There’s massive risk associated with potential CFL, XFL merger: TSN reporter Dave Naylor

TSN reporter Dave Naylor has realized the gamble if the CFL does indeed merge with the XFL.

The owners from both leagues have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for both to collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football. There are pundits pointing out the need for increased transparency from the CFL to be able to trust any decision which puts the history of the three-down league in harm’s way.

“You can’t look at the failed history of spring football in the United States, the failed history of U.S. expansion, all of the things that would be unpredictable and say there’s no risk — there’s lots of risk,” Naylor said on CJME 980’s The Green Zone with host Jamie Nye.

“If all the teams seem to be onboard with exploring it, even though it represents a lot of risk, what does that tell you about the risk associated with the status quo? That tells me there is a lot of risk associated with the status quo.”

The Rock has stated he’s excited for the ‘unique opportunity’ the CFL and XFL ‘can potentially create together.’ With the CFL and XFL openly talking, many believe a full merger is in the works, and Dwayne Johnson’s latest comments appear to be an indication that is the case.

“Maybe opened a few eyes on how far along this thing is because you read his quote, it didn’t sound like ‘talking about talking’ — it sounded like talking about doing,” Naylor said.

“Otherwise, I don’t think we’d see the league this far down the road, and I don’t think we’d see this degree of enthusiasm for exploring this idea.”

Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital were selected as the winning bidders last August for all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL. It cost $15 million and the goal is to make the XFL a stable league in the future. The Grey Cup has been awarded for over 100 years and joining the CFL could create a viable partnership.

“I have not found anybody high up in a team who thinks this is a terrible idea. That’s probably good for the league that there’s not a divided nature on this one,” Naylor said. “I’m talking about integration of this league and that league. There is very broad support for this idea, at least the full exploration of this idea.”

The original XFL lasted one full season in 2001. In 2020, the XFL lasted just part of one season before the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on hold, which led to Vince McMahon filing for bankruptcy and selling to Johnson, Garcia, and RedBird Capital.

“There seems to be so little push back from the upper team level. You know there’s risk associated, let’s not pretend that,” Naylor said.

“I’m not going to tell anybody who is a traditional CFL fan there’s no risk, there’s massive risk associated — there absolutely is, no question.”

Must Read