Grinders may resent Hebert

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:30 AM ET

So, Kyries Hebert has finally decided to grace the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with his presence and give up his ridiculous, baseless holdout.

Thanks so much for coming out.

Outwardly, members of the Blue Bombers top-ranked defence are saying they are ready to welcome the rogue Renegade with open arms.

Inwardly, you have to think there are some players who can't believe they might soon lose their job to a guy who skipped all of training camp, while they busted their humps in the heat trying to make the team.

Hebert had a five-year contract in his pocket all the while as players like Donnovan Carter, Ron Ockimey and Ike Charlton had to grind it out for a month just to keep their football dreams alive.

Hebert's understandable dream of playing in the NFL drove his decision, but that begs another question: Why would he sign a five-year CFL deal in the first place?

Now he has a new, shorter deal with the Bombers and he has avoided the embarrassment of losing an arbitration hearing, so it's a compromise which works for everybody.

No doubt Hebert will look good in a Bombers uniform and will complement a defence which has turned heads across the CFL already this season. A few big plays at linebacker or on special teams should endear him to the fans pretty quickly.

But if I'm one of those guys who has been in the trenches for six weeks already, this newcomer's going to have a do lot more than that to earn respect.

WYNN-WIN: We've been a little critical of Bombers GM Brendan Taman in this space for trading away quarterback Spergon Wynn and getting little in return. After Wynn's performance last week against the Bombers, we've got two little words: Never mind ... In fact, here's a little praise for Mr. Taman, whose job is said to be on the line if the Bombers don't improve on their overall record this season. It was Taman who signed Barrin Simpson and Ron Warner, traded for Anthony Malbrough and Kelly Malveaux, signed guys like Carter, Ockimey and Charlton, snagged Hebert off waivers and hired coach Doug Berry and defensive guru Greg Marshall. It's the GM's job to put better players on the field and Taman has definitely done that ... A big thank you and congratulations to Winnipeg referee Hector Vergara, who has made it through to at least the semifinal round at the World Cup. Vergara's crew has been one of the better ones in Germany and could yet get an assignment to work the final. In a year when referees have been vilified by players and fans, criticized by soccer's big wigs and ridiculed in the media, Vergara's crew has flown under the radar. All the while, Vergara has kept us informed with his postcards from Germany, exclusively for Sun readers. Here's hoping we receive at least one more.

IRON HEAD MIKE: Is Mike Keenan nuts? Trading the next great hockey goalie in Roberto Luongo for Todd Bertuzzi, a player with a checkered history and eroding skills, makes no sense at all. And to rub salt in the wounds, the Vancouver Canucks have already locked up Luongo for four years, something Keenan's Florida Panthers couldn't do. But hey, if they need somebody to go out and maim an opponent, Bertuzzi's their guy ... Scott Arniel, come on down. You're the next contestant on Manitoba Moose: Pipeline to the NHL ... In case anyone is keeping score, of the two major NFL names to sign in the CFL this year, one's at home eating cookies and the other rushed for 14 yards against a team that had the worst defence in league history a year ago. How you liking the CFL so far, Ricky? Onterrio? ... Onterrio? ... At least it was nice of Chris Pronger to wait until the playoffs ended before he asked for a trade. But he could have held on until the Carolina Hurricanes had stopped skating with the Cup ... Ontario-native Andrew Raycroft, welcome to Hell. Unless your name is Johnny Bower, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender is one of the most thankless jobs in Canada ... Ann Ladd has been charged with stalking Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker. In fact, she has a restraining order against her, which prevents her from attending Brewers games. We presume it's OK if she stays "juuuuust a bit outside."

KNUCKLEHEADS

Some more favourites for our growing list of classic weird baseball injuries. Among those in the Milwaukee Brewers sick bay are third baseman Jeff Cirillo, who injured his ankle when he slammed his helmet into the ground after barely missing a home run, and pitcher Matt Wise, who cut the middle finger on his pitching hand while using a pair of salad tongs.

SAY WHAT?

"Let's get off this subject, because I'm going to be an absolute geek tomorrow."

-- Tennis star and blonde bombshell Maria Sharapova when asked about her hobby

of stamp collecting.

NUMBERS GAME

1.2 MILLION

Number of pints of beer consumed by 70,000 England fans during the team's stop in Nuremberg for a World Cup game against Trinidad and Tobago, according to the Sun of London.

TRIVIA TIME

This week's winner will receive a 2006 Manitoba Lung Association Golf Privilege Book. The first person to e-mail or phone in the correct answer will be declared the winner

QUESTION: Who holds the National League record for career doubles with 746?

LAST WEEK'S QUESTION: Who holds the NHL record for goals by a rookie defenceman with 23?

ANSWER: Brian Leetch

LAST WEEK'S WINNER: Kevin Ritchie won a Manitoba Lung Association Golf Privilege Book.

QUICK HITS

Let's start off with Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times on news that 43-year-old Evander Holyfield will return to the ring to fight journeyman Jeremy Bates on Aug. 19: "For those watching the bout on TV, Holyfield will be the one in the Everlast adult diaper." ... Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on World Cup matches being televised in the U.S. sans commercial interruptions: "You can't get much more un-American than that. The Geico gecko would be up in arms, if he had any." ... New York Yankees star Derek Jeter, a bachelor, on his hopes to have children some day: "Some of my teammates have kids, so I know it can be done." ... Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, with concern for some of the World Cup soccer stars: "I sure hope that guy with the mosquito bite, the one they wheeled off on a stretcher the other day, pulls through." ... Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, on Roger Federer's 43-match win streak in lawn-tennis matches: "The last man to perform so well on grass was Jimi Hendrix in the late '60s." ... Cote on the Florida Panthers acquiring an infamous forward from Vancouver: "Todd Bertuzzi's entourage includes three bellmen to handle all the baggage he brings with him." ... Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel, on signs that golfer Phil Mickelson is putting on weight: "I think I saw him marking his ball with a Junior Mint at the U.S. Open." ... Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, on sports-writing colleague Chris Snow leaving the newspaper to become director of hockey operations for the NHL's Minnesota Wild: "Can we get a draft pick out of this?" ... Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Aaron Rowand, telling the Associated Press about the after-effects of his face-first crash into the fence: "I wasn't all that pretty to begin with." ... The Late Show's David Letterman, on the latest heat wave: "It was so hot in New York that Ben Roethlisberger was wearing nothing but a helmet." ... Dan Daly of the Washington Times, on Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen using a derogatory term about sexual orientation to describe a sports writer: "I'm picturing a kind of -- Clockwork Orange, scene at Ozzie's Bud Selig-ordered sensitivity sessions -- a contraption holding his eyelids open, forcing him to watch Brokeback Mountain."


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