The world has been turned upside down by the Covid-19 virus! Sports leagues around the globe in the midst of their seasons shut down once the WHO declared a pandemic. From the moment those decisions were made, fans of the CFL have been waiting for word on the upcoming season. That word came Tuesday as Commissioner Randy Ambrosie announced the league would not start the season before July 1st.
Currently, the league still plans to play an entire 18 game schedule but if the July 1st date gets pushed forward, the likeliness of a full schedule becomes less likely. If the league is able to get underway in early July it still means there are three less weeks to play a full schedule. Coincidentally (or perhaps not so much) each team has three ‘bye-weeks’ in a season, When you take that into account, the only way to have an 18 game season is for things to get under way that first week of July! It leaves no margin for error and has many thinking there may not be a season at all!
There are some leagues planning to get back to playing games with ‘no’ fans in the stands. With the CFL being a gate driven league one has to ask if that would even be possible?? The league has not brought up playing games with no fans in the stands but with all teams relying on ticket sales, how would they even operate? Secondly, a number of municipalities have placed restrictions on how many people can gather together and those would make it pretty much impossible for any games to by played.
The latest information from government medical experts says it could be summer before there is any change in the current restrictions. Even if those restrictions are lifted, even partially, how long would the league operate before a positive test brings everything to a halt?! One has to ask it if the risk is worth it? Right now, the world is in uncharted territory when it comes to dealing with this kind of virus.
Although pandemics have occurred many times throughout history, the world has never been as interconnected as it is today. The implications are far and wide reaching and the full extent are not fully known at point in time. While I am hopeful there will be CFL football this year, no one can answer that question today. The current situation if very fluid and can change daily. All that anyone can do is wait and see how things unfold in the coming days and weeks.