Never-ending circus leaves Brown shaking head

PAUL FRIESEN

, Last Updated: 5:11 AM ET

Doug Brown thought he'd seen it all this season.

The nine-year CFL veteran often found himself shaking his head at the off-field controversies swirling around his Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Yesterday's double-barreled bombshell -- CEO Lyle Bauer's resignation and head coach Mike Kelly's firing -- had the big D-lineman's head spinning once again.

"Just when you thought the circus was over," Brown began. "There's another show in gypsy tent backstage."

The main event, Kelly's arrest down in Philadelphia on domestic assault and harassment charges.

"He sincerely wanted to do this franchise well," Brown said of his ex-coach. "But he didn't understand the values of the people or the players he was representing. That's where he failed the most.

"We all make mistakes in our careers. The biggest thing is you need to learn from these mistakes. You need to be cognizant of what you're representing and who you're representing. That's where the biggest gap falls with coach Kelly."

Indeed, Kelly talked a lot about restoring Bomber pride, from the day he was hired.

His legacy, though, will be one of considerable damage to the organization's image. The Bombers and their controversial coach had become the butt of jokes around the league.

In Regina, former Bomber GM Brendan Taman said he felt for Bauer, who hired Kelly a year ago.

"He never foresaw this happening," Taman said. "He thought Mike was going to be really good with the media. And he thought he was a real good football guy, which obviously he still could be. I think this year threw him for a loop. There was a lot of stress on him."

Bauer yesterday acknowledged the controversy surrounding Kelly was one of several factors in his departure.


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