“Aww sweet! Free hat!”
As you capitalist pig-dogs south of the border may or may not be aware, Canada has its very own professional football league, in which there’s only 8 teams and 3 downs, the field’s 10 yards longer, the balls used to be bigger, and the pay is still much, much smaller. Seriously, only a handful of players in the CFL make more than the NFL minimum, and as for endorsements, we’re talking local car dealership kind of level.
So what’s that got to do with our beloved human cockfighting? The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (or “Ticats” for short) of the CFL recently announced that they’ve entered a sponsorhip agreement with Mark Hominick. Hominick will wear a Ticats hat during the walk-out for his featherweight title fight at UFC 129 this Saturday night, and will bear their logo and website address on his shorts. It’s not stated if this is a long-term deal or not, but he’ll also appear at a special “MMA night” at a Ticats home game on July 16th, so that probably means it’s not just a one-time thing.
You may recall that Tom Wright, the UFC’s director of Canadian ops, used to be the commissioner of the CFL, but he told MMA Fighting that he had nothing to do with this. I was going to say that this is probably the first cross-sport sponsorship for MMA (Shammy’s San Jose Sharks jersey doesn’t count), but apparently Diego Sanchez has been sponsored by the Sacramento Kings for years. Who knew? I sure never noticed.
Toronto has its own CFL team, the Argonauts, and loves to look down its nose and deride Hamilton as being dirty, industrial, and generally white-trash… so basically in much the same way that New Yorkers shit on New Jersey. Hamilton is more or less in the middle between Toronto and the London area where Hominick’s from, so I guess it fits that he’d go with the Ticats instead of the Argos, even if the Argos had offered too. At first I wondered how this will go over with the Toronto locals, but then I remembered that nobody watches the CFL anyway, Canucks don’t tend to flip the fuck out about team loyalty, and most people will probably be too busy with blind pride that he’s a local Ontario boy to even notice.