Stevie Baggs watched the media horde enter the Winnipeg Blue Bombers locker-room yesterday and knew exactly what it was after.
"You want to know what I think about the 10 points!?" the backup defensive end bellowed. "Want to know what I think!?"
Then, after a slight pause, Baggs said quietly, "I can't say anything. Milt told us not to." Then he laughed and laughed and laughed.
Ah yes, Milt Stegall. The man trying to win his first Grey Cup in his 13-year CFL career firmly instructed his teammates to not add any fuel to the fire that Toronto Argonauts linebacker Kevin Eiben sparked on Wednesday when he claimed the Bombers offence wouldn't score more than 10 points in Sunday's East Division final.
Where was the vitriol? Where was the return fire? Where was the bulletin board with Eiben's quote blown up for all to see?
Nowhere to be found -- none of it -- all thanks to Stegall.
"As long as we score one more point than them, that's all that matters," Stegall said. "I'm sorry I can't sell any newspapers, but it ain't gonna happen."
No matter which way the questions came flying at him, Stegall did his best Roberto Luongo impression and deflected each and every query.
"I know you're trying to get something," he said, "but if we're not motivated by being in this position, no words are going to motivate us any more."
Not even the team's most trusted trash talker, cornerback Juran Bolden, waded into the verbal war.
"I'm always surprised to see somebody run their mouth in the paper," Bolden said. "It is what it is. They need some fuel, so let them get as much fuel as they need. It's best said: This ain't a debate. This is a football game about to be played."
Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn, the leader of said offence, was as quiet as a church mouse.
"I don't have no comment about it," Glenn said. "Don't ask me the question, because I'm not answering it. Seriously, I'm not answering the question. You can ask me anything else, but I'm not commenting on the comment he made."
Glenn said the reason for not firing back is simple.
"That shows that you and somebody else has control over how we feel and how we act," he said. "And you don't ever give nobody that kind of control over you."
There was at least one Bomber who showed some emotion when broached about the subject.
"Hey, the game's going to be played on the field. That's what I say," linebacker Barrin Simpson said through gritted teeth. "This is going to be played on the field, baby. Soon."
When asked if he was surprised that an opponent would say something so controversial just five days before a big game, Simpson stopped taking off his equipment, stared into the inquisitor's eyes with a steely glare and gritted his teeth even harder.
"I don't really care," he said, "because it's going to be played on the field. Sunday. At noon."
Head coach Doug Berry didn't have much to say on the subject, but his two words were poignant when asked what he would have done if one of his players had made such a statement.