No Malaise for Blaise

Blaise Bryant still remembers his record-breaking performance for the Bombers in 1994. (Sun Media...

Blaise Bryant still remembers his record-breaking performance for the Bombers in 1994. (Sun Media file)

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

Blaise Bryant isn't mad, disappointed or heartbroken that Fred Reid broke his Bombers single-game rushing record.

Bryant, in fact, couldn't be happier for him.

"That's good to hear," Bryant said upon learning that his 15-year-old mark had been bumped to second-best. "It's always good to know that records are falling. If somebody's having a good game, I'm excited for them. Did we win?"

The Bombers sure did, whipping the bumbling B.C. Lions 37-10 on Friday night at B.C. Place to enter their bye week with a 3-5 record.

Reid romped for 260 yards, breaking Bryant's franchise record of 249 that he set on Sept. 17, 1994, against Hamilton.

Bryant, who owns Brymus Capital Inc. in Santa Ana, Calif., still remembers his record-breaking performance at Ivor Wynne Stadium, a feat that helped the Bombers beat the Tiger-Cats 38-21.

"It was kind of a blur," Bryant said. "We put in a new play where it was basically the same power play we were running, but instead of the fullback leading we had the guard pulling and lead blocking.

"We were pretty much milking that play all game, and it was working."

Unlike Reid, who scored a pair of touchdowns on Friday night, Bryant failed to make it into the end zone that night in Steeltown.

"I remember being hurt that I never got in the end zone. I remember that," he said. "That's what was so odd about it. It was just a bunch of 30s and 40s, but no touchdown runs.

"Every time we got close to where I could fall across the line they'd give it to Chris Johnstone and he'd score."

Bryant's offensive co-ordinator that night was none other than Mike Kelly, currently in his rookie campaign as the Bombers boss.

"You're kidding me!" Bryant said.

Bryant, 39, played for the Bombers between 1993 to 1996, save for a two-game stint in Saskatchewan after being released by Winnipeg in August 1993. He returned to Winnipeg in 1994 and rushed for 1,289 yards and 10 touchdowns that season.

The former Iowa State star appeared in 47 CFL contests overall and rushed for 2,676 yards before getting his ultimate release from the Bombers in February 1997.

"I pretty much quit playing when that one guy took over for Cal (Murphy)," Bryant said, referring to Jeff Reinebold. "He was just an idiot. I didn't come back because he cut my salary to something ridiculous."

That doesn't mean Bryant, who wants to get back to Winnipeg for a game soon, has bad memories about his time in Blue and Gold.

"I reminisce about my days in Winnipeg all the time," said Bryant, who remains close with former Bomber Greg Clark. "Those were some of the best times of my life.

"We really had a good time, and of all the teams I played for through high school and college and my little stints in the NFL, nobody was as close as we were. We were really, really close."


Videos

Photos