The NFL In Canada

Brad JamesCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2008

As the crow flies, the distance is not significant between Buffalo, N.Y. and Toronto.

On a day where you can make it to St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada unscathed by traffic from Buffalo, the complete trip can be made in less than two hours. (At least that's what my friend in Mississauga says).

With that said, the chance always exists (much to the chagrin of Bills fans) that the NFL can move the Bills to the fifth largest city in North America.

While I'm typing this article, I'm tuned into the afternoon show on the FAN 590 of Toronto and it appears, at least in the minds of these aforementioned talk show hosts that it will be intriguing to have the Bills in Toronto occasionally, but it won't change anything significantly.

Of course, in the modern dynamics of the NFL, there is nothing wrong with Buffalo getting revenue from Canada's financial capital and there are many NFL fans in the Great White North.

In fact, I have also learned that TSN airs the national doubleheader of NFL action which most of us get in the U.S. except for places where blackouts occur.

The good part is while in Utah when we're saddled with a Lions-Bengals game, they get to pick the best two games and air them on a national basis in Canada, regardless of whether they air on CBS or FOX in the lower 48.

I also believe that the NFL's advent into Toronto won't change Canadian culture as hockey will most likely always be the national pastime while John Madden will never take Don Cherry's place.

There are already numerous Ontarians who go to Orchard Park. N.Y. for every Bills home game and that seems to be working fine, so theoretically there should be no concern of the Bills moving, at least for the next decade or so.

Another concern that comes up continually is that the NFL will run the Canadian Football League out of business. However, present evidence makes this seem unlikely.

The CFL should remain intact as the seasons of these two leagues seldom clash.

Even when they run together, the CFL likes to make Friday their big night of the week, thus leaving Sunday, Monday and Thursday open to the NFL.

While the NFL is excellent from wire to wire, by the time it hits its full stride in November, the CFL is crowning the Grey Cup champion (congrats to the Stamps this season!).

Therefore, the NFL is doing the right thing, I believe in going up into Canada occasionally, and it should be beneficial for all parties.

The bigger question is will this be the death knell for the Bills on the season?

Rare are the occurrences when a team races out to a 4-0 start and fails to make the playoffs. Nevertheless, the Bills are on the verge of becoming the first team to do so since the Vikings in 2003.

Perhaps the Torontonians will become Dolphins fans if Miami should win going away.

That, of course, would be counterproductive to Ralph Wilson's plans so it's in the best interests of the Bills to win.