Hope doesn't float

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

How many Tiger-Cats does it take to sink a boat?

I don't know, but the sight of the Hamilton defence piling into the Lund speed boat parked in the north end of the stadium yesterday, after scoring the game-clinching touchdown on a fourth-quarter interception against your Blue Bombers, was a picture worth more than 1,000 words.

The play certainly sunk the playoff hopes of the Bombers, and will no doubt result in a few poor souls being thrown overboard this off-season.

I wouldn't be surprised if quarterback Michael Bishop is one of them, although tying an anchor to Bishop as if this were all his fault would be foolhardy.

The cold, hard, Monday-morning truth is the Bomber offence, playing its 18th game of the season, looked no better than it did Weeks 1 through 4, when, with a different quarterback at the helm, it was, well, putrid.

The result: a damning, humiliating, and, most of all, inexcusable 39-17 season-ending loss that left a bitter taste in the mouths of a fan-base that decided to give these guys one, last chance.

That crowd, a near-sellout of 29,000-plus leather-lungs, deserved better.

The defence deserved better, and there's a broken record if I've ever heard one.

Players like Obby Khan, so frustrated he got into it with west-side fans as the clock wound down, and the rest of his O-line crew deserved better.

This receiving corps, led by veteran Terrence Edwards, deserved better, too, than the fouled up game plans it was force-fed this season.

Hell, even Bishop deserved better.

Watching No. 16 and his receivers yesterday, it was painfully obvious this offence is a mess. Not only weren't they on the same page, they weren't in the same library.

An early, 60-yard touchdown strike -- then virtually nothing.

After putting up that first-quarter major, the Winnipeg offence managed two Troy Westwood singles, the last of which got the Bronx cheer from the turned-off masses.

Up 14-7 at one point, thanks to a score from the defence, the Bombers were outgunned 32-3 the rest of the way.

What a way to sell your program for 2010 -- with your offence generating as many second-half completions (two) as interceptions. The season on the line, this team managed one first down in the final 30 minutes.

So where to look for responsibility?

That's easy. At the one constant, Week 1 through 18.

At the man responsible for the offence. The man who vowed to bring back the Bombers of old, and instead just caused a lot of folks to bring up.

The man who had to be convinced, four games in, that he needed a veteran quarterback.

The man who had to have his hands pried from the offence completely after the midseason mark.

Lo and behold, some results followed, spotty though they were. Compared to the first 11 games, though, it was at least digestible.

Then came the last two games, when a playoff spot was on the line.

And it all disintegrated once again, in an all-too-familiar two-and-out refrain. Repeated, ad nauseum.

Meanwhile, Hamilton quarterback Kevin Glenn threw up 28 completions for 316 yards.

The same Kevin Glenn who was deemed not as good as the quarterbacks that would be here this season. All of which were discarded long ago, we should note.

Blame Stefan LeFors, Bryan Randall and Richie Williams, if you like.

Heap it all on Bishop, if it floats your boat.

To me, he just looked like a confused student, trying to figure out something nobody else has, either.

This one, and the failing 7-11 class grade, falls directly on the Professor.

The guy who told a Ticats player, Otis Floyd, to F-off after the game, then told the assembled media: "Does Otis have a degree? I doubt it."

Thanks, Professor.

In case we'd forgotten, you've given us all something to think about this off-season.

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


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