Bombers remember

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

He was a construction worker at the start of his shift, and he wanted to relay a concern about the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Seems he was a tad uneasy about tomorrow's game in Hamilton. Figures the Bombers have this maddening habit of putting the hammer to a really good team, only to sink like a jack-all in clay against a team like the Tiger-Cats.

Now, he was just a young guy, probably in his early twenties, and wasn't talking historically. But you don't have to go back far to see his point.

After all, that's exactly what the good old home team did earlier this season: manufacture a nifty 3-1-1 mark, which included two wins over Montreal, only to walk into the Steel City and get crushed by the previously winless Ticats.

Well, guess what -- that remains Hamilton's only win of the season.

AREN'T CONVINCED

Still, it seems Bomber fans aren't convinced tomorrow's outcome is as ironclad as you might think it should be.

So can a team that's 6-3-1 and just air-nailed first-place Saskatchewan by a 34-15 count lose to a bunch of concrete boots like the 1-9 Ticats?

"What is their record?" Bomber corner Juran Bolden asked. "Wow. I didn't know that. We don't want a letdown. It can happen, yeah, but we don't want no letdown."

Bolden, just back from a five-year NFL stint, wasn't around Aug. 3, this team's last trip to Hamilton. But he's heard about it by now.

As Doug Berry promised following the win over the Riders, the head coach spent part of the week reminding everybody what occurred that day.

Just a small part of the week, mind you.

"I think I did for 20 seconds (Wednesday), and I did not today," Berry said yesterday.

Twenty seconds? What in the name of Casey Printers can you say in 20 seconds?

"The score," the coach said. "Just the score."

43-22. Repeated slowly, three or four times, and it could reach 20 seconds, I guess.

Not exactly Martin Luther King, Jr., but Berry says a passionate speech isn't what his team needed to hear.

"We don't have to browbeat 'em," the coach said. "Everybody that played in that game has an awareness of how they contributed to that loss. We were embarrassed. We lost to a team that had not won a game. Reminding them was just an indication of, 'Do what you need to do to make sure it doesn't happen again.' "

In other words, put your hardhats and work boots on and prepare for a full day's work. Expect an easy time of it or get lazy, and you'll wind up getting run over by a steamroller.

Actually, Jessie Lumsden isn't expected to play for the Ticats tomorrow, so that removes one hazard from the job site.

But the Bombers are still venturing into a place they used to know as Never Win Stadium, where the locals are about as friendly as a pit bull in a 'roid rage.

And the Ticats figure to be a wounded dog with little to lose.

There's a new operator in Hamilton who could potentially cause some problems, though.

His name is Printers, and he's left boot prints on this team in the past, as quarterback of the B.C. Lions.

If Printers lifts his play to the level it was at when he was the CFL's top player with the Lions, the Bombers could have their hands full.

Of course, that was three years ago. I don't know if our construction worker was even a Bomber follower back then.

Nonetheless, his favourite football team would do well to heed his advice.

Lower their level of play, and they could get hurt. Keep it jacked up like it was last game, and deconstructing the Ticats shouldn't be a major problem.

I'd say the guy hit the nail on the head.


Photos