CALGARY -- Funny what life on the road can teach you sometimes about the Winnipeg Blue Bombers place in the sporting landscape outside of Manitoba.
A Bomber pre-game press conference/walk-through practice in Winnipeg draws a full-house crowd that would rival a regular day for the Montreal Canadiens or Toronto Maple Leafs. But head out on the road and it’s an entirely different story.
Often when we’re on the road the only media types attending a Bomber head coach press conference will be myself, CJOB’s Bob Irving and my compadres from The Sun. The Stamps morning walk-through practice today attracted a huge throng of media, but it had dwindled to a handful by the time the Bombers hit the field at McMahon Stadium for their final preparations for Saturday’s game against the Stampeders (8:30 p.m. CT, TSN/CJOB)
Some local media jetted out after word broke that Steinbach’s Ian White had signed a new deal with the Flames; others were heading over to a press conference featuring Eri Yoshida – the 18-year-old female pitcher who is scheduled to pitch here Sunday against the Calgary Vipers as a member of the Golden Baseball League’s Chico Outlaws (she drew a capacity crowd of 4,753 in Victoria earlier in the week). See her story in full here.
Here’s what we can tell you from the Bomber workout:
- Defensive end Odell Willis is here. He spoke briefly with the media after practice, but didn’t say why he left the team earlier in the week for ‘personal reasons.’ Essentially, he just said he’s happy to be back with his family.
- The four Bomber scratches Saturday will be RB Yvenson Bernard, OL Chris Greaves, WR Chris Davis and DB Donald Brown, Jr. Armond Willis, who was supposed to start for Odell Willis, was placed on the one-game injured list.
- The Stamps are adding SB Ken-Yon Rambo and SB Jabari Arthur along with DB Ray Cheatham with WR P.K. Sam, WR Johnny Forzani and OL Zac Carlson all moved to the practice roster.
Here’s Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice:
Bomber QB Steven Jyles, making his second straight start for Buck Pierce, talks about facing the Stamps, having Odell Willis back and getting another chance to shine:
Stampeder QB Henry Burris on facing the Bombers:
And Stampeder head coach John Hufnagel on facing the Bombers defence:
All video by Ed Tait.