Blue about weather

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

American punter Chris Beckman was simply shivering after booting wet footballs in the cold wind and steady rain during Blue Bombers practice at Canad Inns Stadium yesterday.

"It's different," said Beckman, who grew up in Grenada, Miss. "It's going to take some getting used to. It's ... windy, that's the least I can say." And he has already discovered the swirls that are unique to the stadium.

"Oh yeah, I've just got to put a little more oomph into it or something," he said.

That 41 km/h wind that gusted up to 55 blew two sideline billboards on to the practice field.

But, at least one member of the Blue Bombers welcomed the inclement weather.

"We have to use this as an advantage when we have a home game so, we need to practice in it," said head coach Doug Berry. "So, it's not something that's foreign to this team when we do encounter the conditions that we practiced in (yesterday)." He was even in a joking mood.

"I was mentioning (to the team) that Hamilton's coming here a week from (yesterday) and maybe and hopefully, the weather will hold," he said. "We're one of the few teams that get to play in conditions like this and it's nice to be able to practice in them occasionally -- not that we want to do it every day." Yet, the one planned practice was shortened by a half-hour.

"I don't mind the rain," said fullback Cory Olynick, who hails from Regina.

"It's the wind that bothers me when it whips you in the face and stuff like that. But you know you need to practice in it. It's Winnipeg and we play all across Canada, and it'll be like that every other game ... It's fun because it's Manitoba weather."

Berry called it "an attitude practice." "I was looking at how the team was responding to the conditions more than anything," he said. "Leadership-wise, I saw a lot of things happening with keeping the elements at bay and encouraging the guys to play, which I liked.

"It was good footing and the rain wasn't torrential or anything like that.

The wind was blowing and it was wet, but we got a lot out of the practice."


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