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November 28, 2007

NFL Team in Toronto

This past weekend the talk of the possibility of an NFL team in Toronto took off. The speculation was prompted by new CFL commissioner Mark Cohon discussing the likelihood and the implications of an NFL franchise in Toronto in his first state of the league address.

The question everybody is asking now is what would the NFL do to the CFL in Toronto and the league as a whole?

Throughout the weekend there was an outcry on Toronto talk radio and in the Toronto papers over the possible demise of the CFL. The article in the Globe and Mail cites several statistics which are meant to reassure its readers of the CFL’s long term health. These statistics might reassure CFL fans on the surface but upon further investigation of the stats I am not so sure.

The first problem with the information is the timing of the poll; subjects were surveyed right before the Grey Cup, the climax of the CFL season, and right as CFL fans were feeling most defensive with all the recent NFL talk. Therefore these numbers are likely inflated across the board.

Secondly there are a few concerning trends in the stats which the article ignores. The CFL is clearly least popular in Ontario where the popularity numbers are lowest in all of the categories. The CFL is also least popular amongst younger age demographics, the CFL’s future fans.

To me, as a member of the younger generation, I have grown up as an NFL fan watching the NFL. If an NFL franchise were to come to Toronto my tenuous devotion to the Argos would likely disappear. I can honestly say that at least amongst my age demographic in southern Ontario this is the norm. As a result I do not see much hope for the CFL in its flagship market, a market that I do not think the league can live without.

Posted by dbrait at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2007

Leafs win Battle of Ontario...Finally

It took them four tries to win in the Battle of Ontario but the Leafs finally put together a decent game getting a 3-0 win against the Senators on Saturday night at the ACC. Toskala was masterful in the third, getting better as the game went on against the high powered Sens offense.

This is a huge win for the Leafs. It snaps their 3 game losing streak and gives them a victory over a team who has been close to unbeatable this year. I know it is far to early to start talking about the playoffs but this is the type of game the Leafs are going to have to play to be successful in the post season: solid goal tending, a good defensive performance, especially from the McCabe and Kaberle pairing and good offensive performances Sundin and Tucker.

Posted by dbrait at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2007

Bargnani to the Bench

Sam Mitchell, in an effort to spark the Raptors after two bad losses to the Bucks and Magic, moved Andrea Bargnani to the bench in favor of Rasho Nesterovic for Friday nights game at Philadelphia. The intent was to give the Raptors a better defensive presence. Despite the lack of progress in that regard the move does appear to have sparked the Raptors. Bargnani's performances have continued to underwhelm , however, the change has opened some things up offensively for other Raptor perimeter players, most notably Anthony Parker . After Mitchell's questionable coaching tactics and game plans in last years playoffs it is good to see one of his moves finally paying off.

Posted by dbrait at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2007

Weekend in Toronto Sports

Overall it was a good weekend for Toronto sports. The Leafs showed signs of promise with a thrilling 3-2 win Saturday night at Montreal. Toskala was rock solid in net despite starting his second game in consecutive nights; his first back to back starts of the season. Hopefully this performance will erase any doubt about who is our #1 goalie. Expect Toskala to get the nod tonight at Ottawa.

The Raptors opened their 2007 road schedule in style with a romp of the Nets, looking nothing like the Raptors team that lost to the Nets in the playoffs last year. This game was over early as the Raps went into the break with a 15 point lead and never showed any signs of slowing down. Bargnani turned in his second straight impressive performance with 21 points and 6 boards in only 29 minutes. Newly acquired Carlos Delfino led the team with 34 minutes for the second night in a row.

On Sunday the Raps hosted the new look Celtics. Despite a huge game from TJ Ford, 3-4 3pt , 12-21 FG, 32 pts and 5 assists, the Raps were not able to overcome the struggles of Bargnani, 2-13 FG and 9 pts, and the heroics of Ray Allen, 11-16 FG, 7-11 3pt, 33 pts and the game winner in overtime. This game however did show many positives:

1. The Raptors showed that they can hang with the contenders in the east even when their best players struggle; Bosh and Bargnani.
2. 9 different players logged double digit minutes. A team this deep should be well rested down the stretch.
3. The Raptors did not appear completely defensively challenged as previously thought, holding the Celtics to 78 points in regulation and keeping Garnett and Pierce in check.

The Raptors are at Milwaukee tonight and host the Magic on Wednesday.

Posted by dbrait at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 04, 2007

Welcome

As a Toronto native all of my life and an avid Toronto sports fan I am going to write about the Toronto sports scene. The blog will focus on the Raptors and the Leafs as they are currently in season but it will also track any Blue Jays off season developments and any other interesting and relevant Toronto sports stories.

Posted by dbrait at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)