Thursday, June 12, 2014
Ratifications and Ramifications
With the countdown towards the kickoff to the 2014 season underway, the CFLPA is taking the recent contract agreement with the league to its membership for a vote.
CFL, Players to vote on tentative labour agreement this week
CFL players holding ratification votes on tentative agreement with league
And while most expect the new deal to be approved, it seemingly won't be accepted by all as a major advance in the lot of the CFL player.
CFL players should know results of vote on pact by Thursday night
Redblacks player rep Eric Fraser waiting for result of vote on tentative deal
Players got shortchanged in new CFL labour deal
Players give in, reach tentative deal to avoid strike
Players to vote Thursday on new CFL CBA
CFLPA rep meets with Roughriders to explain deal
Esks players vow to stick together regardless of vote
Stamps player set for Thursday's ratification vote
Second thoughts may undercut CFL labour pact
As with any labour dispute, there could still be surprises along the way, but the process of the voting is underway and the final verdict of the players will soon be delivered.
Still, while there will be some who clearly believe the CFLPA could have forced more out of the league, once the players are into the weekly grind of the 2014 schedule we imagine that the majority will put the labour issues behind them.
The CFL has always been a bit of mixed bag when it comes to what their players hope to achieve through their careers.
For some, though only a few, it's a stepping stone to a hoped for opportunity with the larger machine of the NFL.
Whether it's a young player out of University ball who was overlooked by the football industry that is the NFL, or a player who has crossed the border after spending time on NFL rosters, with the prospect of once again taking their game to the four down variety continuing to burn bright.
For a number of Americans that perhaps thought that their stay in Canada would be a short one, they find that they quickly settle into the rhythm of the league, make impressive careers for themselves and take all that experience to the coaching levels or finding a place in a Canadian community to make a life after football.
For the majority of the Canadian players migrating from Canadian or US university ball, the CFL will most likely be their only home. For many, like those that play hockey and aspire to the NHL, the CFL and Grey Cup is their vision.
They obviously make significantly less than those that chose to chase pucks instead of pigskins, but the desire and love of the CFL game is equal to that of any NHLer, for them the CFL offers a chance to add some years of football to their resume, find a niche in a game they love and make their name for life after football.
It's those cards that the league knows very well, that in the end make for labour deals.
Though with growing revenue streams, returning a portion of that new economic order should be a priority moving forward for Commissioner Mark Cohon and the team owners.
Nobody is going to get rich from a CFL lifestyle, for many it makes for a comfortable way station on the way to the NFL or a future career out of the sport, making the journey for the players a little more rewarding and a little more secure is something that all sides should continue to work on even after the new contract is in place.
A little good faith today, will likely go a long ways in times of trouble.