Sunday, September 06, 2015

Grabbing some of that Toronto media sunshine is proving elusive for the CFL this year

The Toronto market is always one of the most challenging for the CFL, the threat of an NFL incursion always seemingly on the horizon along with a wide range of other sports options that suck the media cycle dry sometimes before the league can even elbow its way into a conversation.

This year in particular, the Argos have been shuffled beyond the front page of the sports pages, lost at times to the tidal wave of coverage on the Blue Jays of late, the Pan Am Games which apparently was Toronto's debut in the world of international sport (at least if Toronto's media offerings of the summer were an indication at that time).

Then there was the Women's World Cup of Soccer which did grab our attention through the start of the CFL season, add on the never ending watch on the Leafs and the Raptors and you get the idea, column space or TV and radio coverage is something that you have to fight for.

Things weren't helped along this year for the Double Blue by their travelogue opening schedule, where the Argos became Fort McMurray's home town team for a few games, before gaining more travel time across Western Canada than most of the early explorers for the HBC.

Finally the Argos managed to find a home date in a home stadium, in their hometown. (well OK that one is a bit of stretch, they're really treated like squatters at Rogers Centre)

So, now they're back in town, ruling the CFL standings in the east and looking pretty damn impressive.

A feat accomplished despite the fact that the team's franchise player, Ricky Ray has not suited up for one regular season game, they really should be the thing of Toronto legend right?

Well, not quite ... true the coverage is starting to pick up, the window though is short, a Blue Jays run down the stretch will roll into the Leafs training camp opening .... space again we imagine will become limited.

Still, one hopes that the Toronto Star at least can slot their stories into the right category.

This week, Bruce Arthur offered up a bit of catch up for Argo fans, putting together some interesting thoughts on the latest from the CFL, a fairly instructive review of the state of the league at the moment.

As well it also provided a glimpse into the work of new Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge and what he has ahead of him as he looks to lead the CFL into the future.

CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge has his eye on the ball: Arthur

The only problem and perhaps it is the largest problem for the CFL, is that when it comes to the impression of the league in the Big City, the league's imprint is shall we say a tad limited, to that point the Star placed Mr. Arthur's story of Saturday in the "Amateur Sports" section .

That's no reflection on Bruce Arthur's report, which was a balanced look at the CFL and one that highlighted some of the issues of the past and the challenges of the future.

However, the line up positioning by the Star's composition desk in itself probably outlines the largest issue for Commissioner Orridge when it comes to the CFL's relationship with the media in Toronto.

At times, when it comes to some of the media players in the nation's largest market, the respect for the one of the country's longest running and celebrated national sports institutions,  is at times pretty hard to find.

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