Bombers return to Bumblers

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:41 AM ET

WINNIPEG - The home team lost for the 10th time in 13 games, lost its starting quarterback again and saw its already-miniscule playoff hopes reduced to microscopic proportions.

Other than that, it was a beautiful Saturday night at the Ruins at Polo Park.

Faced with a game they had to win, against a backup quarterback and playing at home before 27,000 loyalists who no doubt had other things they could have done, the Blue Bombers reverted to the Bunglers again.

And quarterback Buck Pierce is back in sick bay.

This is a recording.

You almost felt sorry for the Bombers early in this one. Needing every break under the sun to maintain a post-season pulse, they didn’t get any against the Toronto Argos, and the result was a 21-0 hole after 15 minutes.

By the time the Blue and Gold tossed in another mitt full of undisciplined penalties, a bundle of turnovers and an offence back to its old ineptitude, the pity was gone.

And that hole may as well have been six feet deep, surrounded by pretty oak trees and marked with a slab of marble.

Pile on the dirt. Your Bombers are done.

Again.

For a 22nd straight season, a new futility record for a franchise that’s been around more than 80 years, the not-so-Big Blue won’t win the Grey Cup.

The reasons for the failure of Year 22 are like a dysfunctional CD — stuck on repeat.

“With the amount of turnovers and penalties we had, we won’t beat a peewee team like that,” is how receiver Terrence Edwards put it.

O-lineman Glenn January was equally succinct about the lack of discipline that supposedly got Paul LaPolice fired but hasn’t improved one iota under Tim Burke.

“You’d hope we had it figured out by now,” January said.

Another dozen penalties, another 100-plus yards.

The other thing the Bombers should have figured out by now is their quarterback situation has all the stability of a Third World government.

Pierce, bless his courage, brought his team back to within 11 points before taking a cheap shot to the head from Argos defensive back Brandon Isaac.

You could see the tweeting birds from the press box.

“That was a dirty hit,” January said. “Buck got rid of the ball, he decided to hit him anyway.”

Sure he did. Because he knew that if No. 4 leaves the game, he takes Winnipeg’s chances with him.

Not only is that too much adversity for this immature bunch to handle, it also leaves the offence short on leadership and talent.

Pierce, bandaged up and leaking from the chin, hung in there for a while before his ringing bell was deemed a detriment to his health.

Enter Joey Elliott — and three second-half interceptions.

Alex Brink didn’t even see the field.

And re-signing his three quarterbacks was GM Joe Mack’s proudest off-season moment?

That this franchise hasn’t been able to find a signal caller it can count on during much of its championship drought is not a coincidence.

That the Bombers are destined for another disastrous season, their second in three years of the Mack regime, isn’t either.

Whether felled by a late hit or a routine tackle, Pierce can’t keep himself upright long enough to be counted on.

And that has to be the organization’s No. 1 priority this off-season.

“You see all the good teams have their No. 1 guy in there,” Edwards said. “It’s just that simple. They’re not rotating quarterbacks.

“I don’t care what league you’re in, what level, it’s going to be tough to win games when your No. 1 quarterback is in and out of the lineup. That’s been us for two years now.”

Until it changes, nothing will.


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