The Winnipeg Blue Bombers must win this game. They have to win this game. They are sure to miss the playoffs if they don't win this game.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats must win this game. They have to win this game. They are sure to miss the playoffs if they don't win this game.
The winner of tonight's CFL Toilet Bowl, featuring the 1-6 Bombers and 0-6 Tiger-Cats at Canad Inns Stadium, will get one thing and one thing only -- hope. Hope that this win will turn their season around, because right now that's the only thing these sad sacks have going for them.
The loser, meanwhile, will be known officially as "The Worst Team In The CFL" and essentially have no hope of making a playoff run.
Tonight's game is Darwinism on turf. The survival of the unfit. Who's going to live to see another day, and who's going to realize that extinction from the 2005 playoffs is unavoidable?
Here's a closer look at tonight's tilt:
KEEP AN EYE ON
Winnipeg WR Chris Brazzell, No. 84
The newly acquired receiver -- from the Tiger-Cats, no less -- will be looked upon to inject some life into an almost lifeless Bomber pass catching corps. Brazzell has speed to burn, so look for him to be streaking down the field against defenders he has practised against all season long.
Chris Brazzell had four catches for 56 yards, including a touchdown reception from Casey Printers, in his last game at Canad Inns Stadium? The date was July 22, 2004, and Brazzell was a member of the B.C. Lions, who laid a 48-17 beating on the Bombers that night.
8 p.m. at Canad Inns Stadium.
CBC(local blackout may be in effect)/CJOB.
Winnipeg is favoured by three points.
Winnipeg leads 43-37 since 1961.
The Tiger-Cats dumped the Bombers 20-13 at Canad Inns Stadium on Oct. 8, 2004, which was Winnipeg's third of four losses in a row that knocked it out of the playoff race. It was the infamous Keith Stokes clothesline game, in which Tabbies defensive tackle DeVonte Peterson tried to decapitate the Bombers kick returner while he was returning a missed field goal. Stokes coughed up the ball, and Troy Davis, who had 130 rushing yards, scored a touchdown two plays later for the eventual game-winning points.
Bombers RB Charles Roberts has 25 career rushing touchdowns, but he has only one in 10 career games against the Tiger-Cats. It was a three-yard scamper last June in Hamilton.
THE FINAL SAY
"Not that we have a lot of free time in football season anyways to go golfing or go fishing or any of those neat things -- they're all looking pretty good right about now -- but honestly I don't have any desire to. All I want to do is stay at the office and look at film."
-- Ticats coach Greg Marshall, who, until now, hadn't lost six games in a row as a Canadian university or pro coach and is desperately searching for solutions.