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CFL Combine – Another Blunder by the League

Published: Wednesday, Mar 29th 2023, 3:03pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


I personally don’t care about the CFL Combine one bit… and that’s part of the problem with the CFL.


First, I don’t want to discourage or put down any of the great athletes performing in the CFL (or NFL) Combine, it’s another important step in their pursuit of a pro football career. I get why it’s important for teams and players. It just doesn’t excite me to watch bench presses or dudes jump up in the air. But I also realize that many people DO enjoy testing events like this.


And that’s where the CFL has dropped the ball, especially this year, 2023, with their CFL Combine coverage… or lack thereof.


When it comes to marketing, we know the CFL has issues. But, EVERYTHING the league does SHOULD be the biggest, BEST thing they do. Free Agency, Combine, Draft, etc. ESPECIALLY the offseason events. However, they don’t even do the bare minimum to promote their own product and it’s just frustrating to me as a fan. I WANT to care, but they sure don’t want to help me get there.


Last year, there was streamed coverage of the Combine. People loved it. Fans want to see their local players do well in anything they do. Were the streaming numbers off the charts? No, but they were pretty solid, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the league gets more viewership… YOUNGER viewership… and (gasp) gets into the 20th (let alone 21st) century and makes their product available to everyone. The cost to the league is minimal to send one person with a camera, microphone and laptop to make it work. 


Other media companies sent workers to Edmonton to cover the Combine… and that tells me one thing: That as long as someone else is doing the work, we don’t have to. Yes, I realize that Kristina Costabile, the CFL’s Manager of Web & Digital Content was there, but frankly, there should have been a bigger league presence to make it a bigger deal. This is where the league is missing Brodie Lawson and Max Rosenberg and it’s a shame the CFL hasn’t replaced them after they left.


We’re coming up on the CFL Draft and the league’s main partner TSN is going to televise a whopping 2 rounds over 2 hours. I get it, outside of Duane Foord and Marshall Ferguson, does anyone at TSN REALLY follow U-Sports and Canadian players in the NCAA? Probably not. And the CFL Draft is a crapshoot to begin with, so is it really worth doing a ton of research for guys that will get drafted in the 5th and 6th round to never play a pro game in their life? Again, no. But at least make it look like you care! At least the rest of the draft will likely be streamed on TSN+… but if you don’t have that, you’re likely going to be refreshing Justin Dunk’s twitter account to see who gets drafted. They can’t put the rest of the show on TSN2?


The CFL claims they want growth (they NEED it), but they refuse to put any resources into it and it’s a shame. In my previous career, I was always asked “why do I care” by my boss when I was bringing up a topic or a show guest. “MAKE me care” was always his comment after that. Find a good story on this, relate it to the casual fans and then you will see growth.


The CFL just keeps getting in their own way over and over again and it’s really sad to see. I love this league and I want it to thrive… too bad they don’t feel the same way. MAKE me care, CFL.


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