I wonder if Commonwealth Stadium misses me too?

Turning the calendar page from 2020 to 2021 did not auto-correct the world. Ever the optimist, this sports fan hopes that as the spring flowers bloom, the plethora of Edmonton sports teams will be able to return to play in front of a percentage of their regular fan base. Let’s check in on one team in specific.

The first unofficial needle into the bubble of a spring return to sports lays next to the CFL. Per the Rod Peterson Show: “My league sources have indicated to me that the CFL intends to play in 2021 and that – worse-case scenario – they’re preparing the stadiums to be setup similar to the NFL’s and NHL’s in 2020 (tarps over the lower sections with national & local ads on them). A June or July kickoff is reportedly “off the table” and they’re looking at a late-August or Labour Day kickoff.”

The five stages of dealing with that report are as follows:

  • It is just a way-too-soon report in the middle of February.
  • CFL fans were all fed the Labour Day start bologna sandwich last year, let’s not order from that deli again.
  • Maybe if the league played their exhibition games in front of no fans and player safety in terms of covid were upheld, the regular season could start on time with an escalating amount of fans.
  • A small piece of Canadiana would die if the CFL was forced to shut the down again in 2021 and possibly forever.
  • The league needs fans in attendance to have any chance of surviving and if waiting another month or two longer than expected to protect the players and fans, then so be it.

If you are going to play football in Canada you need a moniker. One of Edmonton’s longest enduring sports reporters feels the decision on the mystery E has already been made.

I had to unblock Terry Jones to see the tweet because his opinions tend to make my eye twitch. This time round though, I agree with him.

As logical as Edmonton Empire would have been (it was their marketing slogan for a spell), the team immediately said the negative connotations to the word would keep it out of the running. If memory serves correctly (because Google searches are coming up empty), it was rumoured GM Brock Sunderland liked “Express”. Former EE star AJ Gass suggested “Elite”. With all due respect to the former basketball team, “Energy” seems fitting. Well, I’m still not sure what an “Evergold” is or why the team wanted to name itself after a Christmas tree in “Evergreen”. I just can’t help but to believe Terry Jones’ conspiracy theory.

Whatever the team name, whenever the doors swing open at Commonwealth Stadium, I’ll be there. If allowed to buy 50/50 tickets, yes please. If allowed to purchase cold beverages, yes please. If needed to get thermal tested while standing on one leg while reciting the alphabet backwards…you get it, I’m excited to go back.

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