Major disappointment

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 5:24 PM ET

Just how bad was the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' 41-1 loss to the B.C. Lions on Saturday night?

Well, the last time a Bomber team scored one point or fewer was more than 30 years ago -- Sept. 9, 1975, to be exact -- when the Lions beat them 15-1 at Winnipeg Stadium.

Bombers head coach Jim Daley, who was gloomy enough yesterday to be a Halloween costume all by himself, is still trying to recover mentally from Saturday night's debacle.

"I had a lot more excitement (about the team's progress) in my mindset prior to Saturday, and I will again in a few days," Daley said. "But Saturday night was so far off where we have been and where we need to be that it was a major disappointment, and now we have to move beyond it."

Season finale

Will the Bombers (5-12) be able to move beyond it on Sunday afternoon when they host the Calgary Stampeders (9-7) in their season finale, or will Saturday's massacre follow them well into the off-season?

The blowout loss has sparked cries from Bomber fans to send Daley and his rebuilding program packing. Daley hopes fans -- and probably management, of course -- will remember the positives from this season.

"When we look and see that we were in about a dozen games very competitively, that's a credit not only to the players' effort, but to the coaches' effort," Daley said.

"We didn't beat B.C. two weeks ago by accident, and we didn't beat Montreal weeks back by accident, and we didn't come within one play of going into overtime with Toronto by accident. We played hard. That's a rewarding thing."

The team's situation is simple, Daley said. The offence is fine, the special teams are fine, and the defence needs work.

He also noted that his players had better produce a much more spirited effort on Sunday than they did in Vancouver if they want to be around next season.

"It's been a very tough year, and we knew it would be a very hard year coming in," Daley said. "But it's probably even been tougher than we imagined."

LATE HITS: If the Bombers win on Sunday, they will avoid posting their worst season since Jeff Reinebold's final season of 1998, during which they went 3-15. With a win on Sunday, the Bombers can equal their 1999 mark of 6-12 under first-year head coach Dave Ritchie ... P Jon Ryan (ankle) is doubtful for Sunday's game, which means he will set a CFL record this season. Ryan has a 50.6-yard punting average, which will break Lui Passaglia's average 1983 mark of 50.2 yards ... Bomber OLs Aaron Fiacconi, Matt Sheridan and Dan Gyetvai, who all have knee injuries, will try to practise today, but they're doubtful for Sunday. DE Gavin Walls (hamstring) and DB Boyd Barrett (turf toe) are also unlikely to play ... Don't forget to catch Wendy's Kick for a Million promotion during half-time of tomorrow night's game between Toronto and Hamilton on TSN. Ontario resident Brian Diesbourg will attempt a 50-yard field goal for $1-million ... CTV will air The Man Who Lost Himself on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. It's the story of former CFL receiver and Canadian Football Hall of Famer Terry Evanshen, who lost his memory in a 1988 car accident. Former JAG star David James Elliott plays Evanshen ... The Bomber defence needs to hold the Stamps to 269 yards or fewer on Sunday to avoid setting a CFL single-season record for most yards allowed per game. Saskatchewan's 1991 squad, which allowed 446.4 yards per match, currently has the honours.


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