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The thing about being self-isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic is that it gives you a lot of time to think.
Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about:
• So, four weeks turned into 48 hours. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee, in the wake of Canada’s lead to pull our team out of a 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, postponed the Olympics to 2021. It’s a triumph for logic and common sense and a victory for most of the athletes over the money-grubbing IOC. Athletes were training in their basements and worried about their exposure to COVID-19. A Tokyo 2021 beats the hell out of a Tokyo 2020. And don’t worry about Canada getting punished by the IOC. Most of the nations are delighted Canada had the guts to stand up to the IOC executive committee. It’s a great day for Canada in international sport.
• It’s about all of those doctors who attended the annual physicians bonspiel in at the Granite Curling Club in Edmonton. Eleven of the 22 from Saskatchewan tested positive. That was 25 percent of all Saskatchewan’s positive tests. And 11l of the 49 from Alberta. Players shake hands before and after games. So don’t shake hands. And bare hands touch handles on curling rocks. They’re doctors. They have access to surgical gloves. Gotta figure it was the banquet. If it wasn’t, there are club curlers who threw those rocks for a couple of days after the doctors made their ‘house’ calls.
• With the number of events being rescheduled for the September Labour Day weekend, such as the Masters and Kentucky Derby, sports fans are going to go from having nothing to watch to not knowing what to watch. Or not.
• I’m starting to believe the only way they’ll be able to hand out the Stanley Cup is by holding a March Madness style 16-team bracket-type tournament prior to the start of next season in September. Eliminated teams could proceed to playing preseason games. But I’m now betting it’s scrap the rest of the season and start all over in October. Ten days ago …
• If a full 82-game regular season schedule can’t be completed, they might have to give out the NHL awards by Skype. If that happens, perhaps Ralph Krueger could be a presenter …
• So it’s about that third-round draft choice involved in the James Neal-for-Milan Lucic trade between the Flames and Oilers. There was a provision that Calgary would get a third-round pick from Edmonton if Neal scored 21 goals or more and Lucic scored at least 10 fewer than Neal. So Neal will end the season with 19 and Lucic with eight. No third-round pick. Next case.
• Major junior hockey scrapped their playoffs and the Memorial Cup Monday. The Edmonton Oil Kings finished third overall in the WHL, led the Eastern Conference and were eighth in the CHL top-10. So, yes, it hurt to lose their season. But this was their year to knock on the Memorial Cup door again. Next season is projected to be their year to knock it down.
• With the number of fans being laid off and facing tough economic times ahead, I think all pro sports teams should be considering ticket scenarios like the Edmonton Eskimos did with their $99 season tickets. They’ve sold like crazy. Hopefully the Eskimos take it to another level. I believe they should sell $10 game day tickets starting with the east side upper deck, where the TV cameras point, and attempt to fill all 56,000 seats for a ‘Welcome Back’ opening night. And maybe do it again on Labour Day and Thanksgiving, too.
• If the CFL isn’t able to go to training camp on schedule (and remember there are a lot of players coming across the border that will require 14-day isolation), and the season is delayed, a little déjà vu ought to be considered. This might be the year to go back to the ‘Big Four’ and ‘Western Interprovincial’ days before the adoption of the interlocking schedule. If it were to be a 12-game season, in the East Division, that would be two home and two away games against each team. In the West, it would be three against each club. With no U.S. franchises, the CFL may be the first league to get going again.
• I wrote Sunday about the Sylvan Lake Gulls coming into existence with a $4-$5 million privately funded new gem of a ballpark on land provided by the town. I totally believe FC Edmonton would be a success in a new soccer-specific stadium like that. Tom Fath has lost upwards of $10 million being a great owner of a team playing in a horribly inadequate facility. Build it and they will come.
• And it’s about Edmonton’s Triple-A ball park with 28 Edmonton Prospects games in it and developers and other entities fighting over it. I have the solution for that: Two WCBL teams in Edmonton. Think Cubs and White Sox or Yankees and Mets. There’d be a game in Edmonton every night throughout the 56-game schedule.
• Golf courses should be allowed to open. Only one person per hole.
On Twitter: @ByTerryJones
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