They’re the Nervous Nine again.
That’s what they used to call them in the ‘60s.
“It hasn’t been battle stations in a long time. It’s not something we take lightly,” Edmonton Eskimos’ board of directors chairman Doug Goss told your correspondent Tuesday.
“This board is now fully engaged, more engaged now than in the entire eight years I’ve been here and quite likely more engaged than any time in the last 40 years.”
After 56-15 and 52-5 losses to the Calgary Stampeders Goss said there’s a message he wants to get out there.
“The board is working very hard. No one is going to rest until this is fixed. This organization has always been about being successful and being successful all starts on the football field.
“The board is now very much involved in finding out how and why and going about fixing it. That’s what’s being done. After a display like that in Calgary, there are things we’re definitely going to do – not in the next couple of days but definitely in the next short while.
“No way this is acceptable. The steps that need to be taken are going to be taken to get this fixed.
“The whole organization is now under the microscope and rightly so. We owe it to the city and all the players who gave their hearts and souls to the green and gold to get this fixed for the short term and the long term,” he said.
This is significant, and not necessarily good news if you understand the history here.
Since Joe Healy and Jim Hole headed the board and hired Norm Kimball as general manager and established the policy of keeping their fingers out of football, the franchise flourished and became the flagship of the CFL and to Canadian football what the Montreal Canadiens were to hockey.
Other than the hiring of Hugh Campbell to return from the NFL to replace Kimball as G.M., all the members of the board of directors had to do was be supportive, sell the dinner tickets, help organize some Grey Cups and collect their Grey Cup rings.
And they were damn proud of it.
But after all this time, they’re “on” again.
While you wait to find out who is coming in on the NFL airlift after the Stampeders attempt to score 50 more points Friday, you can now be assured that Goss, Harold Roosen, Bruce Bentley, William Scott, Diane Brickner, Allan Sawin, Terry O’Flynn, John Moquin and Larry Pollock are coming in off the bench.
With the natives having gone from being restless to totally on the warpath with the 108-20 two-game total point tally and Goss signaling the full battle stations by the board, what does it all mean?
I think it means a new general manager sometime in September instead of waiting until after the season, for one thing.
After Friday’s Labour Day Replay, the Eskimos don’t have another home game until a run of three of them in October.
For the first time in the 22-year history of the rematch, there might not be 40,000 in the stands.
If the fans do show up they may set a new pro sports single-game record for most fans with paper bags over their heads.
Meanwhile gallows humour is now running rampant in Edmonton.
“Would the lady who left her 12 kids at Commonwealth Stadium please come and get them. They are beating the Eskimos 48-3 at the half.”
“Coach, I think you better go back out there. You’re idea of building confidence by having them practice against pylons today isn’t working. The pylons already have us down by four touchdowns.”
Maybe they should declare Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday another off-season.
Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.
The Eskimos 2010 III season starts Friday!
They’re 0-0 again!
Let the Kelly Bates era begin!