Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No time for 'true, but useless' comparisons

  • Print

It's starting to look like the only thing the 2012 Winnipeg Football Club has in common with the 2011 B.C. Lions, who overcame a horrible start to win a Grey Cup, is the fact that at this point last year, the Leos didn't have any wins either.

That being said, it's high time to decide that focusing on things that occurred in the rear-view mirror, be they positive or negative, can and will be an impediment to a team trying to move forward.

Related Items

In my mind, comparative analysis between any two football teams, whether years apart or in successive years, is fodder for the optimist in us all. It allows you to use information as a crutch to convince yourself that better days lie ahead, and in that vein, a much better point of reference than the 2011 B.C. Lions, would be the travails of the 2008 Blue and Gold team, for more reasons than you could figure.

The undeniable comparables, of course, are right in front of us. In 2007, the team went to the Grey Cup and lost a defensive battle to our special cousins to the west, and then tripped over the starting line in 2008 to the tune of zero and four. In 2011, this team went to the Grey Cup and lost a battle between two great defences, and inexplicably started this season exactly the same way.

The 2008 season was the third year of the Doug Berry regime. It was the first year of regression after a .500 campaign in 2006 and a 10-7-1 year in 2007. As we well know, this is the third year of the Paul LaPolice and Joe Mack era. The team improved from Year 1 to Year 2, but also appears on the verge of a third-year decline.

Not only were both head coaches coming off appearances as finalists for Coach of the Year honours, but they have similar backgrounds as offensive-minded men who employed offensive co-ordinators with zero CFL experience. In 2007, in his first season in the CFL, Kit Cartwright, like Gary Crowton now, was offensive co-ordinator and quarterback coach. The only difference between these scenarios is that Cartwright's inaugural CFL offence in 2007 finished first or second in more than a dozen categories, and Crowton's offence thus far has some work to do to replicate that.

A final parallel, which I'm sure you and I hope holds true tonight, is that in their fifth game of the season in 2008, a backup quarterback, Ryan Dinwiddie, entered the fray at a home game and ended up hitting Romby Bryant for a touchdown strike with time expiring to give the Blue and Gold their first win of the year.

To steal a phrase from my old coach of 2010 and '11, all these comparisons are "true, but useless." No matter how many similar characteristics I can dig up between this ball club and the 2008 team, this version is undeniably different.

In my opinion, the best thing this team can do going forward is start taking their own advice. One of the things that stuck out in my mind about last season was how any time the football team was forced to confront a question or an assessment of the 2010 team, which lost nine games by four points or fewer, we distanced ourselves from it with our leader's saying that those facts were "true, but useless" to our chances ahead. That idea helped us let go of the past, and the same saying should be applied when looking back to last year's successful team.

For that's what surprised me most about this 2012 team: When shown a video of a pre-game speech in the visitor's locker-room before they played Edmonton the first time this season, a couple of team leaders, encouraged by the coach, referenced the passion, enthusiasm and swagger of the 2011 squad and how they needed to channel that energy to improve this year.

If there is one thing I think I know about being part of a successful football team, it is that they live in the now and create an identity of their own with each chapter they write.

The sooner a team stops trying to be and grasping for what they were last year or other years prior, the sooner they can get down to the business of seeing what they can be here and now.

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

Twitter: @DougBrown97

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2012 C4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Rinelle Harper and family thank man who found her

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.
  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

 

Poll

Who has been the Jets best defenceman so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google