Thursday, May 22, 2014

CFL 2014 Collective Bargaining and Ticat Merchandise

I haven't commented at all about the CFL bargaining process so far, although I'm definitely interested in it. Certainly with the new TSN television deal I can appreciate that the players would want to get a significant raise after years of stagnant increases (which I'm sure are even below the poor average performance of the Canadian worker since 2000).

I thought this blog post from Ridley Scouting was a good take on the issues.

I was interested in one thing in particular from a Ticat business perspective:

"The third portion of the NFL equation is based on merchandise sales. In the CFL the leader is the Saskatchewan Roughriders who generate $7 Million each year in sales but they also account for 70% of the total meaning the League overall is only at $10 Million."

I'm not sure that is entirely accurate. Certainly the Riders generate a massive amount of sales relative to the other teams, but I've heard the Ticats bandy about selling more than a million in merchandise. That would mean the Ticats would sell half the other six teams combined which strikes me as unlikely. I do think that the Cats sell a lot of merchandise for the size of their fan base as measured by television ratings, ticket sales and Internet following. The Argos measured by Google trends seem similar to the Cats, but I'm sure the Cats sell way more merchandise. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 Ticats Draft Picks

The Ticats had the eight and ninth picks of the first round in the 2014 CFL draft, so they didn't have any of the very top picks that are generally more interesting.

The Cats took Beau Landry, a Western linebacker at eighth and Evan Gill, a Montreal defensive lineman from Manitoba at ninth. I'm surprised that one of those picks wasn't an offensive lineman but three were taken earlier so maybe there wasn't much available. I assume both picks have no NFL camp danger. Just based on statistics I doubt Landry will ever start at linebacker but could be a good contributor on special teams.

For Gill, having the best possible Canadian backup for Brian Bulcke at defensive tackle over the next few years will be important and maybe Gill will eventually be that guy. Starting two interior Canadian defensive linemen is virtually unheard of, however on the defensive line starters get swapped out frequently compared to other positions, so depth is doubly important.

The Cats, having pawned all their other draft picks for magic beans, didn't pick again until the eighth pick of the fifth round. There they took Christopher Johnson of noted football power the University of Toronto. To be honest, by the fifth round the chances of a player making the roster for any length of time is pretty limited. I should probably do an analysis of players in the CFL and their draft position.

In round six, pick seven was Mathieu Girard, a defensive lineman from Montreal and the Cats also had the eighth pick and took Stephen Mawa a defensive lineman from UBC. Finally the Cats took another defensive lineman with pick eight in round seven, Martin Pesek from Acadia. So that's three defensive linemen in the last two rounds plus one in the first. Clearly the Cats want one to pan out as a backup, although maybe not this year. Pretty light on other positions, although a lot of these kids will go back for a fifth year anyways.

McMaster had a kicker and a long snapper taken in the later rounds.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TSN Will Broadcast Six Pre-Season Games in 2014

After having less games last year (two I think), TSN and TSN2 will broadcast six pre-season games out of a total of nine pre-season games. Unsurprisingly TSN2 will broadcast the Ottawa home game in Saskatchewan against Saskatchewan. More surprisingly TSN isn't broadcasting the other Rider game which seems a bit stupid from a rating standpoint.

Ottawa gets two games, Calgary gets two games and the Bombers get two games. Hamilton? Nada. Fuck you TSN.

Maybe logistics at Mac for the Ticat home game would have made it difficult, but why not the road game? At least the Cable 14 sports staff will have something to do for two games this year.

TSN has four games and TSN2 has two. Hopefully as few games as possible will have Rod Black, but that's unfortunately doubtful.