Bills in Toronto series stealing headlines from CFL openers (Photo Source)
The start of the 2008 professional football season is nine days away!
In Canada, at least.
Next Thursday, June 26, marks the first week of regular season action in the Canadian Football League. In their final pre-season tune-up, our across-the-border neighbors - the Toronto Argonauts - will face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before beginning their regular season on the road in Winnipeg. Argos fans everywhere are feeling now exactly what we feel in early September - the dawning of a fresh football season.
Why, then, can't the writers covering the team write about... well, the team?
There's actual news to report in the CFL at this point - such as the Calgary Stampeders' re-signing of former NFL wide receiver Ken-Yon Rambo, or the Montreal Alouettes naming Marcus Brady as their starting (but not exclusive) quarterback. But for a league that doesn't need those covering it to try to legitimize it - because it's both quite popular and never going to rival the NFL in popularity - Canadian football beat writers sure can't stop focusing on the NFL.
Even Small Stories Making Waves
When the focus should be on the upcoming CFL season - and to be fair, the majority of coverage is focused on that exact topic - there's still a rather large chunk of coverage dedicated to NFL matters. Never mind the Bills in Toronto Series for a moment; former Bills head coach and GM Marv Levy made waves when he visited the Montreal Alouettes' training camp last Wednesday. Levy, who prior to his career in the NFL was the GM of the Alouettes, and his appearance was a big story in Canada, and it's still receiving prominent exposure a week later.
Clearly, Levy's story pales in comparison to other NFL-related coverage by the Canadian press. Are their NFL-to-Canda fears unfounded? Certainly not. But there comes a point where covering the issue day in and day out feeds the issue and gives it a life of its own. Let's examine.
Bills in Toronto: "Greed", "Invaders" are Buzzwords
As far as I can tell, the Bills won't be playing football in Toronto for another two months - and the Argos are about to start their regular season. Yet respectable writers like Steve Milton and Perry Lefko are focusing on the Bills' "upcoming" series. Writes Milton, in an article titled "Greed has no bounds":