VANCOUVER -- It may sound strange, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers don't really have to win tonight's match to prove anything to anybody.
What they must do is prove they can be competitive against the B.C. Lions, who just happen to be the Grey Cup champs.
That means not allowing the B.C. backfield to run at will through the defensive dozen. That means the pass defenders must find a way to shut down the likes of Geroy Simon, Paris Jackson et al.
It also means the Bombers need to solve the most ferocious pass rushers in the CFL, led by defensive end Brent Johnson, who was both the most outstanding defensive player and the most outstanding Canadian a year ago.
Bomber quarterback Kevin Glenn must also continue with the hot hand and lead a balanced attack.
And if Winnipeg can at least keep the game close in the Lions' liar -- which has been a graveyard for the Bombers in recent seasons -- then we can believe this edition of Blue and Gold will indeed be legitimate Grey Cup contenders when the playoffs approach.
And should they manage to pull of an upset victory, the Bombers will enjoy newfound respect throughout the circuit.
On the other hand, if the Lions embarrass the Bombers -- the same way that the Eastern basement-dwelling Hamilton Tiger-Cats did last week -- led by backup quarterback Buck Pierce, then we must re-think this whole thing.
Then the Bomber deep-thinkers will be spending a troubled bye week, possibly seeking immediate help to take that next step toward the ongoing quest for the Holy Grail.