Volume 94, Issue 25

Friday, October 13, 2000


Mustangs stampede to Queen's

Mustangs unleash their big Mac attack

Argos should set sail for London

Weekend Preview

Argos should set sail for London

John Dinner
Sports Columnist

Some morning thoughts on Friday the 13th that are going to amaze, but more than likely, confuse you.

Anybody catch last weekend's historic football game between our Mustangs and the Waterloo Warriors? Neither did I. Heard it was pretty good though. The lights worked perfectly and Mother Nature made an appearance bringing snow. Surely, she didn't want to miss such a historic game. Neither did I, but alas, Thanksgiving commitments did not allow me or many others, to attend.

Had Intercollegiate Athletics truly wanted to make this evening an event, playing the game on any weekend other than Thanksgiving would have been prudent. I'm not saying they didn't try, as I'm sure they did. I'm just saying that this could have been a real event for the Mustangs and Western athletics. I don't expect the same hype as the first night baseball game which was played at Chicago's Wrigley Field, but this was a historic evening in the long tradition of Mustang football. Having a packed house, especially on the student side, could have made the night truly special.

But enough about that. Let's just hope that if they plan any more night games – and I hope they do – that they don't look at Saturday night's attendance of 5,103 as a reason not to. With a little imagination and creativity, a night game could become a Western event and tradition that students and London football fans look forward to on a yearly basis.

This leads directly into my next rant, London football and it's fans. I'm not talking about Mustang football and fans specifically, but they can be included. I'm talking about how London and surrounding area is a football hotbed, attracting 5,103 on a weekend when most students have gone home. The London Minor Football Association is very popular and develops some of Ontario's top high school football talent. A significant number of Canada's university football programs boast players from London and surrounding areas.

This is why I believe that in order for the Canadian Football League to survive in southern Ontario, the Toronto Argonauts should move to London.

No one in Toronto cares about the CFL and more specifically the Argo's. Attendance is terrible and the venue is even worse. The argument that the CFL needs Toronto for its corporate sponsorship, is no longer valid. The CFL has a tremendous following out West and when the Montreal Allouette's moved to McGill's Molson Stadium, it was an instant success.

The same could happen here in London.

We now have a stadium, that with some small adjustments after the Canada games, would be an excellent CFL venue. In a city of 300,000 plus, the London team could surely draw 14 to 15 thousand fans a week. I believe Londoners would get excited about having a team in their city and it would inject some much needed energy into a league that is not quite sure how big its balls truly are.

Toronto supports only those "big league" sports such as the the Maple Leafs and the Raptors and has eyes on the National Football League and the Olympics.

The CFL is suffering in Toronto and both the CFL and the City of London would benefit from a franchise that is supported like those of Montreal and Winnipeg.

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