The Edmonton Elks latest loss to the Ottawa Redblacks hurts. I mean it really stings. Many long time fans of the Green and Gold are numb. The August 27 tilt at Commonwealth was supposed to be a Edmonton Elks celebration of finally ending their 1050 day home losing streak. Instead the Elks lose 25-18 to the now 2-8 Redblacks and next up they have to face the Calgary Stampeders in the Annual Labour Day game down in Calgary.
I was going to say Labour Day “Classic”. But, it may take a bit of time for the Elks to rebuild and reload in order to match the caliber of the Stampeders. That’s sad actually. Many fans, including myself, are looking for a sign that things are turning around for the franchise.
I know the voices demanding that the team change the name back to Eskimos are going to get louder. Many people feel the organization is cursed after the name change. The reality is, the new name is here to stay. The team, the management, the coaches they’ll figure it out. They’ll turn this ship around. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
No easy answers
This rebuild is just going to take a bit longer than many Elks fans had hoped and anticipated. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a quick fix. Yes, it’ll be great to have Tre Ford back. And you have to hope that Kenny Lawler isn’t going on the injury list for too long. And maybe one of the late NFL cuts can come up north and help stop some of the bleeding. The Elks have some good things going for them. Victor Cui is the right man at the right time to take over the business side of the organization. And Chris Jones? He hasn’t fallen off the turnip truck and all of sudden lost his ability to coach.
It’s hard to ask for patience when hope is in short supply and so are fans in the stands. The gap between paid announced attendance and actual people in the seats seems to be growing.
Seeing sections of empty seats seems unfathomable for this once healthy franchise. It would be great to live in the past, and bask in the glory of Warren Moon, Tom Wilkinson and Hugh Campbell, and recall when 55,000 fans would fill Commonwealth Stadium for every game. Unfortunately those days are gone. As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers can atest, winning changes everything. Winning puts bums in seats, and Winning sells more beer and T-Shirts.
Better things are just around the corner. Right?
As a die hard sports fan who attended his first CFL game back in Clarke Stadium in 1975, and listened to Bryan Hall on CJCA, and wore a #10 Bruce Lemmerman Jersey from the Sears catalogue to school, I’m never going to stop believing or quit on this team. Of course they piss me off, and disappoint, but they’ve also given me some incredible highs. I don’t have it in me to bail because they’ve been part of my life for over 50 years. I just worry about the younger generations of fans. They need to experience the magic like so many Green and Gold fans have.
You have to trust that the whole organization is having many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to get this engine firing on all cylinders. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later. Because we’re all looking to get on the road to better things ahead.
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