It's a game deep into the CFL Season, and the NFL Network has officially aired it's first game (July 1: Montreal Aoulletes @ Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Grey Cup rematch). More than a year ago Roger Goodell made it know the NFL is in need of a developmental league since NFL Europe folded. With the NFL's decision to air CFL games, is this a sign the NFL is targeting the CFL to become the new NFL Europe? Take a closer look at the writing on the wall and tell me what you think:
Some of its most recognizable alumni include former NFL quarterbacks Warren Moon, Doug Flutie, Joe Theismann, and Joe Kapp, and legendary coach Bud Grant. Moon and Grant are members of both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This is straight from NFL.com's announcing the CFL's debut on its network. The NFL is showing potential viewers the history of talent that has already come from the CFL to the NFL. The Canadian League's history is rich with fairy tale-like stories, and the blurb doesn't even mention our own Jeff Garcia. Garcia came to the 49ers from the Calgary Stampeders and became one of the greats in San Francisco history, setting the single season franchise record for most passing yards (4278 in 2000, Garcia's second season). While the former Stampeder/49er may not go into the Hall of Fame the point remains relevant: CFL players have had success in the NFL as an independent league. If the NFL brands it to the U.S. market, things could take off for the new Europa.
NFL Network adds the fast-paced, wide-open CFL football action that features familiar names from U.S. college football.
That's all the proof I need to speculate the NFL is considering adopting the CFL. Familiar names from U.S. college football. Obviously the NFL wants to market the CFL to have success on its station, but at the same time the NFL isn't doing itself a disservice by thinking the CFL could eventually farm for the League. On the same note, neither would the CFL. At the very least, becoming the NFL's farm system would allow a neutral site in the U.S. for the CFL Championship game, the Grey Cup. It could also mean the league expands into the U.S., something that was already attempted miserably in the early 90s. However, with the NFL "owning" the CFL, both leagues would gain. The NFL would get a well-established football league, and the CFL would reap financial gain.