October 21, 2018

Winnipeg
1° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Record: 9–7–0

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Logo

Blue Bomber Report (9–7–0)

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

Mack in the saddle again

Bombers GM and VP of football operations has his work cut out

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/1/2010 (3193 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Quick story about Joe Mack -- the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' new vice- president of football operations -- that may reveal a little about the man now charged with helping restore the franchise's image from circus-like to respectable...

He's got a pair of championship rings, one from the 1984 Bombers Grey Cup squad, the other from the Washington Redskins in 1992, but wears neither. Never has, never will.

The bling, it would seem, is not his thing.

"Oh, I never wear those things," began Mack Friday, not long after his re-introduction to the Bombers and Winnipeg. "I mean, if you saw the Super Bowl ring... it's just s-o-o-o big. It's back in a safe deposit box. You wouldn't believe what the taxes on that thing were."

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/1/2010 (3193 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Quick story about Joe Mack — the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' new vice- president of football operations — that may reveal a little about the man now charged with helping restore the franchise's image from circus-like to respectable...

He's got a pair of championship rings, one from the 1984 Bombers Grey Cup squad, the other from the Washington Redskins in 1992, but wears neither. Never has, never will.

The bling, it would seem, is not his thing.

"Oh, I never wear those things," began Mack Friday, not long after his re-introduction to the Bombers and Winnipeg. "I mean, if you saw the Super Bowl ring... it's just s-o-o-o big. It's back in a safe deposit box. You wouldn't believe what the taxes on that thing were."

Fact is, the 55-year-old native of Levittown, Pa., will tell you one of his biggest accomplishments in more than 20 years in pro football was helping take a rag-tag collection of players that were the expansion Carolina Panthers of 1995 and piecing them together into a team that posted a 7-9 record — a mark that still stands among first-year franchises — and by Year 2 was 12-4 and in the NFC championship game.

"Everybody just thought we'd be terrible," Mack recalls. "But I remember signing players off the street and doing things with the expansion draft... it was like putting a puzzle together. And then watching guys develop is special."

Now, perhaps sensing that there are more than a few doubters wondering about the eight-year blank in his football resumé — his last regular job in the game was with the XFL's New York Hitmen in 2001 — Mack did drop a few names on Friday that provide a little background as to who he's worked for and where he's been. Joe Gibbs with the Redskins... Bill Polian in Carolina... Paul Robson here in the '80s... Carmen Policy in his days with the re-birth of the Cleveland Browns.

"I think I have a pretty good base foundation of what it takes to put an organization together and win," said Mack.

But it was roughly a decade ago when Mack also made a critical decision: He opted to walk away from the game that had dominated most of his adult life to be with his family. Since then he's been a consultant working a number of angles, including with Dr. Bob Troutwine doing psychological assessments of players for NFL teams and also with a fledgling pro football league he said he couldn't name because of a confidentiality agreement.

"I've had chances to go back to the NFL," Mack said. "But you can't believe how much it eats you up. I would go eight months without a day off... Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve. We'd be working, breaking down film sometimes from early in the morning until 12:30 at night. Think about it... when it gets to be that amount of money involved in the NFL, it just further drives the pressure. I mean, look, the Dallas Cowboys spent $1.1 billion on their stadium alone. You can just imagine what (owner) Jerry Jones is saying to those guys... he's barking in their ears. Talk about pressure.

"I was spending a great deal of time away from my wife and children and it got to point where I had to make a judgment about taking a step back. I was very conscious of how much time I was spending away from home and so I started to do some consulting."

But when Robson, as the former Bomber GM and member of the selection committee, called Mack last month to gauge his interest, a couple of factors got his competitive juices flowing again.

First, his oldest daughter is now in university while his two other kids are nearing the completion of high school and they're inching closer to starting their own lives away from the family nest.

And, second, the call was from a familiar voice in a familiar town in a familiar league that brought so many fond memories.

"I really enjoy the CFL and the quality of life," Mack said. "And my kids were saying, 'Dad, we don't really remember when you were with a team. That would be kind of neat again.'

"I still have some friends in the CFL and then Paul called, We had a good talk and my first thought was, 'That might be intriguing.' In a way, we're starting here with a clean slate. I'll tell ya, I didn't get much sleep last night after I signed those papers. My mind already started going like a Gatling gun thinking about all the things I had to address and how to make the club better.

"And then there's the fact, too, that this organization hasn't won a Grey Cup in a long time. It is an opportunity to do something the people here could be really excited about. That's enticing. It's not daunting. It's exciting."

CORRECTION DEPT: In Friday's paper it was stated that Bob Dyce supported Greg Marshall for head coach. That was a personal assumption by this reporter and was not stated by Dyce in any manner.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

QB, COACH ARE TOP PRIORITIES D2 turner: No ordinary Joe D3

THE JOE MACK FILE

AGE: 55

BORN: Levittown, Pa.

RESIDES: Charlotte, N.C.

FAMILY: wife Kathleen (born in Pointe Claire, Que.); children Danielle — 21; Colleen — 18; Ben — 16.

FOOTBALL BIO: played college at Villanova and was a captain in his senior year... Coached D-line and special teams upon graduation... Spent three years as an area scout for Blesto Combine representing the Steelers, Eagles, Lions, Bears, Colts, Vikings and Dolphins... Joined the Bombers in 1984 and served through 1987 as the director of player personnel... Left the CFL to work with the Falcons, Redskins, Panthers and Browns... Joined the XFL in 2001... Has worked primiarly since then as an independent sports consultant.

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 digital 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 digital 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.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us