NFL Continues To Treat Toronto with Contempt

Steve ThompsonAnalyst IIIApril 21, 2009

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 28:  Brian Moorman #8 of the Buffalo Bills punts during the game against the New England Patriots on December 28, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

I've written articles about this very same issue during the World Baseball Classic, but here I go again, writing another one about the utter arrogance, ignorance, contempt, if not outright racism some Americans have for "foreigners."

This one in particular centers on the latest Buffalo Bills game in Toronto on Dec. 3 against the New York Jets.

If Canadians were smart and not so mindlessly wound up about the NFL and the glamour, which American television confers on the league, everyone would turn their backs and say, "Keep your game and don't bother us any more."

Toronto has been able to watch the NFL on television since the 1950s, and as the league has grown to be the No. 1 sports league in North America, Toronto's infatuation with the league has grown in parallel proportions. 

There is a mindless element in Toronto that wants an NFL team at any price, and these Buffalo Bills games are in that category.

But any thinking person who looks beneath the surface will easily detect all those qualities I've listed in my first sentence.

Last year, the ticket prices were so outrageous they made even the most mindless Toronto NFL supporter pause and think where his/her money was going.  The Bills failed to sell out a stadium that was only two-thirds the size of their usual stadiums in the US.

So this year, we are told that the NFL front office learned from their mistakes and have "reduced" ticket prices to make them more affordable for fans.

So let's compare: To see a game in Buffalo this year costs $36-$77 American.  To see the game in Toronto costs $99-$275 Canadian. 

You don't even need to convert one American dollar to the Canadian dollar—with its 20 cents differential—to realize how Canadian fans are being treated like suckers.

Sadly, behind this greedy ploy is the same attitude that was displayed all too often during the recent World Baseball Classic, where the games were often belittled to "exhibitions" by Americans and foreign teams.

The players were disdained as inferiors, despite the fact that five teams had better records than the United States, and the American team has yet to make the finals in two attempts.

“It is a ‘privilege’ for a ‘foreigner’ to view an NFL game in their own stadium,” says the powers-that-be.  You are not our equals and therefore you will pay more.

Hey Americans, remember we're supposed to be friends.  We're your best trading partners.  We're fighting beside you in Afghanistan. 

What have we done to deserve this?  Why do you want to look down on us Canadians?

I can't count all the "patriotic" ads and messages I've seen on American television shows, going back to the 1950s proclaiming American belief in equality and justice for themselves and all nations.

How are you supposed to sell a game to newcomers when something like this is going on? 

And of course there will be somebody like Disney that will produce a movie or television show to be shown in the United States, that perpetuates that Americans really understand globalizations and are spreading good will wherever they go.  Americans will then be able to sleep with a clear conscience.

Well, not every "foreigner" is a sucker.  The NFL recently folded NFL Europe.  Perhaps "foreigners" wised up to the fact that they were being shown an inferior brand of football and chose not to buy it.  I read that the NFL lost $30 million with NFL Europe.

So, Toronto will pay extra to watch the Buffalo Bills.  Imagine if the NHL or a league from another country tried the same ploy in the United States.  There would be petitions of outrage to Congress demanding a declaration of war.

Lots of people in Buffalo are worried about losing the Bills to Toronto, but if Canadians were smart, they'd quietly punt the team back to Orchard Park.