Political football draws ire of Bombers boss

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Many players have gone more than eight months without a cheque. The league is looking at how it can possibly offer something in the way of pay.

Employees are on similar uncertain ground, although Miller said it was too soon to know the impact on staffing. The Bombers had already instituted layoffs and pay cuts earlier in the pandemic.

Fans who paid for the 2020 season will find out what their options are in the coming days.

Every team in the league, from Grey Cup champ to money-losing cellar-dweller, will be hard-pressed to survive this without major surgery.

COVID-19 prevents large gatherings, and the CFL, with a relatively small TV contract compared to the major leagues, draws its breath from exactly that.

There’s no guarantee 2021 will be better, either.

“We’ll figure that out,” Miller said of next year. “We’re all going to have to learn how to live with this virus, and you hear our public health officials talk about that. We need fans in the stands, for sure.”

Miller vows the league will survive this. All nine teams.

I don’t doubt the resilience of most teams in the West, where traditions and support are strong.

But the shutdown will cost fans. The hope to come back stronger is just that. A hope.

The historical impact of all this isn’t lost on Miller.

It’s the first time since 1942-44, when it shut down to support Canada’s World War II effort, that Canadian football will not hold a season.

For the first time in 101 years, nobody will claim the Grey Cup.

That means the Bombers will hold onto it for an extra year, the latest chapter in a storied franchise history that’s produced euphoria and dread before – just never quite like this.

“One that you don’t want to be a part of,” Miller said.

pfriesen@postmedia.com

Twitter: @friesensunmedia

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