Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Body by Brown: Getting Bombers fit for '14

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It's the time of year for resolutions, when hordes of people take stock of their health and well-being and vow to improve and do something about it in the coming months.

In the spirit of this self-improvement, if the Winnipeg Football Club had been a physical being in the 2013 CFL season, its resting heart rate would have been 120 beats per minute and its body-mass index a morbidly obese 42.

It's a harsh comparison to make, no doubt, but if one wants to use the previous football season -- where the all-time record for fewest wins was tied -- as a metaphor for physical health, then we have to come to terms with the fact the on-field product spent last season on the couch eating saturated fats while chain-smoking and binge drinking.

So like any shape-up resolution for the new year, it's important to assess one's individual physique and identify areas of weakness in order to put a comprehensive wellness plan together.

Let's start with the offensive line, which in this analogy will be the feet of the football team. Feet aren't always very nice to look at and don't often smell very good, but you can go nowhere without your feet.

Many pro football coaches feel this is the most important part of any player. In this football metaphor, the big toe (Glenn January) and a couple of the digits are functioning nicely, but the rest of the feet are in dire need of an anti-fungal creme.

A little polish and glitter through free agency -- namely Dimitri Tsoumpas -- would do wonders here, but everybody knows you improve your feet through the draft (or at least you do in this example) and then maintain and retain them. The majority of foot products you use should also be Canadian.

Before we continue this analysis, we should identify that part of our subject's body that helps out every other muscle grouping. The core. Or in this millennium makeover, the quarterback.

If your core is strong, pretty much every other muscle and appendage is affected in a positive way. In fact, if this team improves its core with the acquisition of a competent QB, it makes an unsightly bulge here or an unseemly muffin-top there look a lot better. A strong core can cover up a number of deficiencies and is the foundation for any new-year fitness regimen.

The defence is obviously the chest of the football team, and the best way for this team to rid themselves of the man-boobs they developed in 2013 -- the equivalent of surrendering the most points -- is to improve their bench press.

As few people realize, a bigger bench press comes from strengthening your shoulders, and by bringing back Jason Vega and re-signing Bryant Turner, the defensive line -- obviously the broad shoulders of this football team -- is well on its way to the heavier responsibility of carrying the team forward.

In this exercise, the kickers are best represented as your rhomboid muscles. You don't really know what they are or pay much attention to them until they start to aggravate you.

The Bombers have taken care of their punting game for the foreseeable future by re-upping Mike Renaud, but they need to strengthen this muscle by implementing another proven entity.

Receivers and defensive backs are the anatomical equivalent of the biceps and triceps on our metaphorical subject. No matter how esthetic or impressive they may look, they are dependent on the other muscle groupings to get anything done and are all show and no go without them.

An impressive core and shoulder routine will benefit the arm muscles tremendously.

Since 90 per cent of professional sports are said to be mental, a critical part of the new year's resolutions for this football team should be some brain training.

Too many times in 2013, this team was defeated before it stepped on the field, due to superior tactical coaching from their opponents.

With the amount of young grey matter in play with this new regime, ingenuity and creativity should no longer be an empty reservoir on this football team.

New years resolutions are easy to make and even easier to abandon by the roadside. For fans of this organization to get their salt's worth in 2014, this has to be the one fitness resolution that actually sticks.


Doug Brown, once a hard-hitting defensive lineman and frequently a hard-hitting columnist, usually appears Tuesdays in the Free Press.

Twitter: @DougBrown97

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 2, 2014 D4

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