Prize catches set adrift

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

Geez, you go away for a little R and R and they pull off a major renovation of the sports department. Talk about an extreme makeover.

Last time we talked, the NHL was still in lockdown mode, Sidney Crosby hadn't morphed into a Penguin and Randy Carlyle was still a Moose.

I was starting to think I came back to a different world, when I finally saw something familiar.

Thank goodness for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who continue to resemble the worst team in the CFL, give or take a Hamilton Tiger-Cat.

From what I've been able to piece together, using eyewitness accounts, hair fragments and poor-quality video images, the Bombers have committed the most heinous of crimes: they're not only losing, but also boring people to death. That's aggravated assault of a fan, at the very least.

Winnipeggers can probably handle a team that loses more than it wins, as long as it goes down guns-a-blazing.

I imagine the only thing ablaze in Bomberland right about now is the chair occupied by GM Brendan Taman.

First, it's Wane McGarity, Taman's prize, off-season acquisition of 2005, cut loose, outright. Nothing in return.

Then it's Kamau Peterson, prize, off-season acquisition of 2004, traded to the Tabbies, a move that violates one of the CFL's commandments.

Thou shalt not trade a Canadian starter for an American, the scripture goes. When you're 1-6, and the mob is clamouring at your door, the rules be damned, apparently.

Mess of weeds

Going into the season, I suggested Taman's work needed to bear some fruit this year, or else the guy could be looking for work. Well, the garden's a mess of weeds.

I'm not suggesting we get out the Roundup and eliminate him, just yet. I just wouldn't recommend he buy a house right now. Heck, he shouldn't even buy large containers of milk.

If Taman had a best-before date, it would be November, 2001, when a magical, 14-4 season went sour on Grey Cup day.

Here since '99, Taman has withstood changes in the coaching chair and the president's chair. Whether he can survive a last-place season is another thing, entirely.

IT'S MICHNA TIME: Still with the Bombers, I'd like to see Russ Michna play quarterback, too. Felt that way since he sparkled in the pre-season.

That said, giving Tee Martin three starts when Kevin Glenn went down Week 1 wasn't out of line.

Three is enough, though, and now that Glenn's banged up again, it's Michna time.

With a playoff spot slipping away, you don't worry about bruising egos or quelling uncertainty. You try anything and everything, using all 40 players on your roster.

Head coach Jim Daley likes to use hockey analogies, so here's one: when you've got a struggling power play, you tinker with it, put different players on it, sometimes even take a star off it.

Fluid thing

Whoever's playing best gets the most ice time. It's a fluid thing throughout the season.

Why is this any different?

This isn't a team with an established, veteran starter who might get his nose out of joint if he's pulled. None of this team's quarterbacks should even have an ego, yet -- they haven't done anything.

I admire Daley's loyalty, and understand his philosophy about quarterbacks, but this is not a time for inflexibility.

Everybody understands the situation: it's desperate. And if that means shuffling quarterbacks in and out, so be it. All hands on deck during a storm, right?

It's time for Michna to get a chance to steer this thing before it runs aground.

And if you still lose, at least you've tried everything. Well, almost everything.

Spergon Wynn is still around, isn't he?


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