Takin' the doom out of the dome

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

TORONTO -- Maybe it's the simple fact the Winnipeg Blue Bombers never get a chance to get into the stadium until game day. They can't get acclimated to the stale air.

Or maybe they just have some sort of mental block when it comes to playing in this domed stadium, whether it's named SkyDome or the Rogers Centre. And there is a reason it was once known as 'SkyDoom' to the Winnipeg side. The Bombers are 6-14 in their last 20 trips here.

"They put up a lot of yards but we've been kind of the Kryptonite in a sense where we've been stopping them," Toronto linebacker Michael Fletcher suggested yesterday.

Those 14 losses do not include last year's 31-27 loss to the Argos in the CFL East semifinal.

"I think it's the big-city atmosphere," offered Bomber defensive back Kelly Malveaux. "You come into a place like Toronto and you see a lot more people ... There's a huge mall here where you can walk around and see sights. Guys seem to enjoy Toronto more than any other city."

MORE THAN MONTREAL?

"Montreal's a whole other beast in itself," said the former Alouette. "It creates a whole different dynamic for guys."

But the thing is, the Bombers need to learn to win in this dome. After all, this is where the Grey Cup will be played this year and should they make it that far, they don't want to go into it thinking they can't win in the Little Big Apple.

They also have another game against the Argos here in a couple of weeks and could start shovelling dirt on their divisional rivals with a victory this afternoon.

Toronto quarterback Michael Bishop has also played some of his best games against the Bombers, including last year when he hopped off the bench to pull out a playofff victory. But Bishop is coming off his worst game of the season, possibly even in two seasons.

"Hopefully, we'll get the erratic Michael Bishop this week and not the one where he's on point," said Winnipeg linebacker Ike Charlton. "We just need to get after him and just make him an actual QB ... If we keep him in the pocket, make him use his arm and keep him from running, we'll be successful."


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