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Rick Zamperin: 2020 CFL schedule is out and it’s a head scratcher

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Brandon Banks is seen during a practice prior to the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Brandon Banks is seen during a practice prior to the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

Just over a week before Christmas the Canadian Football League has given its fans an early gift, although those in Hamilton are getting a mixed bag.

The 2020 schedule was released Monday and there are some key dates that fans will be circling on their calendars.

I would love for the CFL to play all of its games on Saturdays — save for Labour Day and the playoffs — but the schedule is spread out on Thursdays (13 games), Fridays (28) and Saturdays (36). There are also three games on Mondays and one Sunday contest.

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers will play in a Grey Cup rematch in the opening week of the season but it should have been the first game, not the fourth.

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Another mistake made by the schedule makers is the neutral site game between Toronto and Saskatchewan on July 25 in a location that has yet to be determined.

Yet to be determined? That just sounds so bush league, doesn’t it?

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Why doesn’t the league push it’s so-called CFL 2.0 agenda and play the neutral site game in Mexico?

Perhaps the league is afraid that there will be fewer fans who show up for a game in Mexico than the dwindling number of Argos’ diehards that head to BMO Field to cheer on Toronto’s once-relevant football franchise.

I will give the CFL credit for keeping the Hall of Fame game in Hamilton because it is where it belongs, and for booking 16 of the Ticats’ 18 games on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Kudos, as well, to the league for sticking with the 1 p.m. kickoff on Labour Day for the annual classic between the Tiger-Cats and Argonauts.

The 2020 CFL schedule gets a big thumbs down for not having Hamilton face an East Division opponent in the final four weeks of the season.

There is nothing better than watching two teams battle against each other with a division title on the line, but instead, the Cats will end the year with games against Edmonton, Saskatchewan and B.C.