Pot shot at city a low blow

ROSS ROMANIUK -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

They may have only been on a few football fans' signs, but the anti-Winnipeg barbs thrown last week by Tiger-Cats faithful in Hamilton were way offside.

That's the word from Winnipeg leaders and Big Blue backers who were none too pleased on Friday to see Steeltown's CFL supporters take a snide shot at Manitoba's capital on national television.

Mayor Sam Katz suggested the signs -- distributed by the Hamilton Spectator newspaper and stating that they would "rather be 1-5 than be from Winnipeg" -- show that fans in the Ontario city have as much credibility as their losing team.

That team is now 1-6 following the Bombers' shutout blowout.

"The proof is in the pudding, and we can do our talking on the field. And that's where the Bombers and Winnipeg do it best," Katz told the Sun yesterday.

"And the facts are that we won 29-0. We shut them out, OK? There's nothing more to discuss."

The signs' appearance on the TSN telecast perhaps brought Winnipeg its only sour note in a game the Bombers dominated.

The printed put-downs proved a bit unsettling even to those who hadn't noticed them on TV.

"Wow! I'm going to have to take my Bombers season ticket-holder hat off for this one," Destination Winnipeg spokeswoman Lori Walder said upon hearing of the insult. "Are you kidding me?"

Walder said the tourism and economic-booster agency wants to steer clear of any Winnipeg-Hamilton nastiness, though she couldn't help taking a shot at the negative message.

"That was good from a marketing standpoint. And I guess they were really trying to rile the fans up. But it's negative. Tell them to cheer on their team -- don't crap on where somebody else comes from," Walder said, taking her own subtle swipe at the widely denigrated Steeltown.

"And it's not like they're this Paris or something. We're both medium-size Canadian cities."

Bombers fans have voiced their discontent over Hamilton's attack, finding humour in the burg it's come from.

"As someone who has visited Hamilton on many occasions, this is out of character for the people of that fine city," Bombers season ticket-holder John Morris said.

"That being said, I'd take living in Winnipeg under former coach Jeff Reinebold than ever living in Hamilton. Winnipeg is a far better city."

"It's probably more a reflection on their own disappointment with their football club than it is about Winnipeg. You know, when you can't look at yourself you have to lash out at somebody else," Walder said.


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