September 25, 2018

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Winning still comes before dancing

Bombers players upbeat about rule change

ANDREW RYAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files</p><p>Bombers receiver Darvin Adams is glad the league is relaxing rules around creative touchdown celebrations, especially considering he used a TV camera in his celebration last week.</p></p>

ANDREW RYAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files

Bombers receiver Darvin Adams is glad the league is relaxing rules around creative touchdown celebrations, especially considering he used a TV camera in his celebration last week.

Made-for-TV touchdown celebrations using a prop, once frowned upon by the CFL, received the blessing of the league Thursday.

Count Bombers receiver Darvin Adams, who borrowed a camera from an on-field TSN operator and used it to grab live shots of his teammates after scoring a 72-yard touchdown last Friday, as someone who supports the rule change.

“I think it’s good,” said Adams following a practice closed to the media Thursday afternoon. “That’s the first time I’m hearing it now, but I think it’s good. It allows guys to entertain and have fun.”

Adams admitted he was unaware he likely should have been flagged on the play and said there was nothing premeditated about his actions.

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Made-for-TV touchdown celebrations using a prop, once frowned upon by the CFL, received the blessing of the league Thursday.

Count Bombers receiver Darvin Adams, who borrowed a camera from an on-field TSN operator and used it to grab live shots of his teammates after scoring a 72-yard touchdown last Friday, as someone who supports the rule change.

"I think it’s good," said Adams following a practice closed to the media Thursday afternoon. "That’s the first time I’m hearing it now, but I think it’s good. It allows guys to entertain and have fun."

Adams admitted he was unaware he likely should have been flagged on the play and said there was nothing premeditated about his actions.

"Not at all," he said. "The guys are just trying to ignite each other, to get a fire started, that’s all... It’s not like we’re sitting in the locker room saying, ‘Hey, we doing this.’ No. We’re just too busy trying to win."

In addition to the relaxed ruling, the CFL said Adams and his league brethren would be liable for damages if a TV camera or other private property were damaged as a result of one of these celebrations.

"It wasn’t like I was taking it from him — he gave it to me," said Adams of his impromptu camera work. "We were having fun, going with the flow."

Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols enjoyed Adams’ antics.

"I think as long as it’s within reason I think it’s entertaining, it’s fun," said Nichols. "As long as it’s nothing towards the opponent, I guess it would still be frowned upon. A guy was having fun."

Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea, who has made penalty prevention a major priority in his five seasons in Winnipeg, wasn’t as impressed.

"I guess that’s OK," he said. "At the time, it wasn’t."

O’Shea was asked, in light of the rule change, if he would encourage his players to celebrate.

"Does it look like I’d encourage guys to do that?" he said with a grin.

FENNER A (SPECIAL) TEAM PLAYER: it’s been two games since Chandler Fenner has returned to the lineup after suffering a lower-body injury, and in each game he’s been relegated to play behind Maurice Leggett at the strong-side linebacker position. Fenner was a high-profile signing by the Bombers in the off-season, and his absence from the starting 12 on defence has turned some heads.

Ask the man himself, however, and he’s just fine playing his current backup role.

"It’s just a matter of what the defence wants me to do," Fenner said. "Whatever position they put me in, I’m going to execute at a high level. That’s just what I do.

"If they say you go play whatever position, that’s what I’m going to do. Right now it’s been more of a special-teams thing, so I execute there, I make plays there and the more they give me, the happier I’ll be."

Fenner, as a member of the B.C. Lions last season, finished tied for second in the CFL with 27 special-teams tackles. The 28-year-old has 10 in six games this season, including three in two games since returning from injury.

NOTEWORTHY: Winnipeg has taken Weston Dressler (lower body) off the six-game injured list. The veteran slotback practised Thursday, but he probably won’t play Saturday afternoon in Calgary against the Stampeders. "I’d say no," O’Shea said... TSN reported Thursday that Stamps defensive co-ordinator DeVone Claybrooks is not well and has missed the last two days of practice. He was in hospital undergoing tests... Montreal Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman told reporters that guard Landon Rice, a Brandon product who had slotted in as a starter on the offensive line since being acquired from Hamilton as part of the Johnny Manziel deal, has been released for "contractual/financial" reasons. His slot will be filled by Philippe Gagnon.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @sawa14jeff.hamilton@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @jeffkhamilton

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Multimedia producer

After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

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