Hail Milty! It was a true miracle

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

It's a glorious morning for those of us who like to rant and rave about the world of sports, so let's get right to it ...

BLUE MIRACLE: How many Winnipeg Blue Bomber players and fans could hear Al Michaels hollering in their heads in the wee hours of Friday morning?

"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"

If the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team didn't have sports fans believing that anything can happen, the Bombers' improbable last-second victory over the Edmonton Eskimos surely did the trick.

How often, in the history of professional football, has a team scored a 100-yard touchdown on the final play, using a regular entry from its playbook, to steal triumph from the jaws of certain defeat?

It simply does not happen.

Sure, there was the Music City Miracle, the famous Stanford band incident and Doug Flutie's legendary Hail Mary at Boston College, but this one was different.

It was an average-looking passing play from quarterback Kevin Glenn to receiver Milt Stegall in his own end of the field. While it was a great throw and catch, it really made no sense, given the likelihood that the Eskimos would be playing a prevent defence.

But amazingly, the Eskimos were blitzing -- that's right, blitzing with eight men on the line --on the last play of the game, with the Bombers 100 yards from paydirt.

Whoever made that call must have been blitzed himself.

Truth is, the Bombers deserved to win and somehow, unfathomably, justice was served.

Just don't ever expect to see anything like that again. Not in this lifetime.

BACK TO THE RANTING: Mere moments before Stegall's game-saving touchdown, all of Winnipeg was getting ready to dump on Glenn for his bonehead move that nearly cost the Bombers two precious points. Shades of Joe Pisarcik were everywhere, as Glenn, merely needing to run out the clock, tried to gain extra yards, fumbled and handed the Eskimos what should have been the winning touchdown. Everyone is forgiving No. 5 now, but Glenn can't let a play like that happen. It, in itself, could have been a legendarily stupid move if Stegall hadn't saved the day. Next time Kevin, get down, protect the ball, don't get greedy ... Just wondering: How many Bomber fans turned off their TVs with 15 seconds left and missed the grand finale ? ... The Eskimos defensive co-ordinator should have been fired on the spot. The defence on the last play of the game was atrocious. Good news for Rick Campbell though. He's Hugh Campbell's kid.

JOIN THE CLUB: Edmonton's defensive error moves to the top of a long list of stupid happenings in sports this week:

* How about FIFA's decision to suspend Italian soccer player Marco Materazzi for two games for receiving a vicious head-butt during the World Cup final? Head-butter Zinedine Zidane got three games and a big hug of forgiveness, but since the French star is retired, Materazzi's penalty is actually more severe. For what? Being rude? Daring to trash talk an overly-sensitive star player? Making a great play by getting the star of the tournament thrown out of the game? FIFA's ruling is an embarrassment, which should be welcomed by ill-tempered people everywhere. Hey, maybe Evander Holyfield dashed off an insult before Mike Tyson bit off his ear. If that's the case, we forgive you Mike. Chew on that.

* The Snow job on Long Island is the biggest joke since the Gliebermans owned a sports team. New York Islanders owner Charles Wang fired general manager Neil Smith after a month on the job and replaced him with backup goalie Garth Snow. Apparently, things like experience, knowledge and respect among peers are not important as long as you do what the owner wants. Gotta admit though, Snow wears a suit well. And he still has the biggest shoulder pads in the league.

* Can't stand instant replay in the CFL. There are way too many challenges and they take way too long. The last two Bomber games, save for the final minute of Thursday's game, have been impossible to watch. The difference between the CFL and the NFL is the NFL refs actually get a lot of calls right and challenges aren't needed on every second play. In the CFL, not so much.

SHORT SHOTS: Great news for Dallas Cowboys player Keith Davis, who was treated for bullet wounds for the second time in his career this week. He managed to make it home from the hospital without getting shot ... We feel for the animal as much as anybody else, but aren't the daily updates on Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's condition becoming a little much? It's been two months since the Derby and the world is still milking the story. Kind of like beating a dead horse, but not really ... Perfect solution to the John Gibbons-Shea Hillenbrand dispute in Toronto: Head-butts at 20 paces. May the best numbskull win.


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