Rider Nation or any other CFL fanbase won’t be rallying this year. They will not be watching the games in the stands or on television after the league decided to cancel the 2020 season, as the battle continues with the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s something that is still hard to believe for many of the players.
“A deal was agreed upon on both sides, and it looked good,” said Jorgen Hus, Saskatoon native and Saskatchewan Roughriders long snapper.
“It was a really good deal for everybody, and the players were sure excited about it, and there was a lot of buzz going on. And then all of the sudden it got cancelled and it was like ‘what?’ So it was frustrating, especially after a high level of optimism.”
So now they move.
For almost all the players in the league that means getting a second job, if they didn’t already have one.
Following the theme of making “lemonade out of lemons,” this gives the players that don’t have a plan to get one in place for life after football.
“So it’s a little bit of a wake-up call to an extent. You are anticipating work or whatever, but … it’s not just us,” said Brett Boyko, Saskatoon native and a BC Lions offensive lineman.
“Everywhere in the world has been affected and a lot of people have lost jobs.”
“You need to have something lined up if you’re not in that top percentile and you’re making enough money to carry you for a few years, you need to,” Hus said. “I am grinding it out with the mortgage stuff, trying to stay afloat here and I’m just thankful I have that to fall back on.”
As the season gets set to change this will also be a very odd fall season for these players as they’ll not be playing football for the first time since they were young children.
“It’s such a weird feeling I can’t describe it. The only thing I can think of is it’s like playing hooky from school when your younger,” Hus said.
“You kinda feel like you should be somewhere and you’re not. It’s kind of the same feeling … I believe in being positive. The glass-half-full kind of thing. Try and train for next year, the body gets a break this year.”
“Fans wanted something to watch. I know they are enjoying the NHL bubble and the different NBA bubbles,” Boyko said.
“I know that everyone was hoping there would be a CFL bubble, and CFL fans were, and we are sorry that it didn’t work out, but a lot of it was out of our control.”
Now the CFL turns its attention to 2021 and hopefully getting that season started on time.