The rant ...

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

It's time to stop this annual event: whining about CFL officiating.

Seriously, for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to even begin to suggest that they lost Saturday night's game to the Montreal Alouettes because of the refereeing is preposterous.

Need we remind everyone of the final score? Did the boys in stripes miss a couple of calls on Saturday night? Sure, what crew doesn't? Does the CFL need to hire more officials and improve the way they're trained? Sure it does, and it's in the midst of trying to do everything it can in that department.

George Black, the CFL's director of officiating, held a conference call yesterday to discuss instant replay, but he had no problems talking about the officiating during Saturday's game.

While he defended referee Murray Clarke and the rest of the crew, he admitted there were calls that needed to be re-examined. Perhaps the biggest problem in all of this is coaches not knowing why officials are calling what they're calling. Those lines of communication need to be expanded, and the coaches need to bone up on the rule book.

But there's something even you can do.

If you think the officiating is that bad, grab a whistle, call your local youth football league and volunteer. Some CFL referees work well into their 60s, so you've got lots of time to work your way up.

And prepare to get yelled at every step of the way, no matter how intelligent you think you are.

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3-10

B.C.'s record in its last 13 games, back to last season.

973

Number of career receptions for Ticats receiver Terry Vaughn, making him the league's all-time leader in that category.

4-1

Eskimos' record after a bye week in the last three seasons. They host the Blue Bombers on Thursday after having last week off.

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