20 things you should know

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

1. The Bombers are beginning the season with changes at 12 of the 24 starting positions. The defence got the biggest overhaul, with fresh faces at eight of the 12 spots.

2. This week's game marks the sixth time since the teams started playing one another in 1961 that the Bombers have hosted the Argos in their home opener. Toronto won the first two -- in 1976 and 1980 -- but the Bombers bounced back with wins in 1984, 1990 and 2002.

3. The Bombers were 0-2 against the Argos last season, including a last-minute, 35-32 loss at Canad Inns Stadium last October.

4. Winnipeg running back Charles Roberts ran for 100 yards six times last season, and four times it occurred at Canad Inns Stadium.

5. Of the 56 players the Bombers have kicking around the locker-room, 31 were with the team in 2005 and 25 were not.

6. The Bombers have two players who have been with the team for a decade or longer. Placekicker Troy Westwood started with the team in 1991, while slotback Milt Stegall joined the club in 1995.

7. There have been seven Bomber coaches since 1983, and three of them won their first game at home: Mike Riley (1987), Urban Bowman (1992) and Jim Daley (2004). Cal Murphy, Darryl Rogers, Jeff Reinebold and Dave Ritchie, meanwhile, all lost their home debuts. Doug Berry will try to even that mark at 4-4 against the Argos.

8. Winning the home opener is not one of Winnipeg's strong suits. The Bombers are 2-4 since 2000 in their first games of the season at Canad Inns Stadium.

9. Quarterback Kevin Glenn threw 27 touchdown passes in 2005, which was his first full season at the controls. Khari Jones threw 31 strikes in his inaugural season of 2000.

10. Here's a stat for all you Bomber fans who need a sign of hope. The last time the Bombers captured the Grey Cup, they won their home opener, 34-17, over the Argos. That happened on July 20, 1990.

TORONTO ARGONAUTS

1. The pre-season was rough on the Boatmen, who lost both linebacker Michael Fletcher and linebacker/defensive back Chuck Winters to injuries that will keep them out for at least the early part of the season.

2. Only one of the six players the Argos took in the Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft -- defensive tackle Marc Pilon -- cracked the team's 46-man roster to start the season.

3. The Argos lineup features two players who were with the Bombers last season -- kick returner Keith Stokes and quarterback Spergon Wynn, who will start in place of the injured Damon Allen.

4. The Boatmen also boast two Heisman Trophy winners. Running back Ricky Williams won the honour with the University of Texas Longhorns in 1998, and third-string quarterback Eric Crouch claimed it as a University of Nebraska Cornhusker in 2001.

5. Toronto had five CFL all-stars last season, which tied for the second most in the league: quarterback Damon Allen, linebackers Fletcher and Kevin Eiben, defensive end Jonathan Brown and cornerback Jordan Younger.

6. Speaking of Eiben, the superstar Canadian has been moved from inside linebacker to outside linebacker this season. Eiben has been voted the East Division's top Canadian the last two seasons.

7. Argos offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin was a candidate in the Bombers coaching search during the off-season and had a chance to be hired had he not decided to stay with the Boatmen.

8. After missing the playoffs in 2000 and 2001, the Argos have now made the playoffs in four consecutive seasons. They won the Grey Cup in 2004.

9. Winnipeg backup safety Ian Logan, the youngest member of the Bombers, was two years old when Allen began his CFL career in 1985 with the Edmonton Eskimos. Allen, who was last year's most outstanding player, is in his 22nd season.

10. The Argos are 38-36-2 against the Bombers since 1961.


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