Hey, they beat the spread!

TED WYMAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

A diehard Bombers fan approached me at the lake this weekend and said something I never thought I'd hear.

"I'll be happy if the Bombers just beat the spread in Calgary," he said, adding quickly that he felt that way even though he didn't have any money riding on the game, which the Stampeders were favoured to win by more than two touchdowns.

Hey, his wish came true.

The Bombers did beat the spread and even found a way to make things interesting against the defending Grey Cup champs.

Go crazy, Winnipeg.

Has it really come to this?

With a Grey Cup drought nearing its third decade, have fans finally come to realize that this organization is synonymous with mediocrity and are they now happy when the team simply avoids getting embarrassed on national TV?

It's hard to believe this is what Lyle Bauer envisioned when he fired Doug Berry at the end of last season. Just one year removed from taking the Bombers to the Grey Cup, Berry was canned when the team took a step backward in 2008.

So far this season, the 8-10 mark Berry's charges put together looks pretty good.

The backward steps have continued under Mike Kelly, the man who was hand-picked by president and CEO Bauer. Kelly completely gutted the team, installed an overly complex offensive system and has already had four different quarterbacks under centre in six games.

By some miracle, Kelly's squad is only two games under .500 at 2-4 but the Bombers have done nothing to indicate they are a team on the rise, save for a strong offensive performance when it was too late in the second half against Calgary and a consistently solid defence that simply can't hold the fort forever.

For the most part, the Bombers are a mess and you can't help but wonder if they would be in better shape if Berry were still around.

At least they wouldn't be stuck in this no man's land between rebuilding and desperation where they are scrounging for victories and fan approval (see Michael Bishop at quarterback) while trying to establish yet another new base for a future that never comes.

Then again, if the fans have reached the point where they are happy when the Bombers aren't putrid and can at least beat a gigantic spread, maybe Bauer and Kelly have found a golden nugget.

Good on ya, boys.

MONEY MAN: So Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane and his cousin were arrested after allegedly beating up a taxi driver in a dispute over 20 cents. Our limited math skills tell us that's a dime apiece. That would suggest Kane is a million dollar hockey player with a 10-cent head ... He is a maverick who doesn't play nice with others and can't seem to find an NHL team to latch on to. Are we talking about Jim Balsillie or Sean Avery? Actually both, but the only difference is Avery gets second chances ... The Canadian Ultimate Championships begin this week in Winnipeg. For those of you not familiar with the sport, it doesn't involve arm bars or naked chokes and the only Whamo involved is a frisbee ... A month ago, running back Lavarus Giles was the greatest thing on two legs, earning a contract extension from the Bombers after great performances in two exhibition games. After not dressing for the last two games, Giles is starting to look like the football version of Hannu Jarvenpaa.


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