Blue-collar Bombers

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

TORONTO -- Do you believe in miracles?

OK, so the Blue Bombers' 19-9 win in yesterday's East Final doesn't rate up there with the U.S. hockey team's upset of the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics.

But given the state the Bombers were in just a few weeks back, there aren't too many people outside the Winnipeg locker-room who saw this coming.

And now we've got a Winnipeg-Saskatchewan Grey Cup. Think that'll have a few people choked up in the Big Smoke?

Forget the Bay Street bankers' suits -- this one will be all about farmer caps and blue jeans.

Which should suit the Bombers just fine. Because this has become a team that just straps on its work boots and gets it done.

Proving it can play its best when it matters most, Doug Berry's gang went face-to-face with the best defence and special teams in the CFL -- and it was the Argos who blinked.

"We might have beat Toronto at their own game," Berry acknowledged.

This shouldn't have been as close as the scoreboard indicated, as the Bomber offence fumbled its way out of three scoring chances.

No problem, when you play defence like this.

Juran Bolden set the tone with a bone-rattling hit on receiver Andre Talbot on Toronto's first series -- never mind that he was flagged for unnecessary roughness, the message was sent -- and the Bombers didn't stop hitting until they'd secured their first Grey Cup berth in six years.

It was a hit on the first play of the fourth quarter, though, that'll go a long way to determining how this story ends.

Quarterback Kevin Glenn's broken arm puts his team's chances in a sling.

But let's dangle this out there right now: th e Bombers might have just enough going for them to make you wonder if there isn't some karma thing going on.

There's the Milt Stegall story, for starters.

What could be the second-last game of No. 85's career included a touchdown that bounced of f an Argo's hands, up in the air and into his, keeping his Grey Cup dream alive.

"This is the reason why I came back, right here," Stegall said.

There's running back Charles Roberts, who spent much of his Sunday running over and through the most punishing defence in the land.

"I believe it's our destiny to go to this Cup, and win the Cup," Roberts said.

There's the defence, which is like having a goaltender who only gives up a goal or two a game -- you've always got a chance to win.

And there's a special teams unit that's obviously found new life, and that yesterday produced -- you might want to sit down for this -- a kick return touchdown for the first time in two years.

"I haven't done one in a while," Keith Stokes said. "I don't know if it was the play of the game, but it put us over the top."

Offence, defence, special teams -- when's the last time the Bombers took the three-pronged approach to football?

"I was really just blown away," Bolden said. "I finally saw what we were capable of doing as a whole team. Man, we were just hitting on all cylinders."

Certainly enough to knock off a seven-point favourite in a place they'd won just four times in the previous 25 tries.

"It kind of felt like David and Goliath a little bit," Stokes admitted.

"Most everybody thought they were going to win. We stuck together, man. Believing in ourselves."

It's going to take that, and then some, without Glenn at quarterback.

Dinwiddie's pro resume is virtually blank, yesterday's 80-yard relief performance, on 4-for-4 passing, the most significant line.

"That's not bad," cracked Stegall. "We may need him to be 40-for-40 for 800 yards, next week."

Hey, miracles happen.

Six days from now, either Winnipeg or Saskatchewan, who haven't won a Grey Cup in a combined 33 years, is going to prove it.


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