the season-ticket launch. There are a lot of great possible names that have been thrown our way. One thing in particular, it will be a branded Atlantic franchise. I think that is critically important that everyone in the Atlantic provinces feels that this is their team.”

Some aren’t convinced that the sentimental value of the Schooners name is enough to earn a logo on the jersey for an active team.

“I don’t think we can go back to the Schooners,” said Rick Rivers, a retired high school phys-ed teacher and fervent football fan who has long been involved with the game in this province as a coach, clinician and administrator.

“You want some alliteration there,” Rivers said. “I’d go with the Maritime Mariners, something definitely with an Atlantic flavour, but I really don’t want to see a fish in the logo. When I took over as president of Football Nova Scotia, we had a fish on its tail and it looked like hell with a football under its chin.”

The mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality also recommended requesting public input, adding that a wide range of options and opinions would likely be offered.

“The names that are getting bounced around are the Schooners, because we had the Atlantic Schooners 30 some years ago and the Atlantics because of the Atlantic nature of the team,” Mike Savage said. “People have mentioned the Explosion. I’d have to think about that, whether it’s disrespectful of the people who died in the Explosion. I’m not 100 per cent sure that that's the appropriate name but I heard people talk about it.”

Darren Fisher, the MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour and a big supporter of the CFL concept, said the Schooners name is ingrained in people’s psyche.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve always loved the name the Schooners, but if you’d ask me anytime over the last 20 years what the team name would be, I always figured it would be the Schooners,” Fisher said.

He would like to see a name-the-team contest incorporate fans and residents from the entire Atlantic region.

“I think a contest is the best way to go and to have the public have ownership of the team name by coming up with suggestions and having a nice contest and offer a season ticket to the person who comes up with the name. When Ithink of a de facto team, I think of the Schooners. I’m not sure that’s as reflective of Atlantic Canada as it would need to be if the team is going to draw from the entire Atlantic region.”

Terry Baker, the retired two-time CFL scoring leader who lives in Bridgewater and owns a business in Lunenburg, said the Atlantic Schooners name made a lot of sense at the time.

“I like the idea of the Atlantic or Maritime,” said Baker, a former punter and placekicker who grew up in Truro. “Saskatchewan is Saskatchewan, whereas other teams are Winnipeg, Calgary — city names because they can sustain it based on the size of their cities. I don’t think Halifax can sustain it based on the size of the city. I don’t know if it would be the smartest thing to do to make the team name strictly Halifax because that might deter others from coming, getting behind the team and wanting to be part of the football (event) in this area.”

Ultimately, it will be up to the people who sign the cheques, Baker said.

“Who am I to say. The people who are going to put millions of dollars into trying to get this off the design board, they would basically be able to call it whatever they want. They are the ones putting out the money.”
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  #145  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 11:11 PM
blueandgoldguy blueandgoldguy is offline
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Fact is the majority of the support for this hypothetical Halifax team will have to come from Halifax. 70 - 80% of season ticketholders will be from or near halifax just like 70 - 80% of the Riders season ticket holders are from Regina or the immediate area.
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  #146  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy View Post
Fact is the majority of the support for this hypothetical Halifax team will have to come from Halifax. 70 - 80% of season ticketholders will be from or near halifax just like 70 - 80% of the Riders season ticket holders are from Regina or the immediate area.
Agree but feel that Halifax can make this a success. My biggest concern is the stadium being built out in 'car land'. Peninsula Halifax is where the stadium should go but I don't think any site on the peninsula is being considered. Dartmouth Crossing? Bayers Lake? No way would people take a bus to these places.
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  #147  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 11:54 PM
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^^True, but if they work at it they can get a sizeable following from Cape Breton, NB, and PEI that will translate into merch sales and TV ratings. Aside from the politics of putting together a stadium deal there is really no ill will towards this idea.

The concept of going to the event will be more important than the game IMO and people will buy into it.

The only thing I am still leery about is the ownership group, even though some have Maritime ties they are not known and I think the road would be much easier traveled if they had lived in the area or had a Jeff Hunt type with a large local profile.
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  #148  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:53 AM
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Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy View Post
Fact is the majority of the support for this hypothetical Halifax team will have to come from Halifax. 70 - 80% of season ticketholders will be from or near halifax just like 70 - 80% of the Riders season ticket holders are from Regina or the immediate area.
Median family income in Halifax is $85,000 a year compared to $70,000 a year in the rest of the Maritimes. Half of all of the employment in NS is in the Halifax CMA alone. Probably 70% of the discretionary spending in NS that could go to a CFL team in NS is within an hour or so of where the stadium would go in Halifax. These disparities are probably going to continue to widen (Halifax grew by 8,000 last year and the rest of NS was -3,000).

