Over the course of 13 CFL seasons, veteran fullback Calvin McCarty became one of the most widely respected players and voices north of the border.
The 36-year-old rushed for 1,615 yards on 337 career attempts and made 263 receptions for 2,005 yards. He scored 30 touchdowns and made 85 career special teams tackles, which is a testament to his versatility and athleticism. He also helped Edmonton win a champion in 2015 in a 26-20 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks.
When McCarty speaks, people listen, and even his recent retirement couldn’t stop him from weighing in on the CFL’s recent talks with the XFL in a passionate Twitter post on Wednesday.
“I love it when all these reporters and so called ‘gurus’ say they know what’s best for the league… 107 plus years and counting.
We all have a role to play, when people say the game is bigger than us they are correct. Not only do we owe it to the ones who paved the way, but we owe it to the next generation of ballers, coaches, and future fans.
People are so quick to talk about the XFL and the CFL’s bad business model… but before you start outsourcing.
We have grassroots football who play three down. We have high schools plus university that plays three downs. It’s not just about the CFL, it’s about the whole picture and what the total price would actually be… think about it.
Did we exhaust all options before uprooting something that is much bigger than ourselves… before rushing to appeal to a more ‘Americanized’ version?
Did the CFL choose to open the books a year ago? Why?
Is it a fundamental change that needs to happen here at home first?
I don’t know the answer. But I do know threatening to change something that has been around a lot longer than us before exhausting all options will only be a disservice to those who sacrificed before us and to our future generation of up-and-coming Canadians.”
The owners from both the CFL and XFL have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for both to innovate and grow the game of football. The Rock has stated he’s excited for the ‘unique opportunity’ the CFL and XFL ‘can potentially create together.’
The CFL has been awarding the Grey Cup for over 100 years. Meanwhile, the original XFL lasted one full season in 2001. 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.
Dwayne 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 CFL was has been wracked by it’s own financial struggles from COVID, losing between $60 and $80 million last year, and the XFL’s cheque book could solve that problem, but potentially at the cost of many of the league’s hallmarks.