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Rick Zamperin: CFL’s 2020 season, if it happens, will be like no other

Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie has announced the league's plan for a shortened 2020 season.
Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie has announced the league's plan for a shortened 2020 season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

We all knew that the 2020 Canadian Football League season would look a lot different than past years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday afternoon, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie delivered a statement that outlined the league’s plan for a shortened season along with a new twist on the 108th Grey Cup.

READ MORE: CFL looking at September start, Regina no longer guaranteed 2020 Grey Cup host

Ambrosie said the season would not begin until September at the very earliest, and that it could be cancelled altogether due to the pandemic.

“We know a lot must fall into place for us to play games this September,” he said. “I’ve said myself: it doesn’t appear to be our most likely scenario.”

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Fans were already resigned to the fact that the league’s 2020 calendar would be shortened, or scrapped altogether.

But Ambrosie’s statement also shed new light on the 108th Grey Cup.

The CFL’s championship game will not be played in Regina as scheduled on Nov. 22 unless the Roughriders end up in the final and have a better regular season record than their opponents, in what the league is calling a ‘win and host’ model.

Ambrosie said Regina has been awarded the 2022 Grey Cup and Hamilton will remain the host city for the 109th Grey Cup in 2021.

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The ‘win and host’ model gives all nine CFL teams a shot at hosting the Grey Cup, which may be played as late as December to allow the league to get in as many games as possible.

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A December Grey Cup on the frigid fields of places like Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary or Edmonton? Brr!

It remains to be seen if any fans will be in attendance for any games, but I think they’d just be happy to see their favourite players and teams back on the field.

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program director, news and senior sports director with Global News Radio 900 CHML in Hamilton.