Fleming's footprints in snow

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

For all the muttering about the turf at Commonwealth Stadium and the advantage it supposedly held for the Edmonton Eskimos, Sean Fleming's words after yesterday's loss was irony of the highest order.

All 37,359 in attendance saw how Fleming's afternoon went in the passing department with a botched fake punt, but the CFL's scoring leader found kicking the pigskin just as much of a pain in the grass.

Fleming missed a pair of field goals, settling for single points, and added a third single on a 41-yard punt he intended to angle out deep in Saskatchewan territory.

So much for home-field advantage.

"It's not my favourite place to play at this time of the year, just because of the footing," Fleming said. "That's typical this time of year for me. I wish I was on turf. I wish I was indoors ...

"I love playing here. It's a great stadium to play in, but it's very difficult to kick in this stadium. These are probably the most difficult conditions I've dealt with here."

When the snow started to blow and the field got slick, any perceived advantage for the Esks in terms of footing went right out the window. At least from Fleming's perspective.

Fleming hit his first field-goal attempt, a 24-yarder, for a 3-0 lead. But he missed to the left on a 31-yarder in the third quarter that would have made it 7-6. Later, he missed from the 42, leaving the Esks trailing 7-5.

"I tried to hit it as solid as I could," Fleming said. "They were both very make-able field goals, but in these conditions all you try to do is hit it as well as you can."

Fleming's single on the punt at 9:44 of the fourth quarter cut the margin to 7-6, but the plan was to pin Saskatchewan deep. The point was meaningless.

"In good conditions, I'm trying a field goal there," Fleming said. "That was going into the wind and it was a little sharper angle than we're used to. I kicked it up high and, hopefully, the wind was going to take it out of bounds, but it didn't."


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