Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bomber nation deserves a break

Just one win is all we ask, oh mighty football gods

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The notion that a win Sunday will somehow wipe away the sins of this Blue Bombers season is repugnant.

There is no redemption with one measly victory. Not for this group. They are bad and deserve to be disbanded.

But if ever a fan base deserved something to go their way, it is that of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

They've been faithlessly abused and trampled on. For one afternoon, they deserve to stand a little taller. They are the most loyal in the land, the folks that wear blue and gold to games. Let that loyalty be rewarded.

There is not enough time between now and Sunday for the Bombers to become meaningfully better.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders, regardless of Sunday's outcome, will leave Winnipeg as the better football team.

That ain't gonna change, even with a miraculous upset.

So why care? Why watch? Those are questions you must answer yourself. But make no mistake, lots of you will care and watch with gusto and hope and faith.

You're Bombers fans and as much as that seems like a stain on your soul right now, it's your reality. You're living it, I'm not. You have refused to turn your backs on your team. So, hey football gods, how about a little something for the effort. Give these good folks a break.

What would one win, even against a most-hated rival, actually accomplish?

The answer, in terms of the big picture, is very little. But for the people who will wake up Sunday morning and pull on Bombers jersey and make their way to the stadium or a couch to watch this game, even a few hours of solace would be welcome.

If there's one good thing we can say in the early going of the Wade Miller-Kyle Walters' regime it is they recognize the plight of this team and appear bent on correcting it.

Walters has been a virtual travel agent since taking office, bringing in players on a seemingly daily basis to try and make this team even a little bit better.

So far it's difficult to tell if it has had any effect or has just been a lot of wing flapping. So be it.

There's no magic bullet, however, and the only solution for what ails the Bombers is to have a blueprint and then execute it.

It will take time. Time that was wasted by Joe Mack in his four years of futility.

This football city is reaping a stunted harvest and worse, appears to have no seeds to sow for the future. It's sad.

Think of it, this season was supposed to be the most glorious of celebrations in Winnipeg with a new stadium opening and an era of prosperity about to begin.

But it's been beyond a disaster. They haven't even won a game in this stadium.

Some say they have stopped caring. I don't believe that. If there's one thing about this town that I've come to know in over a decade of writing about its sports teams, is that people here feel deeply about their Blue Bombers.

They can't turn it off. Not forever. Maybe some will take some time away from the stadium and even cancel their tickets. But at the first glimmer of hope, they'll be back.

To take advantage of this love and passion is irresponsible and I'm not sure that hasn't been the case at times with the Bombers.

But Miller can't be accused of this. He might be a lot of things but he's not a loser and he won't abide it. I don't know if Wade Miller is the right guy to lead this franchise and no one will until he's proven his worth one way or another.

But I know he'd never let losing become an accepted component of the organization's culture.

Miller will be somewhere in the stadium bleeding and sweating for a win like the fans in the stands. And hopefully the players on the field.

So much has been said about the organizaton and its ills the last few years. Lots of it accurate, but some of it over-wrought due to anger and heartache.

The one absolute that is obvious is the play on the field has been unacceptable. The players on the field have not lived up to their end of the bargain.

I don't make my living hoping and cheering for sports teams. I'm supposed to watch and be objective. But I live here and love the people here. They're my family, my neighbours and my friends.

They've been put through enough. They deserve a reprieve.

It's an unlikely scenario, the worst team in the country defeating arguably the best.

But it's Saskatchewan and Winnipeg. Stranger things have happened.

So make it a game, Bombers. Better yet, make it a win.

You can go back to being losers on Monday.

 

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 7, 2013 C5

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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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