People love their football. In fact, some people in the province even consider it a religion. Church is located at Mosaic Stadium. The pews are the stands littered with hot dog wrappers and empty beers. Formal wear is Rider green and watermelon helmets. We get our inspiration from the players, and of course the church choir are the fans.
So it's no surprise that when it was announced there might not be a CFL season this year everyone had an opinion.
The labour dispute between the CFL and the Canadian Football League Players' Association began earlier this year. Breaking it down to basics: CFL players wanted more money.
For months the owners and players were in negotiations and no one really seemed to care until the football season actually started to approach.
The Ottawa Redblacks seemed anxious to expand their franchise. There are two new stadiums in Ottawa and Hamilton that are waiting to be opened and the CFL and TSN reached a $30 million a year deal that will transform the economic landscape of the league and its teams.
Needless to say, fans were not thrilled to find out all these positive changes to the league could go to waste this season.
Luckily, in the 11th hour, a deal was finally made between the two sides after the CFLPA voted to accept a new collective bargaining agreement with the league.
Some highlights of the five-year contract include a $5 million salary cap (the CFLPA wanted $6.24 million and last years was $4.4 million), and minimum league salary will rise to $50,000 from $45,000.
However, the discussion isn't over, at least not with the fans. With news of the CFLPA voting in favour of the CBA, everyone took to social media to express their opinion. It started to become clear what kind of fans are out there.
First you got the die hard fans. The ones who show up to work dressed in their favourite franchises colours. Everyone has someone like this in their life. It's probably a boyfriend who still sleeps on Rider sheets even though he's 30-years-old.
These are the fans who although are happy the season lives on this year, feel a little sadness in regards to the CBA. They feel the players deserve more money for risking their lives on the field. Every hit a player takes, these fans react like it was just their own mother who got tackled. Die hard fans realize the health risks involved and they want to see players compensated for it.
Secondly, you got the average fan. This person is just happy an agreement was finally made and the football season can continue. They look at the CBA agreement as a success and a win-win situation. Not only did the players get more money, but they can continue to cheer on their favourite team.
And lastly you got the NFL fan. The CFL non-fan. These people are like a Hamilton Tiger-Cat to a Rider in the 2013 CFL season: the enemy. They want nothing to do with the CFL because they don't recognize it as a real league. They don't want to hear about the CBA and in fact want it out of their news feed so that the NFL can make room for more of their stories. Sorry guys, not for another few months.
Despite the reaction of players, or fans during this entire debacle, it is a relief to know there will be a 2014 season. Without the season taking place, there would have been a lot of heartbreak across the nation.
The CBA serves as a reminder that Canada is committed to expanding their sports leagues within the nation and to groom our athletes to be the best, all with obvious support from the fans.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff