Even With Elks’ COVID-19 Outbreak, Things Could Still Be Worse

It’s a tough time. The announcement that the Elks and Argos won’t be taking the field as planned on Thursday makes it a bit tougher on many of us.

It’s natural for human beings to find routines, seek peace and normalcy, and find — in sport and other recreational activities — a means to help maintain mental health. It’s also important to look for silver linings.

My first piece for 13th Man Sports focused on the sheer joy of having the CFL back, favourably comparing the return of three-down football to Christmas in July. In that article, I noted that, even with all the joy, it was a slight bit odd to kick off the season in August. Such are modern times.

Read More: CFL’s Return Is Better than Christmas In July

What we need now is patience, perseverance and positive approaches. Last year was odd, the absence of CFL football made me miserable. As a native and current resident of the United States, I followed the NFL more closely than I had in decades. Still, I constantly noted “it’s Labour Day, this is when the CFL usually heats up,” and “it’s Thanksgiving Day in Canada, there should be a CFL game today,” also “Thanksgiving in the States, this should be Grey Cup weekend.” As readers here no doubt know, once that CFL mindset gets hold of you, it runs deep.

This year is different, while we are still fighting a unique battle, we have had three straight weeks with a full slate of CFL games to keep our attention. The best thing about Thursday’s postponement is this, the league protocols are working. The Commissioner and his team have taken the steps necessary to manage a difficult situation.

Another positive is that the league seems to be aggressively pursuing a reschedule of the game. With both teams coming off of big wins, fans were all looking forward to this game. That’s where patience comes in. Last year the NFL had to reschedule several games to get through the season. There was a lot of speculation about what may happen. The English Premier League had some of the same issues. It is best to just expect that this season will be no different. The CFL, NFL, and EPL may see more postponements, reschedules or cancellations.

Nick Arbuckle prepares to throw a pass in their week three win over the Blue Bombers

I know it can be harder on fans who look forward to attending the games. Even though I live in the States, I have travelled to several stadiums throughout Ontario, over several decades, to watch my preferred 3-down game. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably noticed last week that I was trying to figure out a fiscally responsible way to get to see the Argos game this past weekend. Having a long-held appreciation for all-things-Winnipeg, it was the only time the Bombers were scheduled to play in Ontario this season. I couldn’t make it happen. That was disappointing, but — I told myself — I can watch it on ESPN if nothing else. Things are better than last year.

For me, this CFL season was going to be especially big. A past season ticket holder in Hamilton, I was eagerly looking forward to being at my first Grey Cup, scheduled for Tim Horton’s Field this year, I was talking with the club about both season tickets and Grey Cup seats.

While those possibilities are not completely closed, the financial difficulties associated with testing necessary for repeated border crossings means I may miss the last best opportunity in my lifetime to see the big game in person.

At this point, we all need to persevere and stay positive. I’m praying now we get a reasonably full season and a Grey Cup game. If that means some rescheduling, changes of venue, delays, uncertainties and disappointing days, it’s okay.  I’m staying patient and remembering just how much better I feel this year when we have CFL games than I did last year. Stay Safe!

That’s just my opinion, I’d love to hear yours. You can reach me on Twitter @lizardo_tom.

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