Locating the cup
Mustang football fans weren't the only people disappointed by Western's loss to the University of Saskatchewan in Saturday's Churchill Bowl.
The organizers of this year's Vanier Cup were most likely crossing their fingers, hoping Western would pull through so there would be an Ontario representative in this weekend's finale. Without an Ontario team at the Vanier Cup it will be tough to gather enough support to even partially fill the cavernous Toronto SkyDome.
With interest in Canadian football waning in Ontario, organizers were hoping to inject some life into CIAU football on a national level with a decent showing at Vanier, but once again they didn't get their way.
The problem now is to try and drum up some support in southern Ontario so that when the game is aired on TSN, it doesn't look like there are only 10 people in the stands. Of course there is a further problem because this isn't the first time this has happened and it's not going to be the last.
The idea of moving the Vanier Cup into the SkyDome was a daring move by the CIAU to make the football finale one of the premiere sporting events in Canada. Well, the experiment failed and it's time for a change.
If the organizers and the CIAU want this event to be a success, then they will have to bring it back to the people it was meant for the students and the fans of CIAU football, not corporate sponsorship out of Toronto.
Bring the Vanier Cup back to the campuses around Canada and its support will return. While the game may not be held in a first class location like the Dome, the communities, like those of the University of Saskatchewan or Concordia will certainly benefit.
A simple solution would be to award the Vanier Cup game to the previous champions. This will keep the interest level high enough that when the game eventually comes to the campus it will receive top billing.
It will not be buried deep within the sports pages of Toronto newspapers, but will receive front page coverage from local newspapers and radio stations.
This will also provide consistent interest in Canadian university football as it won't only be a battle for football supremacy but a chance to host a national championship and inject the community with some excitement and of course, cash.
The CIAU is designed to support athletics at the university level and they are helping no one by conducting their business with the SkyDome. By bringing the Vanier Cup back to the campuses, they will be helping not only themselves, but all the universities involved in football.