The Blue Bombers may be one of the worst clubs in the CFL right now but Milt Stegall is about to clinch his spot as the best pass catcher in league history tonight.
The scintillating Winnipeg slotback is sure to get the 17 yards he needs when the Bombers play the Argos in Toronto to move past Allen Pitts to become the CFL's all-time passing yardage leader -- a year after he became the circuit's all-time touchdown-getter.
"My main concern is winning the game," Stegall told reporters in Toronto yesterday. "When it happens, I will celebrate it for a second. We've got 'The Don' back, he is going to pull out some tricks; we know that. Hopefully, I will get the record and it comes along with a victory.
"I took some advice from (ex-CFLer) Mike Pringle and he said, 'Enjoy it. Once it is over, (the media) won't ask you about it.' I might go out and have me a shot of double orange juice. We will see what happens."
'The Don' would be Toronto's new head coach Don Matthews, who has a lot of respect for the 'Turtle Man.'
"He's all-time," Matthews said.
However, there are apparently no plans to interrupt the game to salute Stegall if he does break the record.
DORSEY DEADLY: Toronto kicker returner/running back Dominique Dorsey is on a record pace of his own. Dorsey currently leads the CFL with 1,854 combined yards and is projected to finish with a record 3,907 combined yards. And the ex-Bomber has been a thorn in Winnipeg's side.
"The last time we played Toronto, he took back a (punt) return for a (55-yard) touchdown," said fullback Graeme Bell, Winnipeg's leading special teams tackler. "We missed three tackles on the play and that's what happened in the end.
"Dominique Dorsey's a great returner. He can make you miss, that's why we've got to gang tackle and swarm the ball."
HIRED TO BE FIRED: Bomber head coach Doug Berry was asked about his own job security yet again in Toronto after two other CFL head knocks were canned this week.
"I have been coaching for over 30 years and I am well aware of (the possibly getting fired)," he said. "I guess it's something we understand when we take the reins. We can get knocked off the horse."
Berry was also asked if the contract extension he signed before the season started is giving him a cushion.
"I don't know," he replied. "It does not matter to me anyhow. I am not going to change my approach. Always the same, no matter what."
BEWARE THE DON: Matthews, Berry's mentor in Montreal, has taken the reins from Rich Stubler in Toronto.
"I've played under coach Matthews and I think he's a phenomenal man, a great coach," said Bomber DB/LB Kelly Malveaux. "I'm sure he'll put a few wrinkles in there and if I know Don Matthews the way I knew him in Montreal, the first place he'll start is with special teams.
"They'll challenge us and make sure we're playing with integrity, and make sure we're covering the ball well."
HASHMARKS: Both sides will wear retro uniforms tonight ... Both LB Joe Lobendahn (knee) and DE Tom Canada (spleen) have been moved to the nine-game injury list. LB Ike Charlton (groin) was moved to the one-game injury reserve ... More NFL cuts are expected to be in Winnipeg this weekend.
Player to Watch ...
Kerry Joseph, No. 4
Just like Saskatchewan's Michael Bishop, the former Roughriders quarterback has had Winnipeg's number, going back to last year's Labour Day Classic when he scored the winning touchdown on a draw play that the Bomber defence still does not know how to stop. Joseph, of course, also led Saskatchewan to victory over the Blue Bombers in last year's Grey Cup and will be determined to prove to new head coach Don Matthews that he deserves to be the No. 1 signal caller.
NUMBERS GAME ...
That is Toronto QB Kerry Joseph's efficiency rating, which currently ties him for last among CFL throwers with Hamilton's Casey Printer (and yes, worse than Winnipeg's Kevin Glenn).
The number of passing yards Winnipeg QB Kevin Glenn needs to move past Ken Ploen into third place on the club's all-time list.