July 2, 2015


Record: 1–1–0

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Blue Bomber Report

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Ed Tait

Bombers' pitch must be perfect to woo fans next season

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Sometime in the next few months the good folks in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers marketing department will put their aching heads together and begin tossing around ideas for what will easily be the toughest gig in all of professional sports:

Coming up with a catchy phrase to sell the 2014 edition of your local football squad.

A Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan offers his two cents Saturday — perhaps a new team slogan, albeit not laced with too many obscenities.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan offers his two cents Saturday — perhaps a new team slogan, albeit not laced with too many obscenities. Photo Store

So, after watching the Bombers fall to 3-13 Saturday — a loss that means this organization has now missed the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years — we have some early 2014 slogan front-runners:

"It Really Can’t Get Any Worse... Can It?"

"Hey, At Least We’re Not The Eskimos. Oh, Wait..."

"Game Day, We All Pray"

"Fully Stocked Rum Hut"

"More Grey Cup Titles Than The RedBlacks"

"&%#@!*&!"

Now, as head coach Tim Burke stepped in front of the podium early Saturday evening to offer up his take on what went wrong against the Toronto Argonauts, it was actually hard not to feel a bit sorry for the man who took over an absolutely horrid team last year and was asked to make chicken salad out of chicken spit.

He talked about mistakes like dropped passes, the most glaring a whiff by Cory Watson near the end of the first half.

He talked about a missed field goal in which holder Mike Renaud — after spinning the ball for Sandro DeAngelis to get the laces out — actually had the ol’ pigskin slip off the tee.

He talked about a swack of penalties, referring especially to a J.T. Gilmore unnecessary roughness no-no in the second quarter that had defensive co-ordinator Casey Creehan absolutely losing it on the sidelines.

And he talked about the football clanging off the upright on a Max Hall pass attempt to an open Clarence Denmark, that might be the one play that perfectly represents the 2013 season.

"It seems like this is the year that this is going to happen," said Burke. "You’re just going to have those fluky kind of things happen. Hopefully, next year they won’t happen."

(Another Bombers’ 2014 slogan entry: "All The Fluky (insert bad word) Is Out Of Our System"

So, now that 2013 has officially been made a write-off, how exactly do the Bombers sell 2014?

It doesn’t have to be complicated, although it’s clear this franchise really has to pucker up and get into full butt-kissing mode with its faithful.

First, selling 2014 would start — check that, COULD start — with the organization ending the uncertainty in the football operations department, dumping the "acting" titles from new boss Wade Miller and GM Kyle Walters. After all, it’s hard to sell stability when all the office doors feature names scribbled on strips of masking tape.

It would come with pulling any strings, working some magic and/or doing any kind of voodoo, to land a legit QB prospect before Christmas, because no single issue has plagued the Bombers over the last few years than the weekly questions about the man who takes the first snap from centre.

The promising Zach Collaros in Toronto comes to mind. Any one of Calgary’s three pivots would be an upgrade. Heck, anybody... just as long as his name doesn’t include the words "Michael" and "Bishop."

Most of all, selling 2014 could be hammered home with just a simple message from the bosses: here’s what’s wrong and here are the fundamental keys to the blueprint that’s going to fix it. And then there needs to be cold, hard evidence that plan is being put into place ASAP.

(Bombers 2013 slogan, given the wonders of hindsight: "Look At The Lipstick on THIS Pig!")

After all, no franchise should suck this bad for this long in an eight-team loop.

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Brandon Stewart (8) misses an interception opportunity against the Toronto Argonauts' during the first half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Demond Washington (7) interferes with Toronto Argonauts' Dontrelle Inman (11) in the end zone during the first half.
Toronto Argonauts' quarterback Ricky Ray (15) gets sacked by Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Michael McAdoo (98) during the first half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Will Ford (30) is tackled by several Toronto Argonauts during the first half.
Toronto Argonauts' Andre Durie (32) runs in a touchdown during the first half.
Toronto Argonauts' Julian Feoli-Gudino (83) gets past a tackle by Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Henoc Muamba (10) during the first half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Henoc Muamba (10) and Toronto Argonauts' Jonathan Hood (41) get in each others' faces during the first half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Alex Suber (21) snags the pass in front of Toronto Argonauts' Romby Bryant (80).
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Clarence Denmark (89) reacts mid-air when a pass to him hits the upright during the first half.
Toronto Argonauts' Chad Owens (2) gets tackled by Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Ian Wild (38) and Philippe Dubuisson-Lebon (40) during the first half.
Toronto Argonauts' Patrick Watkins (25) and Jamie Robinson (4) knock down the touchdown pass intended for Winnipeg Blue Bombers' JT Gilmore (91) during the first half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Terrence Edwards (82) takes a knee during the first half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Max Hall (15) manages to throw a long pass over Toronto Argonauts' Jason Pottinger (46) during the second half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Will Ford (30) manages to break through the Toronto Argonauts' defensive line to score during the second half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Will Ford (30) smiles after he scores early in the second half.
Toronto Argonauts' quarterback Ricky Ray (15) fires a pass down-field during the first half.
Toronto Argonauts' quarterback Ricky Ray (15) passes a ball that would be knocked down by Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Michael McAdoo (98) during the second half.
A Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan lets the team know how he feels.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Rory Kohlert (87) brings in a touchdown pass against the Toronto Argonauts' during the second half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Rory Kohlert (87) celebrates a touchdown against the Toronto Argonauts' during the second half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Clarence Denmark (89) tries unsuccessfully to bring in a pass as he's forced out of bounds by Toronto Argonauts' Jalil Carter (19) during the second half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Max Hall (15) and head coach Tim Burke exchange words about a time-count penalty late in the second half.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Cory Watson (81) has a pass go through his fingers as he's pursued by Toronto Argonauts' Ricardo Colclough (28) during the second half.
Toronto Argonauts' Demetrice Morley (12) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Cory Watson (81) fight to bring down a pass in the dying seconds of the game.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke watches from the sidelines.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Max Hall (15) can only look on from the bench as the team falls to the Toronto Argonauts.

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