NB and PEI are 2-3+ hours away so, while I expect some people would make the trip, they would not be the bread and butter for ticket sales.

This matters somewhat to the discussion because some people have argued it's important to put a stadium in a location that caters to people outside the city. But moving it 20 minutes north by a highway is going to be a big net loss if it makes it 50% harder for 70% of people to get there and 20% easier for 30% to get there...
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  #149  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 5:07 AM
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Median family income in Halifax is $85,000 a year compared to $70,000 a year in the rest of the Maritimes. Half of all of the employment in NS is in the Halifax CMA alone. Probably 70% of the discretionary spending in NS that could go to a CFL team in NS is within an hour or so of where the stadium would go in Halifax. These disparities are probably going to continue to widen (Halifax grew by 8,000 last year and the rest of NS was -3,000).

NB and PEI are 2-3+ hours away so, while I expect some people would make the trip, they would not be the bread and butter for ticket sales.

This matters somewhat to the discussion because some people have argued it's important to put a stadium in a location that caters to people outside the city. But moving it 20 minutes north by a highway is going to be a big net loss if it makes it 50% harder for 70% of people to get there and 20% easier for 30% to get there...
It should be catered to the Halifax market with the expectation of people from away attending one game a year. If they can organize local fan groups to bus to Halifax that would be a successful start.
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  #150  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 2:29 PM
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Fact is the majority of the support for this hypothetical Halifax team will have to come from Halifax. 70 - 80% of season ticketholders will be from or near halifax just like 70 - 80% of the Riders season ticket holders are from Regina or the immediate area.
I bet the season ticket holder base will be 90% or more within a 1 hour drive of the stadium. You can't duplicate the Rider fanbase on day 1... that province-wide base of support is unique, it's something no other CFL team really has (it exists partly out of necessity), and it developed over generations. It could eventually happen in Halifax but I don't think it's going to happen right away.

The good news is that Halifax and surrounding area can probably make it work on its own even without loads of buses coming in from Moncton, Sydney or wherever else. A prosperous city pushing half a million people shouldn't have too much trouble sustaining a CFL team if there's a decent level of interest.
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Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 2:55 PM
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So who thinks Manziel is going to get a deal done in Hamilton or elsewhere in the CFL?

Personally I'm pessimistic about his chances. If the guy couldn't get it together when presented with a huge multimillion dollar opportunity to be the hero of the big Browns turnaround story, what makes anyone think he's going to be motivated enough to it as a Hamilton Tiger-Cat for less than 10% of the money?

At this point I think one of two things will happen. Either he'll reject a CFL offer in hopes of getting a huge payday from the XFL or some other American startup league with the end result being that none of them ever actually start up and he never sets foot on a field again, or he'll sign with a CFL team only to follow the timeless NFL star-turned-NFL reject template of getting cut in training camp.

Of all the things Manziel is, hungry doesn't really appear to be one of them.
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  #152  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 5:38 PM
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While not enthusiastic about signing him, enough people are that I was alright with it. As long as he comes up, earns his stripes, shows what he can do. Sell a bunch of tickets and jerseys, if he's great, then great.

The latest tactic from his manager/agent has me wanting the Cats to tell him to f**k off.

"...we believe ‘fair deal’ means on par with what Hamilton has paid their QB in recent years, despite not having much on-field success."

Zach Collaros was the highest paid player in the league, and just got traded for a pick because of his contract (and his play, but his contract meant it wasn't worth giving him another shot).

For a guy who played something like 8 NFL games??? and hasn't played in two years, to even posture at demanding to be the highest paid player, is 100% completely the wrong attitude to take. I know it's a negotiation, and his agents job is to get the highest he can. But if you piss off the fans you might be coming to play for that isn't a good look.

Not to mention, considering we just signed Masoli, we have a starting QB. All we need is a backup. Jeremiah earned his spot, throughs years of being on the team, waiting for his chances, and delivering when given his opportunities. He was like 4th on the depth chart two years ago! If JM2 is offered what Masoli signed for, that's a huge insult to Masoli.
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  #153  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 5:43 PM
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^ It was kind of dumb of June Jones to hype Manziel as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Talk about pulling the rug out from under your own negotiating position.

