Grey Cup hurt lingers

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Doug Berry doesn't think seeing the Green and Gold tomorrow night at Canad Inns Stadium will conjure up any bad memories of the 2005 Grey Cup defeat to the Edmonton Eskimos.

But the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was kind enough to share his feelings on what it was like to be on the sidelines for the Eskimos 38-35 overtime victory over the Montreal Alouettes before a packed house at B.C. Place.

"I suppose if you're a fan, it's a great game," said Berry, whose 1-1 squad faces the 1-1 Eskimos at 6 p.m. (CJOB, CBC, local blackout may be in effect). "But if you're a coach on the losing end, it was by no means any fun. For the Grey Cup winners, it had to be one of the best games they ever coached. It would have been for me.

"But you talk about heartbreak. That was a tough game to swallow. That was one of the toughest losses I've ever had. As a coach you're in it for the emotion. But to go from the emotional high to the emotional low, to the emotional high. It was just unbelievable in that game. If you ended up on top it was a great feeling. But when you didn't it was as low as you can feel.

"I'm sure it gives Montreal all the reason in the world to be motivated this year."

That's understandable, but does that mean Berry circled this game on the calendar when he came to Winnipeg?

"No, it has nothing to do with it," said Berry.

"That game is over with, that was that contest. I don't live in the past. I know we'll be playing a good team though. That's a good football team out there and they always are."

Still, there was a buzz inside the Blue Bombers locker room yesterday when the subject of facing the defending Grey Cup champions was raised.

"It don't get any better than that," said Blue Bombers receiver Chris Brazzell. "We respect them for what they did but at the same time, we're trying to make an identity for ourselves. We'll see where we're at and see how good we are.

"I always like playing against Edmonton, they're the so-called team of the Canadian League.

They've got all the history and stuff. Edmonton has made the playoffs every year I've been here and way before. I don't know what their streak is (34 consecutive seasons) but you know they've got consistency."

It's no secret the Eskimos carry themselves with a certain swagger which rubs some people the wrong way.

"Normally, that's what happens when you're winning," said Brazzell. "That's the only way you can act like that. You can't act cocky and not be winning. They have every right to be. They've earned it."

"Consistency makes you great," added Blue Bombers middle linebacker Barrin Simpson.

Blue Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn is trying not to put too much stock into this week's game.

"Edmonton is going to be a good test, they've got a good nucleus of guys coming back and they play hard. I've never known Edmonton not to play hard in the six years I've been in the league," said Glenn, who was asked what it would mean to knock off the Eskies.

"It gives us another win and we'd be above .500. I don't think it would mean anything else besides that we're getting better as a team. It's only Week 3 and championships aren't won in Week 3."


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