Blue Bombers hold grudge

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

Back in July, hot steam was blasting out of their ears, and it had nothing to do with the scorching summer sun.

The Montreal Alouettes had just punched in a late touchdown to run up the score to 44-16, embarrassing the Blue Bombers right here in Winnipeg.

Both Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry and defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall responded with a one-fingered salute towards the Montreal bench, where head coach Don Matthews was seen with a rather smug look on his mug.

When Berry shook hands with Matthews after that match, he told the Sun that he had "two succinct words" for his former mentor.

REMATCH

And now that the Bombers are preparing for not only a rematch but a back-to-back series versus Montreal, Berry was reminded of the subject yesterday.

Berry has not talked to the Montreal coaching staff about the incident. Nor has he reminded the players about what the Alouettes did to rub salt in their open wounds that day.

"I think I said at the time that it was a compliment, that Montreal was paying us a compliment," Berry said, suggesting that the Als were worried that Winnipeg could still even the season record at 2-2 with a pair of victories and needed the points to break a tie.

So why then, a reporter asked, did he raise a finger at them?

"I don't believe I did but people seem to think I did so ... I don't know if I did or didn't," Berry responded uncertainly. "I mean, what am I going to do? It doesn't matter. If I did, I'm glad I did and if I didn't, then I'm glad I didn't."

Berry was then told he was caught on camera with the offending finger in the air.

"What did you do, slow it down?" he asked, chuckling. "Did you go in slow motion? ... You couldn't tell in regular time, could you? That's how fast it was?"

But Berry was obviously incensed at the time, right?

"All I know is, I'm looking forward to the next engagement," he replied ominously.

In fact, that was close to what Berry said after the last match with Montreal.

"There will be another game so, take notice," he said then.

The CFL reportedly fined both Berry and Marshall for the incident and Marshall apologized to any fans he may have offended.

The Bombers head to Montreal for Sunday's match with a 6-7 record and just two points back of the Alouettes and Toronto, who are tied for first in the CFL East at 7-5.

"We know that we're still in the running and we got payback for Montreal so, it's going to be a tough game," said Bomber cornerback Robert Bean.

"There's two games coming up here that are going to be huge in the standings and before you can win both of them, you've got to win the first one," Berry said."

So, that's our focus -- to try to get this game in our pocket ...

"This is crunch time. This is when it all counts."

And beating the Birds to settle some scores would be a bonus, he admitted.

"Well, what goes around comes around," Berry said.

NOTE: The Bombers apparently tried to pluck OL Riley Clayton, a Winnipegger, off the Calgary practice roster but were denied.


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