Just a fan ... for now

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

So I couldn't help but wonder, with a beleaguered head coach signed to a long-term deal, star players being traded and things generally going to hell in a hand basket, what does the future owner of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers think of it all?

After all, David Asper is expected to take control of this team and its assets, including Doug Berry's contract but minus running back Charles Roberts, eventually.

Surely he'd have an opinion on the state of the franchise.

After all, it was Asper who, as a board member, got in the face of head coach Jim Daley and had to be escorted from the locker-room after a critical Banjo Bowl loss to Saskatchewan in 2005.

The incident led to his resignation from the board.

Three years later, the sinking Bombers once again lose to the Riders in a game that all but deep-sixes their playoff hopes.

So you'd think the future CEO would be loaded for bear.

Surprisingly, he was reluctant to say much of anything, calling it presumptuous for him to comment as the future owner.

"I'm a fan," Asper said. "The truth of the matter is, if you've got a heart problem, you don't go see a lawyer. If you've got a football issue, you go to football people.

"Obviously, it's very frustrating. At one time I was a heck of a lot closer. But I just don't know."

Asper was present for last Sunday's carnage. This time, he went home after the game, instead of onto the field.

He understands there might be some fans who feel like storming the place, though.

"People are part angry, but part confused," he said. "But there doesn't seem to be anybody, certainly not who I hang out with, who says, 'I'm done with those guys.' You're still fans."

As Asper points out, things have been worse.

"After the game, everybody's hanging their heads and saying, 'It's been 17 years since we won a Cup,' and blah blah blah. Well, I've got news for you. I waited 22 years -- from '62 to '84. I guess you've got to be sort of like an old codger and say, 'I did it, you can wait.' "

Five more years, eh?

Can't help but wonder what'll come first: a Bomber Grey Cup or a new stadium.

NO VETO: By the way, Asper says the Bombers haven't consulted him on any moves, including Berry's contract extension and the trade of Roberts.

A while back, I speculated team brass would bounce long-term commitments off him, which would only make sense since he'll be paying the bills.

"They can't be operating their business having to look over their shoulder," Asper said. "And I would not want that under any circumstances. I would never, ever ask for it."

SAY IT ISN'T SO: When I first heard this story, it sounded like yet another sign of the apocalypse.

The coach of a kids football team, suspended for putting a wireless communications device in his quarterback's helmet.

We're talking nine- and 10-year-olds, folks.

They don't even use wireless equipment in the CFL, for pete's sake. What's this guy thinking, that he's Bill Belichik and his quarterback, Tom Brady?

The incident occurred last month in a game between the St. Vital Mustangs and Fort Garry Lions.

The game was tied, 6-6, when the ref noticed the device and forced the Mustangs to remove it. They went on to win, 27-6, anyway.

Despite the fact there's not even a rule against the device, the St. Vital coach was suspended, initially for the rest of the season (it's since been reduced to two games, on appeal) and the Mustangs forced to forfeit the game.

Talk about harsh. And why penalize the kids?

Making a few calls, I quickly discovered the world of kids football, like hockey and soccer, has too many overzealous adults running it.

It's supposed to be fun, remember?

Leave the unpleasant stuff for the pros, guys.


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