The Free Press


Gotta have a plan

Morning, folks.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has threatened teams and staff members with fines of up to $25,000 if he finds out they’ve shared information with the media.

Settle down now Randy, nobody on the Bombers leaked this to me. Sportsnet's Arash Madani revealed it, saying you are upset with details of internal meetings reaching the masses. Like, you mean the fans?

Earlier this month, Madani also reported some details regarding Ambrosie’s plan for the future of the CFL.

"From what I’ve been told, that business plan is effectively very similar to the one that was presented 18 months ago. This look to the future for if the league comes back is essentially a tweaked business plan," Madani said on The Rod Pedersen Show. "There is very little in it that addressed COVID, very little on the social justice issues... the entire long-term strategy is tied to international growth. What I was also told is there isn’t much of a plan right now if there isn’t butts in seats."

Oh I see, so there is no new plan. No wonder the commish doesn't want anyone to leak that.



It's been a little over two months since the CFL cancelled its 2020 season. Since then, a Stanley Cup has been awarded; Game 1 of the World Series was last night; the NFL is into Week 7; LeBron James won another NBA title; heck, even the upstart CPL had a championship.

The CFL? Silence.

I won't go over again all the missteps Ambrosie made in his attempts to save the 2020 season. Instead, I'll deploy a common sports cliche: What have you done for us lately?

What's up for 2021, Randy? Anything? 

The CFL's cone of silence is ridiculous.

One CFL media apologist who will go unnamed, said on Twitter: "The Ambrosie cheap-shotters looking for a CFL plan, allow me, and it’s pretty simple — Hope like hell that Covid is gone, that fans can return to the stadiums, that players will be reasonable in reducing costs. That’s it, that’s the plan; Seriously, what else is there?"

Oh, I see — just hope it all goes away. Um... Every other sports league on the planet is making plans for the future, but the CFL plan is to just hope COVID goes away. Great.

Listen, I don't personally have the answers. That's not my job. I also don't expect Ambrosie to have all the answers. These are uncertain times. What I would like, is for him to share with the masses what he's doing to try and find some answers. How about just the possible plans? Just be honest and transparent.

The XFL recently made a decision to delay a return until 2022.

At least its a plan — to save money.

Because while the CFL continues to muddle along, losses pile up as the league's highest wage earners — like Ambrosie — continue to be paid.

The CFL is not even allowing teams to sign players at this time. So, what exactly is Bombers GM Kyle Walters doing?

Nobody is saying. And apparently, they better not.

Our coverage

Left in the lurch: Zach Collaros has a lot of football left in him, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback told Taylor Allen on Tuesday that with all the uncertainty surrounding the league, it's crossed his mind that he might've thrown his last CFL pass;



New normal: We likely won’t be able to fill a hockey rink, baseball or football stadium anytime soon due to COVID-19. But when fans are eventually allowed back into various sporting venues, what might it all look and feel like? Mike McIntyre went searching for answers on Tuesday, paying visits to Cleveland, Atlanta and Los Angeles — virtually, of course — for a glimpse into the challenges facing organizations across North America these days. As he found during an hour-long webinar involving representatives of NFL, NBA and MLS teams, more patience is required, with sold-out crowds a pipe dream until a vaccine is developed;

Slam dunk: Before Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, Kyle Lowry, and Kawhi Leonard became household names to Canadian basketball fans, there was the Winnipeg Arena. Today marks the 25-year anniversary of two Canadian NBA expansion teams, the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies, coming to Winnipeg to play an exhibition game. Taylor looks back on the inaugural Naismith Cup game

State of the game: The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is two weeks into its regular season and it’s still setting the pace for the rest of Canada. On Tuesday, commissioner Kevin Saurette told Mike Sawatzky that health and safety measures have been well accepted and the league has still not had a single positive COVID-19 case. Meanwhile, Hockey Manitoba executive director Peter Woods said two individuals associated with his organization recently tested positive, were isolated and the programs were shut down for a period of time.


What we're reading

Moving on up: Sportsnet's Wayne Scanlan writes that the Ottawa Senators have begun to shed their basement brand with a transformative off-season;

Agent for change: ESPN's Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski chat with P.K. Subban on NHL social change, 'The Last Dance,' nearly being a Pittsburgh Penguin and more

World through a lens: Christopher Miller of the New York Times provides photos and text about a 30-mile rafting trip through Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

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