The ongoing pandemic is threatening the 2020 CFL season. CFL games may restart in September but, according to league commissioner Randy Ambrosie, this is the best-case scenario. Until then, unfortunately, CFL fans will be left with little more than reruns and football games at the All Jackpots Casino.
News has recently emerged about a potential collaboration between the CFL and The Spring League, a US-based developmental league. The Spring League CEO Brian Woods proposed a 14-team alliance between the two leagues that would’ve held games on fall weekdays this year. Many consider the proposal an interesting development. Interesting as it may be, the proposal didn’t come in the right moment, it seems.
The Spring League
The Spring League is an American football scouting event and league founded in 2017 with the aim to “serve as an instructional league and showcase for professional football talent”. The founder and CEO of the league, Brian Woods, is not at his first foray into football: he was previously the CEO of the Fall Experimental Football League, a professional football minor league created to become a professional feeder system for the NFL. The FXFL played two seasons and has suspended operations in 2016.
The Spring League usually has a short season in the spring, involving four teams consisting of 38 players each. The teams play two games each against each other, at the same facility. In the off-season, the league conducts tryout camps.
Speaking to The Canadian Press, Woods said that Ambrosie was open to his proposal to have Canadian teams play and practice with TSL teams in September, and requested a formal proposal that he could present to the CFL’s board of governors.
Setting things straight
Last Friday, in turn, Ambrosie set the record straight about the proposal and the CFL’s standpoint on the matter. Ambrose said he spoke to Woods via phone on Wednesday. But he told Woods that the CFL wouldn’t be able to seriously consider a partnership right now. Ambrosie’s reasoning was the CFL being too busy dealing with the various elements of the ongoing pandemic. He said he did tell Woods to send a follow-up email on the matter but it was not a request for a formal proposal.
“I’m trying to keep an open mind to everything,” Ambrosie told the CBC when asked about the matter last week. “The one quality of this job is to try to make friends, build relationships, and explore all options. I think what our governors want me to do is find a bigger, brighter future for this league. That means you’ve got to be open to new thoughts.”
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