Hog not wild about calls

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

It was just a week ago that the veteran offensive lineman was called on the carpet for committing a total of four illegal procedure infractions in Winnipeg's CFL season-opener in Montreal.

Mike Abou-Mechrek vowed it would never happen again and he was true to his word when the Blue Bombers beat Toronto 16-9 on Friday. So, you might say he has exited the doghouse now.

"I don't know if Mike was ever in it," Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry said yesterday. "Maybe he was in the penalty phase of it but in terms of performance, I understand. This is a profession and guys are going to get beat occasionally. What we cannot accept is the number of penalties and Mike addressed that. He just told me that wasn't going to happen again, and it didn't. We were pretty good up front in terms of penalties (against the Argos)."

Abou-Mechrek has a reputation for being one mean hombre so those panty-waist penalties perturbed him.

"It weighed on my mind a little bit (last week) but I tried not to let it," said the eight-year veteran. "There was nothing I did to change anything, I was just antsy. I don't know what it was. I went offside four times and obviously I didn't mean to go offside and I didn't think I was going offside when I was doing it. So, there was nothing to fix and I just put it behind me.

"You can't dwell on things like that. I have no excuse for it two games ago and really don't want to talk about it. I didn't want to talk about it last week and I really don't want to talk about it this week. It's over, it's done with. Those are my four offsides for the year. Just got them out of the way."

There had even been some speculation that the 6-foot-5, 318-pound Canuck would be benched for his transgressions in Week 2.

"If they want to bench me, they could bench me for a million other things rather than going offside," said Abou-Mechrek, 30. "I mean, I'm doing my best out there."

Abou-Mechrek has been moved from guard to tackle and he is still re-learning the position.

"It's a growing period," he admitted. "Give me a couple more games and I'll be as good as any tackle in this league.

"But I mean, it's like asking you to write a novel about flowers or something. Then it's, 'Oh, it's writing, it's the same thing, isn't it?' No, it's not the same thing. Writing a couple of pages on sports is a lot different than writing 300 pages on flowers. It's a different thing but it's the same thing. I'm not saying you couldn't do it; you could do it but it might take you some time to get used to it."

And that reminds us -- the flowers will be in full bloom when the Neepawa Lily Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary, July 21-23. Starring on stage will be veteran signal-callers Doc Walker opening holes for the Asham Stompers, with the Fire Pixies booting field goals in an entertaining game between pistils and stems ... Neepawa is currently in top spot in the world of flower festivals so, stop and smell the lilies before tackling your next project.


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