The Toronto Bills
Gotta say, I'm torn on this NFL thing in the GTA.
On one hand, it sure seems there's so much dough in Toronto that the tickets for eight games over five years will be snapped up in a heartbeat. But then I start to think it could be a little more complicated than that.
For starters, the mighty Rogers empire, featuring Paul Godfrey, is pulling this wagon, and given the way in which they haven't made the Blue Jays popular again, what's making everybody so certain they're locks to make this NFL thing work?
Larry Tanenbaum's in it too, but he doesn't exactly have the rep as the Bill Veeck of Toronto pro sports either. And I don't think Ted Rogers, Godfrey or Tanenbaum are exactly beloved sports figures in this town.
Second, this is basically the same riff that the Green Bay Packers played in Milwaukee for years. Why would Torontonians want to be used as a satellite for the big show in Buffalo? Suddenly we're playing second fiddle to them?
Third, pro sports works best with a wallop of passionate fan interest, and the NFL is the best example of that.
So for five years people from Toronto are going to get all worked up once a year for the Buffalo Bills to play somebody? And isn't it likely that somebody won't be a prime opponent, given that those teams are likely to be reserved for Buffalo itself?
Maybe this is all nitpicking. Maybe people will open their wallets and their hearts and this will be a roaring success.
But if the Bills don't ultimately come to Toronto, it makes no sense this would be a hit year after year indefinitely.