Bomber fans loudest and proudest

Buck Pierce gave the Canad Inns fans plenty to shout about when he turned what looked like a sack...

Buck Pierce gave the Canad Inns fans plenty to shout about when he turned what looked like a sack into a 48-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter. (FRED GREENSLADE/Reuters)

Kirk Penton, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:27 AM ET

When he became head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Paul LaPolice wanted Canad Inns Stadium to become a place opposing teams dread.

After a season and a third, it appears that is becoming a reality.

The second straight sellout crowd was absolutely deafening on Friday night as the Bombers improved to 5-1 — their best start in 24 years — with a 28-16 win over the Edmonton Eskimos.

This may cause a provincial incident, but LaPolice believes the Bombers just might have the loudest fans in the CFL at the moment.

“Coming from a place where the crowd was intense, in Saskatchewan, which sold out almost every game, you really had to change your practices to prepare for the noise,” LaPolice said. “I thought that could be done here. Since I was hired I always tried to talk about the fans being loud.

“I used to say, let’s make this place the second-loudest in the CFL and give Sask their props, but now, the way we’ve sold out the last two games and how loud it’s been, we could be as loud as anywhere in the league.

“That’s a tribute to the fans, and I think they’re enjoying being part of it.”

The players could barely hear themselves think in the second half on Friday night.

“It was loud,” Bombers centre Obby Khan said. “They’re not usually that loud when the offence is on the field, which is a good thing, but when we took that last victory snap, when we took that last knee, it went from loud to the point where I couldn’t hear Buck Pierce directly behind me for the last snap.

“The only way I knew to snap the ball was when he gave me a good nudge on my butt.”

The crowd wasn’t loud only at the end. It was in full throat for most of the second half, propelling the Winnipeg defence to a sensational 30 minutes in which they were all over Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray. The Bomber backers even belted out a rare “De-fence!” chant three times in the fourth quarter.

“Every home game this year, we’ve been getting so much excitement from the fans,” cornerback Jovon Johnson said. “They’re making it hard on opposing teams to come here and have to compete against that.

“They’re competing against not only our defence, but against our fans as well.”

The Bombers have sold out back-to-back games for the first time since 2008, and it looks like they’re on track for a third straight full house when they host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Aug. 26.

“Every week the fans are setting the intensity, and then we try to match it out on the field,” defensive back Alex Suber said.

Since 1990, the Bombers are 28-8 when playing in front of home crowds of at least 29,000.


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