HAMILTON – Some observations just before the Bombers take to the field at Ivor Wynne Stadium on a perfect night in Steeltown...
Some issues that need to be resolved by The Bomb Squad if they are going to even their record at 3-3:
- Can Steven Jyles continue to progress as a QB? Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice said Friday that Jyles’ game experience is helping him understand how to read defences better and develop his strengths. Good thing, that. Jyles admittedly missed some throws in Calgary last week and will need to improve significantly on his long throws. We do like his pocket presence. Wouldn’t hurt, too, if his receivers stepped up and make some big-time catches in traffic the way Saskatchewan and Montreal’s corps did in Friday night’s game.
- Is Bernard Hicks ready for the heavy lifting and responsibilities that come with playing the SAM linebacker position? The man tagged as the replacement for Ike Charlton will have a lot on his plate tonight in his first CFL start as he lines up in one of the most-difficult positions in the three-down game. He’ll be asked to drop into pass coverage and step up in run support. Not an easy gig.
Actually, the Bombers need better production from all three of their linebackers, including Joe Lobendahn and Courtney Smith, who makes his second start at the weak-side linebacker spot.
- How do the Bombers attempt to limit the damage by Arland Bruce III? It won’t be a one-on-one match-up in the same way the Bombers used to line up Juran Bolden across the opposition’s best receiver, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can hold him to less than the 16 receptions for 272 yards he had last week in Regina.
- Is Mike Renaud healed enough to continue putting up solid punting numbers? He’s had an ice bag on his knee over the last couple of days, but could be critical in the field-position game.
Ticats are wearing their 70s retro jerseys tonight. Don’t know if it’s because I really started paying attention to the CFL in that decade, but I’m loving the latest retro look we’ve seen by the Als especially, but also the Riders on Friday night.
The Bomber colours, it says here, should have remained royal blue and gold and the old ‘W’ on the helmet is a tradition that shouldn’t have been scrapped.
One part of the 70s retro night we don’t like? They’re actually playing ‘Disco Duck’ right now on the PA at Ivor Wynne. Lord help us.
And now about the other stuff...
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld was in Hamilton Friday night doing a set with Larry Miller at Hamilton Place. He was staying at the hotel us media types and the Bombers are bunkered down in, and Paul LaPolice actually met him in the lobby, talked with him briefly and asked if he wanted to go to the game tonight. Alas, Seinfeld was apparently off to another gig in Montreal.
Also staying at our hotel are a convention of cross-dressers – for real – and it’s been, umm, an interesting experience seeing them here.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that...
All of this only adds to this visitor’s take on downtown Hamilton. Let’s just say there’s an intriguing collection of characters in the heart of Steeltown we’ve often compared to this: