Desperation reigns

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:35 PM ET

HAMILTON -- Doug Brown took exception to the suggestion.

The general consensus is that the hometown Tiger-Cats will actually be more desperate than Winnipeg when they host the Blue Bombers in the CFL's annual Hall of Fame Game at Ivor Wynne Stadium tonight.

After all the Ticats are 2-9 and have not won a game since Aug. 7 but, laughably, are still in the hunt for second spot in the East.

"I guess it's all perspective," said Brown, the gigantic Bomber defensive tackle. "I think we're more desperate in terms of our expectations, of where we (last year) were and how we were expected to be situated at this point in the season.

"So I argue that measure of desperation quite strongly. We're still more desperate. What have we got, one more win than them? We're supposed to have eight more wins than them by now."

Yes, the Bombers are only 3-8 but a victory coupled with a Toronto loss tomorrow would pull them into a tie for second with the Argos.

"For both of us, it's a turning point to the season," said Bomber guard Ryan Donnelly. "The team that loses will be put behind the 8-ball as far as making the playoffs. So, if we win, we're in a really good spot -- second place and a playoff spot. So, this really is a must-game for us. This is our season all in one game pretty much."

Actually, a loss would drop Winnipeg into a third-place tie with Hamilton, both at 3-9 and either two or four points behind Toronto.

"They're hungrier than a hostage," said Bomber cornerback Willie Amos. "They're going to be desperate. They've got nothing to lose and neither do we. So we'd better have our intensity high for that one."

The 'Cats are not ready to abandon hope just yet.

"The playoffs are very much in our reach," Hamilton quarterback Casey Printers told the Hamilton Spectator.

"We can still do great things this season. Even how dismal it seems, we can really be in the thick of things. We could even host a playoff game this year. This is unbelievable, the opportunities we have in front of us."

The team that finishes second in the East will most likely play host to the squad that finishes fourth in the West because all four of those clubs have much superior records than all but Montreal in the East.

The game is also being billed as Blackout Night on the same evening that Ron Lancaster, who lost a battle to cancer Wednesday night, will be mourned.

The B.C. Lions rallied to a convincing victory over the Bombers just after CEO/president Bob Ackles died earlier this season.

"I think his (Lancaster's) impact has resonated in more than just one locker room or dressing room so, that is definitely a shake-up to their system," Brown said. "But we can't worry about things like that."

The Bombers are more concerned with getting on a roll after their blowout victory over the Argos in Toronto last week.

"We think we've got a chance to gain ground, build on a little bit of momentum," said Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry. "The team has been playing well the last month or so and if we can continue this, I think we will have a chance. If we don't, it certainly will be a setback because of the progress our football team has made."

The Bombers are 2-2 in their last four games, including a 37-24 victory over Hamilton last month. In fact, Winnipeg is seeking its fourth consecutive triumph over the Tabbies.

"We can control our own destiny right now," said Bomber linebacker Zeke Moreno.


Videos

Photos