Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rename Bombers 'Winnipeg Interims'

Almost every position seems to be in flux

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‘INTERIM CEO. Interim GM. Interim Coach. Interim QBs. Interim Fans." Twitter can be a nasty place but it can also offer up some gems and @arby_18 got it best Monday with a snide little tweet describing the state of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Yes, everything in Bomberland right now is interim. That's what happens when a team starts out 1-5 and fires its CEO and its GM in the span of one hastily-called press conference.

Some folks get it, such as the slugs on the offensive and defensive lines who were smacking each other around at Monday's practice with renewed vigour. Others, such as whiny quarterback Justin Goltz, do not.

"Yeah, I definitely feel betrayed at this point," seethed Goltz, when asked about the promotion of Max Hall to starting quarterback.

Somehow, Justin missed the memo or hasn't quite grasped the vibe installed by acting CEO Wade Miller since taking the job last Friday.

Let me help you, Justin. Anything you were told or promised prior to last week is null and void. Not worth the napkin it was written on.

Veteran Buck Pierce wasn't happy either, but had the sense to simply offer up his frustration and confusion, leaving the "broken promises," spiel to Goltz.

This is pro sports. As the late NFL legend Art Donovan put it, football is a game played by "oversized coal miners and West Texas psychopaths."

This isn't a family business where one can trust that daddy is passing the keys down the line to his progeny when the time comes.

Miller is on the clock from the get-go. He'll either produce convincing results to the Bombers board of directors and be retained or politely be told "thanks" and handed a parting gift.

Same goes with Tim Burke and his entire coaching staff.

They need to figure out something quickly and they looked around the room Saturday morning in the wake of Joe Mack being fired and tried to offer solutions.

Quarterback play -- more to the point -- poor quarterback play, has been at the heart of this team's woes all season. First Pierce and second Goltz. They've been awful. Worst-in-the-league awful. Mack ordered Burke to push Goltz to the front of the class and it failed.

The minute Mack was gone, Goltz's days as the starter were numbered. Putting Pierce back in didn't seem like much of an improvement, so the offensive coaching staff got around to Hall and said, "what the hell?"

Betrayal? Goltz started for all of two games and lost both before being demoted. If he felt secure in his position he should not have, and this will be a life lesson for him. Produce or else.

Hall will be under the exact same pressure. It may work out and it may not. He won't have much rope. In fact, if he's no good early, expect Pierce to come off the bench.

Miller, Burke and soon-to-be-named interim GM Kyle Walters will either wake up Saturday morning with a new answer at quarterback. Or they will be faced with the reality of being a CFL franchise with no quality starter and no depth backing up.

It's time to find out. Even if we're not going to like the answer.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 13, 2013 C1


Updated on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 8:17 AM CDT: adds missing text

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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
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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