When the CFL schedule was first released, I had great trepidation about the Stamps having a final week bye. Yes, I know Edmonton won the Cup last year under the same scenario, but I wondered if it would be different this year for the Stampeders.
Now, with the final week at hand, I have done a complete flip on the last week bye. Thank goodness it is almost here! The Stampeders desperately need it. They are exhausted physically, emotionally and need a break to recharge.
The culprit in all this, is the long gap between bye weeks. The Stamps were last off in early July. Since then, it has been fifteen consecutive games—basically most of the year played in succession.
It is unclear exactly how it is decided who gets the bye week and when. There are schedule factors involved, such as working around TFC in Toronto. However, here is hoping there is a more equitable arrangement for the bye weeks in 2017. If a team has an early break pre-Labour Day, they should have an early break post-Labour Day.
Next season we can hope no team has to wait virtually a full season for their second break.