What with the 2014 Canadian Football League regular season set to kick off next week, I have decided to do everything I can to help the Blue Bombers reverse their sagging fortunes on the field.
This is not an easy thing for me to do, considering I have cheered for the B.C. Lions since I was just a tiny columnist growing up on the West Coast.
Still, despite my love for the Lions, I agreed Tuesday to sit down and pick the brains of some of the brightest young gridiron gurus in the country. As most of you have already deduced, I am referring here to the pint-sized pigskin pundits in Monique Porznak's Grade 4 class at Stanley Knowles School in Garden Grove.
In exchange for me spending the morning telling them about my thrilling journalism exploits -- most of which involve my dogs -- the kids agreed to slip on their coach's caps and write letters to the Bombers telling them how to avoid a repeat of last year's nightmare season.
So get ready for some football, Bomber buffs, because here's some big ideas from your team's smallest fans...
Dear Bombers: "Try extra hard this year. Don't give up and always try your best and practice lots. The last thing, don't be like last year." -- Remo, 9
Dear Bombers: "Please don't suck!" -- Clark, 10
Dear Bombers: "When you play, don't think about losing. Think about winning and that will help you by 20 per cent. Think of stuff you like." -- Andrei, 9
Dear Bombers: "I think you should hire Milt Stegil (Stegall) again. I here you got a new quarterback from the Saskatchewan Ruff Riders. I hope you win the Gray Cup this year. You should hire my dad as your coach. He's your number one fan. I wish they would hire me as the reff so I could call bad calls on the other team." -- Zachary, 9
Dear Bombers: "You guys are doing amazing. You know you should make my brother your coach because he loves football. He plays every sport. Also, I just wanted to say good luck on your next game. That's all." -- Charmaine, 9
Dear Bombers: "You guys can do better. You guys can do your best. There is a lot of people cheering for you guys. I hope you guys win." -- Gwen, 10 (who showed her Bomber pride by using crayons to turn her letter into a rainbow.)
Dear Bombers: "I think you should practice even more. And work together. Also, be tuff!" -- Mickaella, 10
Dear Bombers: "If you guys wanna win more games maybe you can hire my dad. He is the best quarterback I know. I think he's scored about five touchdowns in his life. I don't know if he's a quarterback. I don't even know if he plays football! Just play better. That's it. Maybe make a trade or something. Take the worst guy on your team and trade him for somebody else. I don't play football myself. I play basketball and stuff. So maybe my advice won't work." -- James, 10
Dear Bombers: "I think you should have my friend Shayleen to be the catcher. I want you guys to win this year." -- Tuvisha, 10
Dear Bombers: "When you play, don't just think you might win or lose. You have to believe you can win. Practice a lot to believe you can win and open up your hearts and minds and work as a team. Don't get distracted by people don't believing you, your the one who have to believe in your self and trust in your faith. Give it a shot! Go Bombers Go! Go Bombers Go!" -- Sincerely, Neil, 9
Dear Bombers: "Pay more attenshon! Please and thank U!" -- Shayleen, 10
Dear Bombers: "We will help you buy cheering you up and if you practice more. I'm sure you'll be the winner, maybe. Remember we are here for you. We will help you and we will watch the game but remember winner or not you are still the winner for us and if you loose don't give up there's still another chance but I'm sure you'll be the winner. Just FOCUS, Think, Remember, Don't give up, and think you will be the winners. I will pray that you will be the winner!!!!" -- Kirsten, Grade 4
Dear Bombers: "You guys should win at least 10 games. Or neither 7, 8, 9." -- Reimond, 10
Dear Bombers: "You guys need to work as a team. And you guys need purple and pink jerseys. You need to kick higher. YOU NEED TO WIN!! Well, good luck. I think I should come see you guys and give you a pep talk. EAT MORE BACON!!" -- Danielle, 10
So there's your official pre-game pep talk, Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Remember, when you tackle the Toronto Argonauts next week, the Grade 4 kids from Stanley Knowles School will be right behind you.
Unless, of course, recess isn't over yet.