Bombers not short on drama

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:59 AM ET

Whoever wrote the script on this Blue Bomber season, send the guy or gal to Hollywood -- because it couldn't have been penned any better.

At least, for pure drama.

What has already been a soap opera, horror show and full-blown comedy all wrapped into one is now a two-week suspense thriller, with the juiciest ending imaginable set for Sunday, Nov. 8, right here in the 'Peg.

That's when Kevin Glenn, the banished villain, brings his Hamilton Tiger-Cats to town for a regular season-ending, winner-take-all showdown with your very own Blue Bombers, second place in the East, maybe even an outright playoff spot, up for grabs.

DUMPED

Seriously, could it get any better?

Glenn was basically booed out of town, unceremoniously dumped by the Professor, rookie Bomber boss Mike Kelly, in the off-season.

But he's helped resurrect football in Steeltown, previously the wasteland of the CFL East, while the Bomber offence has had its feet stuck in concrete most of the season.

Yesterday it didn't, in a surprisingly easy 41-24 victory over the first-place Montreal Alouettes, minus their starting quarterback, noted Bomber-killer Anthony Calvillo.

But while AC's absence may have made life a tad easier for the Winnipeg defence, it didn't explain the electrical performance we saw from the Michael Bishop-led offence.

A train wreck of turnovers and wild passes a week ago, Bishop piled up yards like backyard leaves against a Montreal defence ranked Numero Uno in the loop.

With a few flicks of the wrist, No. 16 had reached the 300-yard mark by late in the second quarter, his back-to-back touchdown darts of 57 and 53 yards to close out the first half reminiscent of Dieter Brock's heyday.

This wasn't just the good Michael -- it was Michael on fire, give or take a few chucks that were "just a little outside." His final tally: a gaudy 411 yards, with two majors and, most importantly, just one turnover.

But this, for a change, was a total team effort, one unit feeding off the momentum created by the other.

If one play epitomized it -- and you could pick several, including Jovon Johnson's mind-boggling, 79-yard touchdown on a fourth-quarter punt return -- it may have been a third-and-one gamble by the Als on their own 45, late in the third.

The Bomber defence blew up the play, not only stuffing Montreal running back Avon Cobourne, but leaving two prone Als linemen as collateral damage.

Message sent: Professor Kelly's charges should be taken seriously again.

For the believers, that's four wins in five, and the timing couldn't be better.

For the skeptics -- and there are many, judging by the nearly 9,000 empty seats -- the next test is just a week away, in Montreal.

But that one, really, is meaningless.

Nov. 8, at high noon, we'll see a game that'll go a long way toward defining the first year of the Professor's program.

Should the Bombers, 7-9, grab second place and a home playoff game, even if it's with just eight wins, the same total this club had in Doug Berry's final year, Kelly can at least claim to have made some progress on the field over the course of a turbulent season off it.

Should Glenn orchestrate the victory, there will be enough egg on the Professor's face to make omelettes for the house.

But, until then, a tip of the cap to Bishop and the entire cast of what's been a riveting drama.

And, yes, to the Professor, too.

For at least making an ending worth sticking around for.

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


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