I wonder what kind of box office punch Manziel would even really have... at first I thought he could sell a few tickets, but let's face it, people want to see amazing players... it doesn't matter how big your name is if you're not actually that great. If he flames out early on and ends up holding a clipboard for most of the season, all the Cats will have to show for his signing is a few thousand extra tickets sold to the first few games of the season. You wouldn't throw a half million at that.
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  #154  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 5:53 PM
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Of all the things Manziel is, hungry doesn't really appear to be one of them.
And what do you base that belief on? According to the CFL, Manziel has followed every step and met every condition laid out by the league, including meeting with the commissioner for a face-to-face interview. As a result of this special review, the league has determined Manziel is both fit, motivated and eligible to play in the CFL, and negotiations between Manziel and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are underway.

What evidence do you have that contradicts this apparent desire to play?
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  #155  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 6:46 PM
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And what do you base that belief on? According to the CFL, Manziel has followed every step and met every condition laid out by the league, including meeting with the commissioner for a face-to-face interview. As a result of this special review, the league has determined Manziel is both fit, motivated and eligible to play in the CFL, and negotiations between Manziel and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are underway.

What evidence do you have that contradicts this apparent desire to play?
How about "everything we've seen from him to date?"
Seriously, is there anyone who thinks that this will go well for the Ti-Cats, or for that matter, any other team stupid enough to throw valuable salary cap dollars at this walking, talking dumpster fire?
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  #156  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:34 PM
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esquire esquire is offline
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Originally Posted by Steveston View Post
How about "everything we've seen from him to date?"
Seriously, is there anyone who thinks that this will go well for the Ti-Cats, or for that matter, any other team stupid enough to throw valuable salary cap dollars at this walking, talking dumpster fire?
Ha. You beat me to it.

In terms of raw ability, Manziel is clearly elite. But come on, this is a guy for whatever reason simply lacks the discipline and willingness to compete at the pro level. Here's a guy who gained fame as a Heisman winner and was basically handed a script where he'd be the hero to turn around the Cleveland Browns. He squandered it completely by drinking, carousing and doing who knows what else. Within two years he went from first round NFL pick and future superstar to completely flamed out.

If Manziel really put his mind to it I'm sure he would do fantastically well. But at this point he's a guy who is two years out of football and will be up against guys who are less talented, but far hungrier than he is. And as I've said before, if he couldn't be bothered to get it together for his rookie salary of $2,000,000 and NFL glory, I don't think a $200,000 (Canadian) or however much deal with the Ticats will be worth is going to get him revved up and focused again.

Signing Manziel will be a PR stunt and not much more. Does anyone seriously imagine him leading a team to the Grey Cup? I can't. Meeting the minimum league standards to be allowed to play is one thing, but actually being in a mindset that will lead to on-field success is totally different.
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  #157  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:40 PM
TimB09 TimB09 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steveston View Post
How about "everything we've seen from him to date?"
Seriously, is there anyone who thinks that this will go well for the Ti-Cats, or for that matter, any other team stupid enough to throw valuable salary cap dollars at this walking, talking dumpster fire?
I present to you Kavis Reed...he being the clueless GM of the Montreal Alouettes and who is desperate enough to do something stupid like trade for his rights and give him what he wants.

Mike Sherman has also coached Johnny Manziel before so I have a feeling he's in Kavis' ear telling him to go after him.

I hope he never sets foot in the CFL as he doesn't care about the league and only about himself. But, I know if he did come up it would introduce a new fanbase to the game, which is good for the CFL.
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  #158  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:56 PM
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^ Manziel has Montreal written all over him. He is exactly the kind of big American name that Popp would chase with gusto. Popp's not around there anymore, but I bet Reed and Sherman would love to roll the dice on him as a potential saviour.

The problem is that if you're a reformed drinker/party animal, probably the worst place that you could wind up in the CFL is Montreal.
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  #159  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 8:28 PM
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Prometheus Prometheus is offline
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How about "everything we've seen from him to date?"
But that is precisely what the CFL's recent investigation into Manziel examined. This investigation, which the CFL commissioner said was rigorous and exacting, concluded that Manziel's problems appear to be behind him and that he is fit, ready and willing to play professional football again. The findings of the CFL's investigation constitute the latest evidence regarding Manziel's recovery and current condition. Do you have any evidence to contradict the recent findings of the CFL's investigation into Manziel's current condition?
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  #160  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 8:38 PM
EpicPonyTime EpicPonyTime is offline
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I'm feeling better about Manziel making it in the CFL than I am a team in Halifax, tbh.
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