There has been a ton of news as of late on the future of the Atlantic Schooners, as Anthony Leblanc and CFL Commissioner Randy Ambroise make their rounds with the local media outlets in the Maritimes. The future of the Schooners brings out a variety of emotions with football fans, ranging from excitement, disbelief, confusion, as well as fear.
I believe that Leblanc is aware of this range of emotion that the football community is facing as he recently made a statement “People are forming their opinions based on emotions”.
On top of the emotions that people are experiencing for the business plan for the Schooners, there is the issue of Touchdown Atlantic and the ties that it may or may not have to the Schooners becoming a reality.
As a podcaster, and sometimes a blogger, even I have stated in the past that if this game doesn’t sell out in Moncton that the bid for the Schooners is dead. Well my opinion on that has changed. Not only from my conversations with Anthony Leblanc, but from listening to his conversations in other interviews as well.
There is no question during this bid process the SSE was thrown a curveball by also having to plan for a CFL game between the Toronto Argos and the Montreal Alouettes in Moncton. Leblanc has admitted numerous times that they fell behind the eight ball in the planning for this event as they are in the process of finalizing their bid for the stadium in Halifax.
Let’s Talk about what we do know…
- The game in Moncton on Aug 25th will not determine the future of the Schooners.
- For the people in attendance this will be a great event put on by the CFL, Schooners, and the city of Moncton.
- Prior to the game, there will be a full tailgate experience at the stadium with a live band and entertainment for the whole family. It will be an opportunity for future Schooners fans to begin their bonding as a fan base.
A recent post in the Let’s Talk Atlantic Schooners Facebook group made me realize that we have several CFL fans across the Maritimes supporting existing CFL teams from across the country, and they are obviously very passionate about their team colours. Myself, well I have a few teams that I have enjoyed over the past couple of years but one thing I know for sure is that I can’t wait for the day I get to put on my Schooners jersey no matter what those final colours end up being.
I totally understand the reason for speculation and/or disbelief that this team will come to reality based on missed deadlines, response from the public, politicians, and other reasons. In 2010, then CFL Commissioner Marc Cohan talked about expansion to the Maritimes in the city of Moncton. I was all in, and hoped and prayed it would become a reality. My heart broke when the entire dream fell apart a few years later. I had totally given up on watching the CFL and just focused on my Buffalo Bills, which is a completely different type of pain. And then one day my podcast partner Andy Jardine suggested we put together a strictly CFL content podcast separate from everything else we were doing at the time. I had my fears that this would not work here in Moncton with no team, no future of a team, and being so far from a CFL City.
The craziest thing started happening, we started seeing growth in numbers in both listens and followers to our website. After attending the 2018 Grey Cup in Ottawa, news began to surface that there was a potential ownership group that was planning on bringing a team to Halifax.
Guess what… I was all in again!
I know the disappointment we tend to feel with the missed deadlines, and the lack of facts or timely updates, but I believe in this group and their front man Anthony Leblanc.
Surely, we are still going to go through a few more emotions as we go through this process but I personally can’t wait to feel that sense of triumph when it’s declared that the East Coast is being awarded a CFL franchise.