Blue depart early to get a grip

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

Jim Daley is doing everything he can to mentally prepare his Winnipeg Blue Bombers for Sunday's titanic clash in Edmonton against the Eskimos.

The head coach asked the club's penny pinchers if the team could spend an extra day in snowy Edmonton to get better used to their surroundings. That wish was granted, so the Bombers will leave Friday instead of Saturday.

"We need to make the best transition to the weather," Daley said. "Right now our weather in Winnipeg is too nice compared to Edmonton."

The Blue and Gold will work out in Edmonton on Friday morning "in order to practise on a field that's had the weather that they've had for a week."

Then there's the perennial issue of footwear for Commonwealth Stadium's grass field in freezing conditions. Daley wanted his players to figure that out yesterday and then forget about it.

The Bombers practised on their wet and sloppy grass field, and players were allowed to test several pairs of cleats.

"If we're going to spend our week worried about footwear, we're not worrying about our offence, defence and our special teams," Daley said. "The less we deal with that the better, because I think you create a paranoia otherwise."

Sunday's forecast in Edmonton calls for a high of 1 C with a 40% chance of showers and a northwest wind of 15 km-h.

BOSOX BLUES: Bombers DT Joe Fleming hails from the Boston area, so he has been glued to the TV watching his beloved Red Sox take on the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

The Red Sox were down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 6 last night at Yankee Stadium.

"I certainly think they have a long road to go here, and I don't think it's going to be very good," Fleming said prior to last night's contest. "But that's a part of what being a Boston Red Sox fan is about: being disappointed since 1918."

Fleming was asked if Boston's comeback from a 3-0 deficit had inspired him going into a pair of must-win games for the Bombers.

He laughed.

"You never draw inspiration from the Red Sox. What inspiration would that be? How to fail well?"

LOOKING AHEAD: A few notable Calgary Stampeders will be rooting for Winnipeg this Sunday.

That way, the ex-Bombers could come into Canad Inns Stadium next Friday night and crush their old team's playoff hopes.

"I think it's going to be great," fullback Randy Bowles told the Calgary Herald. "When Khari (Jones) and I first got here, we were talking about that. We were kind of joking around that the last game of the season is Winnipeg and we both said to each other, 'I hope there's playoff implications so we can go in there and just show them what they dealt away and what they were missing out on all season by not playing him or I.'"

Linebacker Brian Clark, who signed with the Stamps as a free agent last winter, had the same sentiments.

"I hope we go in there with a chance to take Winnipeg out of the playoffs," Clark told the Herald. "... For me personally, to be able to take Winnipeg out would be icing on the cake."

LATE HITS: Hugh Smith and Robert Gordon are battling at practice this week for the right to start at the import WR spot on Sunday ... If non-import WR Kamau Peterson (knee) is healthy enough, he'll draw into the lineup in place of Gilles Colon.


Videos

Photos