Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Let the last two years go, fans; Bombers have

The turnaround isn't complete, but it's well on the way

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When trying to make sense of your feelings for this upstart football team, it is best to realize that you are essentially emerging from a two-year, dysfunctional relationship.

The problem that has arisen, of late, is our emotional baggage from 2012 and 2013 -- and for some since 1990 -- is affecting our relationship going forward with the 2014 Blue Bombers.

It seems many of us are half-hearted, even reluctant participants in this new tryst, and are simply waiting for the bottom to fall out from beneath us. We have been so downtrodden over the years, we are now skeptical and cynical about anything blue and gold that resembles a ray of sunshine or a glimmer of hope.

If the 2014 version of this football team has made a single point, it is that it is better at moving on and letting go of the past than we are. If there is an obstacle that a number of us fans, scribes, and former players have been unable to overcome, it is the fact we keep bringing our old issues and drama from the previous suitors to the table of this one. And as anyone who has been in and around the dating pool knows, the minute you start projecting your failures and insecurities from past relationships into your new one, it doesn't stand a chance.

For more than a month now, we've seen every indication the 2014 team is a stranger in this town, and not some recycled romance from the Palamino -- yet we won't listen to it and see the signs. Just because it wears the same uniform, and hangs out in the same locals, doesn't mean it is anything like the commodes that treated us so poorly the last few seasons.

The last couple of years, to be sure, if anything went wrong -- if we had the slightest of arguments over the must mundane of things -- we pretty much had a domestic situation on our hands. If we got behind early in a game, you might as well have packed up your stuff and looked for a new place to crash. If it was a close game, and we needed a score in the waning moments, our partner had a migraine and had long ago rolled over and fallen asleep. In 2012 and 2013, we gave this team chance after chance, and not only did it let us down in every conceivable fashion, but it surprised us at just how far down the bottom really was.

At four and one, though, this is more than just a fresh start with someone we met on tinder. The parents of our crush are new and different, and wise to the scene. The object of our desire has more than a Grade 6 education, has a university entrance scholarship, and even has a plan for the future. It isn't getting ahead of itself -- such as making absurd promises and predictions that can't be lived up to -- and is taking this thing one week at a time. In fact, if there is anything we should have learned by now, it is this relationship with this football team is one where it wants to take things slow. Every week we talk to it, and sometimes even gush over it, and it constantly tells us to slow down and that no matter how much fun we may have had the previous week, we need to focus in on what lies ahead.

We've been on five dates with this new team, and it has only disappointed us once. Sure, it may have shown up late and drunk and got vomit stuck in its hair against Edmonton, but it owned it, it was accountable for its mistakes, and yet many of us still don't believe it is capable of being any different from its predecessors.

It is time for us all to let go of the past and give this new object of our affections a shot. We have become so jaded the past few years, it has affected our ability to appreciate what is right in front of us. It's far from perfect and has blemishes, but it's headed in the right direction. It's time we started giving it the benefit of the doubt, instead of waiting and expecting it to fall apart and let us down, like so many of the others have.


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

Twitter: @DougBrown97

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 29, 2014 D2

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