Riders legend George Reed: ‘Football is good for the whole country because it pulls us together’

Saskatchewan Roughriders legend George Reed knows the power of Canadian Football.

That’s why the CFL’s all-time rushing touchdown leader wants to see the pro three-down game return in 2021.

“I don’t think they can go another year without having a season. A lot of things have to happen, including the teams coming together as partners and not just individual clubs. That’s what they have to start doing,” Reed told the Regina Leader-Post.

“We’re a lot different than the United States in that we have to have people go to the games. It’s not much of a game if we don’t have any way to pay for things. Maybe half of the revenue comes from TV and the rest is from the gate.”

The board of governors voted to cancel the 2020 CFL season after the federal government denied a $30-million interest-free loan last August. The league reportedly lost between $60 and $80-million. Meanwhile, the player relations committee has been meeting with the CFL Players’ Association as both sides work on a return to play plan.

“We need football. Football is good for the whole country because it pulls us together and keeps us going,” Reed said.

The 81-year-old was recently vaccinated in Saskatchewan. He said it went really well and despite initial soreness in his left shoulder, it felt fine after the pain wore off. He’s been encouraging people to take the vaccine as part of the province’s “Stick it to COVID” campaign.

“I think we’re getting on the offensive when dealing with COVID,” Reed said. “We have to go step by step and start moving. Some people are willing to get it done, while others are very scared about it.”

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