Bombers in good spirits

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:27 PM ET

Who's worse: the Winnipeg Blue Bombers or Hamilton Tiger-Cats?

That question will be answered tonight when the West Division's cellar-dwelling Bombers (1-6) meet the East Division's cellar-dwelling Ticats (0-6) at Canad Inns Stadium (8 p.m., CBC/CJOB).

And who better to reveal the teams' psyches than Hamilton's Kamau Peterson and Winnipeg's Chris Brazzell -- receivers who were traded for each other just this past Monday night?

Brazzell believes the Bombers are in a much better mood than the Ticats.

"This group is way more laid back," said Brazzell, who will start at wide receiver tonight. "In the three days here I've done more laughing and joking and talking trash with these guys than I ever did in Hamilton.

'HAPPIEST WORST TEAM'

"... Somebody made a comment, 'It's like this is the happiest worst team I've ever been around.' We just started laughing, because it's true."

OK, Kamau, and how are the Tabbies, who shuffled their front office this week, doing these days?

"These guys genuinely feel like they're a play away, and they've been in most of the games they've lost, to their credit," said Peterson, who will play only special teams tonight while wearing jersey No. 88. "It might be a play away, but with Danny (McManus) out, a key injury there, and a couple bounces go here or there ...

"But generally these guys are in a good disposition for an 0-6 team, and I've been on a couple. They're doing OK."

Hamilton will go into battle with much-maligned Marcus Brady at quarterback, since McManus' injured right thumb is still too tender. Former Bomber Khari Jones will be the backup.

"This week is probably the first week that I feel comfortable and confident that I would put Khari in the football game (so) that he could run our offence," Ticats head coach Greg Marshall said.

The Bombers, meanwhile, will have Kevin Glenn taking the snaps despite the fact he hurt his own right thumb last week in Calgary.

"I don't like to talk percentages. I'm playing," Glenn said when asked how healthy his thumb was. "That's the biggest thing, or the most important thing. I'm able to play and throw the ball."

Rookie Russ Michna, promoted past Tee Martin three days ago, will serve as Glenn's backup.

The Brazzell-Peterson trade added some emphasis to tonight's game, but it's much more important than that for both squads.

Depending on last night's Calgary-B.C. outcome, the Bombers could be just two points out of a West Division playoff spot if they emerge victorious.

"This is the closest thing to a must-win in Week 8 that I've ever been a part of," Bombers offensive lineman Mike Abou-Mechrek said. "We need this one to get that snowball rolling, because it's almost fall-time here in Winnipeg, and the snow's gonna start falling.

"So we'll make a nice little snowball. It'll be good."

Bombers slotback Milt Stegall said there is no more time to wait. With Ottawa, Hamilton and Saskatchewan (twice) on the schedule after tonight, it's now or never.

"That window is closing," Stegall said. "Last week it closed some more on us. We got our fingers squished in there now.

"We're keeping it open, so let's go out there and take advantage of it."

The Ticats, however, have a much bigger hill to climb, and Marshall, a stranger to six-game losing streaks, said it's getting to him.

"It bothers me a lot," the 2004 CFL coach of the year said. "I will remember this summer for a long, long time."


Videos

Photos