October 18, 2017

Winnipeg
8° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Record: 11–4–0

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Logo

Blue Bomber Report (11–4–0)

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Bombers can learn plenty from humbling loss to Ticats

JOHN WOODS / CANADIAN PRESS FILES</p><p>Keeping Bomber QB Matt Nichols upright and cosy in the pocket should always priority No. 1.</p>

JOHN WOODS / CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Keeping Bomber QB Matt Nichols upright and cosy in the pocket should always priority No. 1.

In the spectrum of wake-up calls, that range from a gentle nudge and a cascading waterfall emanating from your alarm to an air horn that melts your face with 129 decibels, Friday’s loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats was a middle-of-the-road backhand across the jowls of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Yet with four games remaining — and assuming this notice from Hamilton is heralded and Matt Nichols is not seriously dinged up — this might just be the best thing to happen to this football team as it gears up for a potential home playoff date.

It is true in professional football and most sports that you can learn exponentially more from losing than you can from winning. Winning too much and too often can gloss over fundamental deficiencies you may have and actually reinforce improper techniques, strategies and flaws— shortcomings get sugar-coated with the “whatever it takes,” frosting of winning. When you lose, and you look at yourself in the mirror the next day, there is no makeup or favourable lighting and the swelling around your face doesn’t look near as tough or heroic as you thought it would. Of course, all the lessons you are taught from losing don’t matter if you don’t have the talent or ability to apply the corrections you have discerned. Sitting at 10 wins on the season, it is obvious this team does.

Looking back over the regular season, this football team hasn’t experienced much chop or many swells as its navigated its way to double digits wins for the second season in a row. Other than a 2-2 start as they embarked on their 2017 voyage, the Bombers been able to stay relatively healthy and victorious, with both a five-game and three-game winning streak through the heart of the schedule. They have not lost two games in a row the entire year, and with B.C. coming to town on Saturday, are going to want to see that trend continue.

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 345 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

Hope you enjoyed your trial.

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 345 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

In the spectrum of wake-up calls, that range from a gentle nudge and a cascading waterfall emanating from your alarm to an air horn that melts your face with 129 decibels, Friday’s loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats was a middle-of-the-road backhand across the jowls of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Yet with four games remaining — and assuming this notice from Hamilton is heralded and Matt Nichols is not seriously dinged up — this might just be the best thing to happen to this football team as it gears up for a potential home playoff date.

It is true in professional football and most sports that you can learn exponentially more from losing than you can from winning. Winning too much and too often can gloss over fundamental deficiencies you may have and actually reinforce improper techniques, strategies and flaws— shortcomings get sugar-coated with the "whatever it takes," frosting of winning. When you lose, and you look at yourself in the mirror the next day, there is no makeup or favourable lighting and the swelling around your face doesn’t look near as tough or heroic as you thought it would. Of course, all the lessons you are taught from losing don’t matter if you don’t have the talent or ability to apply the corrections you have discerned. Sitting at 10 wins on the season, it is obvious this team does.

Looking back over the regular season, this football team hasn’t experienced much chop or many swells as its navigated its way to double digits wins for the second season in a row. Other than a 2-2 start as they embarked on their 2017 voyage, the Bombers been able to stay relatively healthy and victorious, with both a five-game and three-game winning streak through the heart of the schedule. They have not lost two games in a row the entire year, and with B.C. coming to town on Saturday, are going to want to see that trend continue.

So how is it beneficial that they took one on the chin from what was once a 3-10 team? Other than the instant dose of humility and reality that should be overwhelming them right now, it lets you know where you’re vulnerable and still require focus and improvement — and in some instances it can light a fire or spark right before that part of the year where every team wants to be playing its best football.

After going into Edmonton and pitching a shut out against the Eskimos in the first half — and being the dominant phase of this football team in the victory — many of us were hopeful the Bombers defence had finally turned a corner and were starting to come together and compliment what has proven to be a fantastic offence. After surrendering nearly 500 yards to Hamilton, including close to 150 on the ground; and an inability to get off the field, which resulted in nearly 40 minutes of Ticats possession, the patting yourself on the back from the previous week has proven to be wishful thinking.

With five sacks allowed — one of which knocked the starting pivot out of the game — and a surprising loss in the turnover battle (3-0) this defeat to Hamilton also served up a harsh reminder to the offence as well. How keeping Nichols upright and cosy in the pocket is always priority No. 1, closely followed by how important ball security is for this team, in factoring whether they will win or lose a contest.

Going into that part of the season where second chances are no longer handed out, you want your players to have their eyes wide open to what weaknesses and shortcomings they have. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats may have done them a favour by reminding them that they still have substantial work to do if they wish to travel deep into the post-season in November.

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

Twitter: @DougBrown97

Read more by Doug Brown.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. 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 The Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The 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 January 2015.