Laval will be hosting the Vanier for the 3rd time in 5 seasons (Nathan Denette, The Canadian Press)
This is what Canadian university football's signature showcase has come down to — if the CFL doesn't want the Vanier Cup, then Laval will just take it.
With respect to Laval, which will be named host of the 2013 Vanier on Thursday, there should be confidence, fully completely, that the fleur-de-lis sporting flagship football franchise will be a great host. Unfortunately for anyone who cherishes university football, what won't be asked is how Laval hosting the championship game for the third time in five seasons actually helps grow the greater university game. None of the other 26 football-participating universities in Canadian Interuniversity Sport apparently bid.
There should be some conversation over what it means that decision-making process for where to hold a great, uniquely Canadian event has been boiled down to a simple three-step process?
— Step 1: Can the CFL accommodate us? (This year it cannot, since Regina apparently doesn't have the hotel infrastructure to lodge Vanier-only fans.)
— Step 2: That's OK, Laval can do it.
— Step 3: Who are we kidding? There is no Step 3.
It might sound, at first blush, like a best-of-both-worlds deal for CIS. Folding the Vanier into the Grey Cup festivities in 2011 and '12 gave great exposure to university football, although it's tough to prove whether that directly led to more media coverage and fans at games from late August through early November. McMaster's overtime shootout win over Laval in the 2011 Vanier in Vancouver was a most gripping contest; the "best game ever!" label that TSN analyst Duane Forde put on the Marauders' 41-38 win certainly had some stickiness. (Digression: it was not even the best university game of the last five seasons, but merely a really good game that was broadcast on TSN.) A record crowd of 37,098 turned out for their rematch at Rogers Centre last November, when Laval painted Southern Ontario rouge and pushed
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