Winnipeg Blue Bombers staff, players and fans are disappointed after the Canadian Football League punted the possibility of an abbreviated season this year.
The CFL cancelled its season Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the Grey Cup won’t be presented for the first time since 1919.
“It’s extremely disappointing and we really believed we had a great chance of playing this year. It’s disappointing for our players, coaches and our fans not seeing CFL football in 2020,” said Wade Miller, the president and CEO of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The league partially blames the federal government for not agreeing to a $30 million interest-free loan, after the league first asked for $44 million in July.
“I take issue with [that decision], correct,” Miller said, adding the investment would have positively impacted Manitoba’s economy and given a boost to the hospitality industry.
The loss of even an abbreviated season is weighing on the team, Miller says.
“Careers of professional athletes are very short, so for them missing out on a year is extremely tough in their career,” he said.
Although more succinct, Bombers quarterback Sean McGuire tweeted his disappointment about the news on Monday.
Tough day. We will prevail!! 🤟 <a href=”https://t.co/vvAiiaDVGc”>https://t.co/vvAiiaDVGc</a>
Long-time season ticket holder Joe Russo saw this decision coming, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.
“With the other sports leagues making a go of it, I think we all felt that with the right parameters we could get something done as well, and it was a big disappointment that the news came forward today that it was over,” he said.
There is a bright light for Kevin Herning, a long-time Bomber fan, though.
“I guess really one of the only good things to come of this is we are champs for another year and I’m sure Rider fans aren’t going to appreciate that much — I know there are a lot of them here in Winnipeg too.”
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