Gary Lawless

  • Argo-nots not an option

    It’s difficult these days to make the argument Toronto would miss the Argos. But the CFL can’t afford to face life without a franchise in Toronto. It’s long been the default position among CFL observers a team in Toronto is a necessity and, despite a ninth franchise in Ottawa, burgeoning strength in pockets around the league and a wave of new stadia, this remains the case.
  • Videotape, not ethics, killed the football star's career

    No one is entitled to anything in pro sports. You're either useful or you're not. Ray Rice no longer is. Not to the Baltimore Ravens or any other NFL team. So he's finished. He should be. Do not, however, be confused over the reasons behind the NFL's sudden distaste for his presence. Rice viciously beat a woman. This should have put his career in grave danger. But, by the very measure of the two-game suspension originally set down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, we know it didn't.
  • Videotape, not ethics, killed the football star’s career

    No one is entitled to anything in pro sports. You’re either useful or you’re not. Ray Rice no longer is. Not to the Baltimore Ravens or any other NFL team. So he’s finished. He should be. Do not, however, be confused over the reasons behind the NFL’s sudden distaste for his presence. Rice viciously beat a woman. This should have put his career in grave danger. But, by the very measure of the two-game suspension originally set down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, we know it didn’t.
  • Pavelec running out of elbow room

    IT is unfair to wholly blame the woes endured by the Winnipeg Jets the last three seasons on Ondrej Pavelec. Perception, however, can quickly morph into reality and once it takes hold it's difficult to unseat. Pavelec and the Jets' save percentage have been the No. 1 complaint among fans and many media. It hit a fevered level this summer when GM Kevin Cheveldayoff reaffirmed Pavelec as his starter and, predictably, refused to burn a buyout on his goalie when many believed it was time to cut ties.
  • Blue's O'Shea riding a nag in CFL derby

    Mike O'Shea is about to find out what Winnipeg is all about. And this city is going to learn a lot about its football coach, too. Losers of four of their last five and now 6-5 on the season after a 30-24 Banjo Bowl loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Blue Bombers are a far cry from the 5-1 mark that had fans swooning in July.
  • O'Shea's horses running out of power?

    Mike O’Shea is about to find out what Winnipeg is all about. And this city is going to learn a lot about its football coach, too. Losers of four of their last five and now 6-5 on the season after a 30-24 Banjo Bowl loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Blue Bombers are a far cry from the 5-1 mark that had fans swooning in July.
  • Youth must be served

    Depending on how many of Kevin Cheveldayoff's kids are ready to bust through, inactivity or the opening of opportunity will be the theme of this fading summer for the Winnipeg Jets. The roster right now is almost the same as it was at the end of last season. To open the campaign with this group would be, at best, uninspiring. Better for young players such as Adam Lowry and Josh Morrissey to step in and take up spots than have the likes of Eric Tangradi and Keaton Ellerby log considerable minutes.
  • No time for despair, Bomber fans

    The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a .500 football team. Maybe a little better and maybe a little worse. The question is, can Mike O'Shea push this group far enough to make them a post-season qualifier or will they finish just outside of the picture? Much like when the Blue Bombers broke out to a 5-1 record it was premature to consider them an elite team, now is too early to give up on the same group.
  • CFL's grief with Braley must be rectified

    One David Braley might be good for the Canadian Football League. Two most definitely are not. Braley, long painted as an advocate and in many ways a saviour figure for the Canadian Football League, has become a problem.
  • O'Shea the right man

    Mike O'Shea is different than most of us in that he's spent most of his adult years getting paid to either play or coach a game. He's not different in that his hair grows and he needs to get it cut. Which led to the beginning of his Winnipeg experience on Friday. The rookie head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers wrapped up his day winning a football game as his team pushed to a respectable and contending 6-3 mark at the midway point of the CFL regular season.
  • Bombers lacking basics of football

    Surely it was fun watching the Winnipeg Blue Bombers win games with Drew Willy flinging the ball again and again. It was never sustainable, though, and if his team can't find a way to win with fundamentals, the early heat of July wins won't be able to keep fans warm when autumn arrives.
  • Blue can't seem to stop run, can't seem to get run going

    TORONTO -- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers seem to have the passing game figured out both on offence and defence. So far, however, they've been absolutely clueless where the run game is concerned. The Bombers can't run the ball and their defence can't stop it. The book on beating the Bombers right now is simple: Run the ball on offence and take the ground game away on defence.
  • Walters prowling NFL camps for help

