Kelly moves bring angst, joy

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

Either Mike Kelly is the reincarnation of Vince Lombardi, or he's the second coming of Jeff Reinebold.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' rookie head coach is getting it from both ends of the spectrum since he cut quarterback Kevin Glenn the other day.

And while I don't usually check the pulse of the fans in this city by looking at the internet message boards, I'm going to make an exception based on the comments we received at winnipegsun.com, which numbered an impressive 38 as of 7:30 last night.

Clearly, this is one hot-button issue, even if we knew weeks ago, or at least suspected, that Kelly was going to push it.

"This is like the Jeff Reinebold show all over again," wrote Don, throwing in a "YIKES" for emphasis. "I almost wish I didn't buy my season tickets for this Gong show."

Invoking the name of the worst coach in Blue Bomber history is serious business, usually reserved for, say, 2-7 records at mid-season.

But to compare Kelly to Reinebold when he hasn't even pulled the headset on suggests the level of angst in Bomberland is the worst case of March hand wringing we've ever seen.

And Don wasn't alone.

"Reinebold Days Are Here Again," wrote (sang?) someone who calls himself TJ Rubley, which is taking self-deprecation to a new level. Using the infamous former coach and quarterback's name in vain tells me this guy's about to jump from his basement window.

An e-mailer named Randy took the Rubley ball and ran with it, likening it to some sort of stomach ailment.

"My gut is developing a relaps (sic) of TJ Rubly (sic)," he wrote. "To sum it up, to date we have no kicker, no proven quarterback, an offensive line that left town faster than a Harley and a secondary lacking any type of game. I'm one worried fan."

Apparently, Sun readers have figured out quarterback-to-be Stefan LeFors has done nothing to earn the confidence Kelly is showing in him.

One reader figures Kelly is simply a big mouth prone to sticking his loafers in his lips, whether it's about his former GM leaving the cupboard bare or tipping his hand to his opponents regarding an attempted Glenn trade.

"You all know someone like this," wrote Me. "The person who says, 'oh you must be the new guy' the first time he meets his CEO."

I do know a guy like that. He used to work here.

As mentioned, Kelly is getting some love, too.

Several readers back his move, saying Glenn's salary made him untradeable, his talent made him expendable.

"Maybe Mike Kelly knows something we don't about Lefours (sic)," suggested Carol. "He was the o-line coach in Edmonton... he coveted this job and I believe the upcoming season will be an awesome one."

Gotta love that blind faith, even if Kelly was actually the receivers coach with the Eskimos.

Of course, what would a fan feedback column be without a shot at the author.

"Another crappy article by Paul Friesen," wrote Deacon. "I keep hoping for something positive by this guy, but no, it's all trash."

Something positive? Apparently Deacon missed my annual positive column a few months back. I write one a year, whether it's deserved or not.

Leave it to TJ Rubley to come to the rescue.

"I think the Friesen article is good," the astute Rubley countered, offering an expert analysis of the previous day's column, which astutely questioned Kelly's inability to get anything of value for Glenn. "He's paid to go for the throat and that is just what he did."

Thank you, Mr. Rubley. If only you could have played quarterback.

That seems as good a way as any to end this.

Besides, there's a new guy wearing a suit in the office.

And I gotta go say hello.

Contact Paul at paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca or 632-2788.


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