The off-season is underway and every team faces questions. Today, I look at three questions concerning the Canadian Football League.
1. Will there be any rule changes?
The off-season usually brings about a batch of rule changes, but that might not be the case this season. The only real change I could see coming is expanding automatic reviews to include turnovers. Right now, all scoring plays are automatically reviewed, but with the NFL going to automatic reviews of turnovers this season, I could see the CFL following suit (they've piggybacked on NFL rule changes a lot in the last couple of years). But other than that, I don't see any rules changes, major or minor, coming into effect for next season.
2. Will they reup solely with TSN?
The television contract that made TSN the sole carrier of CFL games expires after this upcoming season. TSN has an exclusive negotiating window until January of next year to reach an agreement to keep all the games on TSN. If TSN gives the CFL the money it wants, they'll be staying with Canada's Sports Leader. But it might be in the best interest of the league to find another partner willing to broadcast a game or two a week. TSN has been awesome for the league, but by sticking with just one network, the league and TSN have become synonymous. CFL coverage on The Score and Sportsnet is almost nonexistent and bringing one of them into the mix would increase the league's profile. Right now, neither network has any stake in covering the league because all they are doing is promoting their competition. This is a really difficult decision for the league to make and I am glad I'm not the one making it.
3. Will we see the CFL video game?
Rumours about a CFL game pop up all the time, but for the first time in a long time, it actually seems like it could be a reality sooner rather than later. Commissioner Mark Cohon talked openly about a potential CFL video game during his Fan State of the League address during Grey Cup weekend. From the sounds of Cohon's comments, it might not be a traditional game on a platform like XBox or Playstation, but maybe a mobile game. He kept the plans pretty close to his vest, but this is the first time I had ever heard the commissioner talk about a CFL video game. Maybe after years of hoping, fans might finally get a chance to take the virtual field as their favourite CFL franchise.