A little inspiration

Argo All-Star QB Doug Flutie talks with starting QB Michael Bishop  during Argo's walk-through...

Argo All-Star QB Doug Flutie talks with starting QB Michael Bishop during Argo's walk-through practice at Argo Field at U of T in Mississauga October 26th, 2007. (Sun Media/Dave Abel)

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

Michael Bishop had to look down at Doug Flutie to look up to him, but he got the inspirational message just the same.

Flutie, the former Argo who was named to the team's all-time all-star team yesterday, had some advice for the team's current starting quarterback.

"He said it's not how many touchdowns you throw or how many receptions you have as long as you win," said Bishop, who has been doing just that, leading the Boatmen to five wins in a row and a 9-1 record in games he has started.

"That's something I live and die by -- just win."

Flutie, of course, lived by the same mantra in his lengthy CFL and NFL career.

And his inspirational visit yesterday couldn't have come at a better time for the Boatmen.

Today's meeting with the CFL East leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Rogers Centre is easily the most important contest of the CFL season for both teams.

With two games remaining, the Argos (9-7) trail the Bombers (9-6-1) by one point in the battle for the division crown, a first-round bye and the right to host the East final.

"You can't possibly place enough emphasis on how important it would be for the road to the Grey Cup to come through Winnipeg," Bombers kicker Troy Westwood said yesterday.

"It's a huge advantage for us to play in Winnipeg in the middle of November."

A loss today and the Argos will be locked into second while a win will take the race down to the final week when they might still have to win on the road in Saskatchewan.

Many of the Argos seemed in awe of Flutie, who dropped by the team's Erindale headquarters. Several posed for pictures while Bishop had a chance for some one-on-one advice.

"I've seen him throw the football and I've seen him run," Flutie said of Bishop. "He's a phenomenal athlete with a tremendously strong arm. From what I understand, the light is coming on and he's playing good football.

"This game suits him and I think he'll be very successful at it. I told him to believe in those around him."

Throughout his career, both in Canada and the U.S., Flutie always shrugged off statistics. So Bishop's recent struggles, including last week when he completed just 15 of 35 attempts, are irrelevant in his mind.

Meanwhile, the Argos will be without running back Robert Edwards, who is nursing a leg injury, while the Bombers' longer list of walking wounded includes their stud back, Charles Roberts.

"Our real focus is on what they do have, not what they don't have," Argos coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons said. "They are the best team in the East and there's a reason for that. Going into this game, we're the underdogs."

Of course, bookmaker Bowmans.com has another view, making the Argos six-point favourites.


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