Who will show up to play?

TERRY JONES

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

Joe Smith was out on the field making a snow angel yesterday, while his Winnipeg Blue Bombers teammates were having snowball fights in the dressing room.

When the Edmonton Eskimos arrived it was the same scene except it involved more players who'd never seen snow before.

"They're behaving like children in our locker-room," reported head coach Danny Maciocia. "The ones who haven't seen snow before are all e-mailing and texting people."

PRETTY LOOSE

One, defensive back Lenny Williams, decided to run around in the snow with his shirt off.

"They seem to be pretty loose," said Maciocia on the eve of the CFL's East Semifinal showdown.

"At the airport, I was throwing snowballs at the guys who had never seen snow before," said receiver Kamau Peterson. "I was pretty accurate. Only missed one throw. They were like 'What is that stuff?' It was fun watching them."

The scene made it virtually impossible to find out which edition of each team was most likely to show up for the game.

What we're dealing with are two clubs who ended up in this game because they were both very bad in addition to being very good during the regular season.

Bomber coach Doug Berry made something which came closer to a guarantee than Milt Stegall's sad marketing ploy to guarantee victory only if Winnipeg fans filled the stadium, which isn't likely.

"The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will show up and I think it will be the team which played the last eight weeks of the season," said Berry of a team which went 6-2 after a 2-8 start.

While the bad Bombers and good Bombers seemed to separate at the halfway mark, the bad and good Eskimos kept going in and out game-to-game all year.

"We've pretty well prepared the same way every single week," said Maciocia. "This week isn't like all the other weeks. You can't go back and fix it and come back with another opportunity to get it right. The next opportunity, if you are fortunate, won't be until next year."

Quarterback Ricky Ray says nobody really knows until they play the game.

"If we play our game we're as good as anyone in the league. But you never know."

Peterson, who hasn't played a playoff game for seven seasons, isn't making predictions either.

"There's no way to gauge. All I know is this is the longest wait to get to a game ever for me. I was ready to play back on Monday. I got a feeling we're going to see the good Eskimos in this one," he said.

"I'm pretty confident we'll go out and play our best game of the season," said Shannon Garrett, the longest serving member of the Eskimos.

"I feel very, very confident we can win and that this will be the best game our entire team plays this year," he added.

If both the good Eskimos and the good Bombers show up today, this could be a great Eastern Conference playoff game.


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