Stamps could put final nail in Bombers coffin

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:19 AM ET

Wooooo ... Good thing it's Halloween season.

Otherwise, more Blue Bombers fans would be showing up with bags over their heads instead of masks and costumes today. Winnipeg will finally put their positively scary season out of its misery today and it will be the last hurrah for a number of people employed by Winnipeg's football franchise.

Ryland Wickman has more or less said his goodbye and others will soon be following him out the door. And that could include head coach Jim Daley and/or GM Brendan Taman. Today's effort could have a significant bearing on those decisions. Another effort like last week and they will be backing up the garbage truck to empty the entire contents of the Maroons Road office.

While others will be playing to either secure or solidify jobs for next year, there is still a CFL game to be won or lost against the playoff-bound Calgary Stampeders -- the western club that started its own "rebuilding" program long after Winnipeg did. The Stamps can still finish second. The Bombers can only finish as spoilers. And thank their lucky stars that they end the season with a bye week, appropriately enough.

Here's a closer look at tonight's encounter:

KEEP AN EYE ON

Winnipeg's offensive line. This patchwork group, which includes starting centre Cory Annett, who had been cut earlier a few weeks ago, and rookie Marc Parenteau in his first start at guard for the Bombers, against arguably the best front seven in the CFL. Calgary's linemen Rahim Abdullah (eight) and Sheldon Napastuk (seven) and linebacker John Grace (seven) will be looking to pad their sack stats while keeping tailback Charles Roberts at bay. Frightening.

REMEMBER WHEN?

... the Bombers scored a 37-16 victory over Calgary in the last game of the season last year? Quarterback Kevin Glenn completed 15 of 20 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns while tailback Charles Roberts romped for 114 yards on 22 carries. And the Bombers were flush with optimism for the 2005 season. What a difference a year makes.

KICKOFF/TV/RADIO

3:00 p.m., TSN (local blackout in effect)/CJOB.

THE LINE

Calgary is favoured by 5.5 points.

ALL-TIME SERIES

Calgary leads 90-84 (including two victories this season).

LAST MEETING

Stamps won 30-21 in Calgary on Aug. 6.

QUIRKY FACT

Bombers are 12-3 in their final regular-season games at home, including Calgary last year, and are 3-0 in their last three.

THE FINAL SAY

"I'm sure we'll come out here and fight these guys. I think we're going to win this one but we'll see and if it doesn't happen, we'll start a fight at the end of the game. Sore losers."

-- Bombers guard Mike Abou-Mechrek


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