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Now, 59 years later, it is scrubbed, along with the entire CFL season, due to the COVOD-19 pandemic.
“You’re so used to, for so many years, being football-centric for six months of the year and for it to be gone, it’s tough on you mentally,” Walters said. “It’s such a change.”
Even though there’s been no football played in Canada this year, Walters still has a job to do.
This would have been his eighth season as the Bombers general manager and he’s just starting a new three-year contract after helping to deliver the franchise’s first Grey Cup win since 1990 last November.
He spent months re-signing veteran players — including quarterback Zach Collaros and star defensive end Willie Jefferson — and bringing in new talent to fill out a roster that would never play a down.
He went through a Canadian draft during a shutdown, which meant evaluating talent without the benefit of a combine.
He went through months of preparing a team for a potential shortened season that never materialized as a league request for government financial assistance was denied.
And now he’s trying to look forward to a 2021 season that is shrouded with uncertainty.
“We’re certainly optimistic that we’ll be back playing football and things are going to be moving ahead on the field, but off the field, in all CFL franchises, things are going to look different and we’re trying to work through those scenarios with (head coach) Mike (O’Shea),” Walters said.
“Unfortunately there’s grim reality, budget-wise for the remainder of 2020 and even more so what does 2021 look like from a budgetary standpoint?”
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