Captain Upchuck

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

There is going to great lengths to win a football game.

Then there's what Kai Ellis does.

Warning: If you're eating, it might be wise to stop reading. Or stop eating and keep reading. Your choice.

To give you a hint and work our way gradually into this issue, we'll start off by telling you that Ellis has had a reflux problem since he was a kid.

It has a happy ending, however, because the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive end uses that health issue to his advantage when he's playing football.

So here it is, straight and to the point: Ellis eats a lot of food before "pretty much" every game he plays and then throws up on the front of his jersey in an effort to prevent opponents from wanting to block him.

There, we said it.

"That's not even the worst thing I do," Ellis said.

We didn't ask him to elaborate.

Winnipeg special teamer Greg Bearman, who also played with Ellis in Ottawa, was well aware of his upchucking ways.

"You see a dude puke on himself and it's water, you're kind like, 'Well, whatever. It's water,' " Bearman said. "But the first time it comes out and it's chunky monkey and it's bad, you're like, 'I don't need any of that (stuff) on me.' "

Ellis believes that his barfing bonanza is a boffo idea. He even cited a recent incident as proof.

"I remember Adrian Baird played for (the Bombers) when I was playing for Montreal, and he came to block me when I was up on the punt team," Ellis said. "I just threw up on my jersey and my face mask, and he saw it dripping down.

"And you could see his face. He didn't even touch me. He actually just let me run by."

STEGALL TRIBUTE: Both the Bombers and the CFL will pay tribute to veteran slotback Milt Stegall before tonight's game.

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon and club president/CEO Lyle Bauer will be among those honouring Stegall for setting the CFL record for most pass receiving yards in Toronto two weeks ago.

SHARING THE LOAD: Joe Smith and Fred Reid seem to be happy platooning at running back for Winnipeg these days.

"I don't have any ego when I'm out here on the field," said Smith, who was acquired from B.C. for tailback Charles Roberts. "All I'm here for is to help the team win. And we have a winning combination right now. As long as we're winning, everybody's happy. We can do this for years and years."

THUMBS UP: Cornerback Robert Bean will play with his right thumb taped because it is still recovering from a fracture.

"It really won't affect my tackling," he assured. "I'm just going to tape it up and make sure my thumb doesn't get bent back, and make sure I wrap up on my tackles.

"It feels pretty good. I sat out for a good little while now, and I'm ready to get back into that fire."

MAKIN' MOVES: The Bombers are making three roster changes.

Bean goes in for Jovon Johnson, who is in Erie, Penn., after the shooting death of his younger brother, Obby Khan takes over for Matt O'Meara in a swap of backup O-linemen, and defensive back Marc Beswick replaces safety Jason Nugent (hamstring).

FULL HOUSE? Tonight's game could end up being a sellout, as 28,055 tickets had been sold as of 5 p.m. yesterday. ... Esks receiver Kelly Campbell won't play due to a rib injury. He is sixth in league receiving yards with 813.


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