    TORONTO -- Drew Willy might be willing to take the fall for last Thursday's loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders but Bombers GM Kyle Walters knows the issue is far more systemic than just a few poor throws from his quarterback. One way to look at the loss is that it was a close game to the very end and if not for the Bombers turning the ball over six times, it could have been a different result.
  • Cheap and dirty indeed

    Dominic PICARD and Brendon LaBatte may be cheap and dirty, as Bombers defensive lineman Zach Anderson pointed out this week, but they're not sexy. Not in the football sense of the word or in any sense imaginable. Believe me, I've seen them both in various stages of undress and it ain't easy on the eyes.
  • Cheap and dirty indeed

    Dominic Picard and Brendon LaBatte may be cheap and dirty, as Bombers defensive lineman Zach Anderson pointed out this week, but they’re not sexy. Not in the football sense of the word or in any sense imaginable. Believe me, I’ve seen them both in various stages of undress and it ain’t easy on the eyes.
  • Passion makes a comeback

    The guy dressed in Bombers blue and gold was in his early 20s, bent at the waist with his hands on his knees, hurling everything he had onto the scalding pavement of a parking lot in the shadows of Mosaic Field. "Man it sucks to be a Bombers fan right now," came his reply when asked if he was OK.
  • Welcome to Willypeg

    Somewhere, Danny McManus let a small smile slide across his face and cracked a cold beer. McManus is the man who told Bombers GM Kyle Walters that if he had his choice between Zach Collaros, Henry Burris or Drew Willy, he'd take the man they've now renamed Winnipeg after.
  • Welcome to Willypeg

    Somewhere, Danny McManus let a small smile slide across his face and cracked a cold beer. McManus is the man who told Bombers GM Kyle Walters that if he had his choice between Zach Collaros, Henry Burris or Drew Willy, he’d take the man they’ve now renamed Winnipeg after.
  • New Jets look a lot like old Jets

    Members of the Winnipeg Jets management believed they had a playoff team heading into last season and fired head coach Claude Noel when he couldn't keep or even get the club into the Western Conference's top eight. It appears Paul Maurice will face a challenge very similar to Noel's.
  • Frolik controls his future with one-year deal

    The Winnipeg Jets and Michael Frolik agreed to one more season, but really the clock has now begun to tick on whether the player stays in Winnipeg long term or is traded at the deadline next March. Frolik and the Jets had a salary arbitration hearing set for Thursday but avoided that potentially messy process, agreeing Tuesday morning to a one-year contract worth $3.3 million.
  • Bombers without borders

    Maybe Mike O'Shea has read and heard some of it. Maybe he hasn't. But it doesn't matter whether one newspaper thinks his team is heading to the Grey Cup or one radio station thinks they're a mirage. Not to him. "My focus has been first to get the guys to experience winning and secondly to get them to want to win for one another," said the Blue Bombers head coach, during a conversation early Monday morning. "Winning will help convince, not only the fans who are obviously very important, not just to Winnipeg but to the league, but it will help convince players too. That's the biggest concern. Getting buy in from the players and having them really believe in what we're doing. Success, individual success but more importantly winning as a team, is paramount."
  • Walters needs to keep his eyes on the prize

    Kyle Walters can't be handcuffed by the past or the current appetite for victory here in Winnipeg. Walters needs to be free to chase more than a .500 record and some good feelings this summer. All things being equal, the Blue Bombers should get spanked tonight in B.C. by the Lions, but for Walters a second loss on the season should only affirm the fact his roster is thin, light on Canadian talent and still in the very early stages of a rebuild.
  • Dungy would deny Sam the opportunity he was given

    Do unto others. Well, just some others, says self-proclaimed Christian and former NFL coach turned TV analyst Tony Dungy.
  • O-line a disaster area

    The offensive line is the foundation every football team is built on and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hogs simply aren't good enough. The Canadians are poor and the Americans average, rather than the standouts they should be. All the good work GM Kyle Walters has managed to date is going to be undone by his offensive line.
  • O-line a disaster area

    The offensive line is the foundation every football team is built on and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ hogs simply aren’t good enough. The Canadians are poor and the Americans average, rather than the standouts they should be. All the good work GM Kyle Walters has managed to date is going to be undone by his offensive line.

About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and www.winnipegfreepress.com
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.

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