December 5, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
A contrite Justin Goltz faced the media Saturday afternoon, saying he'd learned from his mistakes during the past week -- on the field and off of it -- and vowing to do better when he makes his second consecutive start at quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers today at Investors Group Field.
"This week was humbling and a learning experience to say the least -- on the field and off of it," Goltz said after the Bombers staged one final light practice in advance of today's Banjo Bowl clash with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
"One of the things I learned this week was that it's not all about Justin Goltz. It's about this team, it's about getting wins. And if I'm out there being the leader I need to be, I think the wins will come."
-- Justin Goltz
Goltz found himself a centre of controversy over the past week. A pair of touchdown celebrations he did in Regina last Sunday in a loss to Saskatchewan created a minor tempest, particularly in Regina, where fans were angry that one of Goltz's celebrations borrowed mockingly from the one their beloved tailback, Kory Sheets, performs after TDs.
Mea culpa, said Goltz. "If there's any regret, that's one thing I kind of regret," said Goltz. "I'm not naive, I know there's a lot I have to prove in this league... And even if I have proven myself, it doesn't give me the right to mock anyone else.
"It was just a high energy, emotional thing that kind of came out. If I did my own thing, that's one thing. But to mock another guy? I understand the criticism of that."
Goltz's comments marked an abrupt about-face. When he was asked about the controversy earlier in the week, Goltz lashed out at the media, saying they'd overblown the episode and were "picking on me."
Goltz also took back those comments on Saturday.
"You guys are just doing your job -- I understand that," he said to the assembled media. "And I need to be mature enough to understand you guys are just doing your job. I need to go out and do my job and let the chips fall where they may."
Goltz said earlier this week he won't do any individual celebration should he score a TD today -- at the urging of head coach Tim Burke and because he also believes the issue has become a distraction.
But that doesn't mean he will sit on his hands, either, should the moment arrive.
"I'm going to be excited about it, really excited," said Goltz. "It's something to be excited about and celebratory about when you score, because they don't come easy in this league. They haven't come easy for us this year...
"I can't tell you I'm going to do one thing or the other. But I know it will involve my teammates and be a lot more low key than it was last week."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 8, 2013 B3