Season of futility

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

The dreadful threatens.

If the 4-10 Winnipeg Blue Bombers do not win another CFL game this year, they will finish in a tie for their fourth worst finish in club history.

The Bombers finished 4-14 in 1997, Jeff Reinebold's first year as head coach. Reinebold followed that up with a 3-15 record. So, is this franchise falling into another abyss under head coach Jim Daley?

Don't even go there, insists Winnipeg fullback Wade Miller, who survived that dismal Reinebold era.

"There's no comparison to that," said Miller, bristling at the mere suggestion before starting his bye week. "There's a football team in this locker-room and not a bunch of individuals. There is a team here. There's a group of guys here who want to win and who want to win together. And we have the ability to do it whereas, in those days, the ability may not have been there."

Show improvement

The Bombers, however, were 7-11 last season and would need to win out to show improvement on that bottom line.

"I don't think I can let this go," Miller said. "I'm going to train, spend some time at the office and get ready to go for the last four weeks."

But that will be four weeks of futility.

"In reality, this is probably the most frustrating year I've ever been involved with," said club GM Brendan Taman. "I don't remember ever being in a situation like this where you're basically out of it with a month to go. Being realistic and not trying to b.s. people, we don't have a chance. I've never been in this position before in my memory. It's uncharted waters for a lot of people.

"I thought we'd be right in the fight right to the bitter end."

BYE WORRIES: A number of players could be spending the bye week wondering about their future as Bombers.

"Sure, you always worry about your job in this profession," admitted frustrated linebacker Ryland Wickman. "You could get cut in Week 1 to Week 18 so yeah, you worry about that. But you've got to put all that stuff in the back of your mind and just go play football, do your job and try to get better.

"To lose (to Montreal) the way we did (42-23), we just weren't good enough. The playoffs might be out of the picture but hey, we get paid to play a sport that we love to do and we need to go out there, have fun and just play better football, that's the bottom line."

READER CAMPAIGN: Both Miller and Wickman are sticking around town this week. In fact, both are participating in the club's Raise-a-Reader campaign tomorrow. Wickman and safety Wes Lysack will be in front of the CanWest Building (Portage and Main); Miller and offensive lineman Jermese Jermese Jones will be at the corner of McPhillips and Mountain; defensive ends Tom Canada and Antwone Young at Taylor and Waverley; receiver Jamie Stoddard and long-snapper Chris Cvetkovich at Broadway and Donald; Blue Lightning Dance Team at Wellington and Academy; and mascots Buzz and Boomer at various locations throughout the city.

All money raised will be donated to local family literacy organizations.


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