Instant replay is just about ready to be approved by the Canadian Football League's competition committee and nothing could make Winnipeg Blue Bombers CEO Lyle Bauer happier.
Well, OK, a winning season and a trip to the 2006 Winnipeg Grey Cup would make him happier, but in terms of the league's future, Bauer figures it's about time the CFL was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
"The week of the 19th, at the CFL congress in Toronto, replay will be discussed at the management council and if it's ready to go, technically, then I'm sure it will be passed," Bauer said. "I absolutely support replay, but as we all know, the only thing worse than no replay is replay that doesn't work."
Evidently, the CFL's director of officiating, George Black, has been getting the kinks out of the system and should have a workable system in place and ready for a vote next week.
"There shouldn't be an excuse for not doing it," Bauer said. "Every game is on TV this year. The only thing that could be a problem is that we have only one time out in the CFL, but that's a nuance that can be worked out.
The CFL's 2006 free-agent season begins on Wednesday. The Bombers will have their eyes on two potentially available players, B.C. linebacker Barrin Simpson and Montreal defensive back D.J. Johnson.
However, Johnson signed with the New York Jets last week so that leaves the Bombers chasing Simpson and whomever they can get. With a $3.8-million salary cap in the league, it's going be tough for the financially strapped Bombers to keep up, but Bauer pledged his team "will do whatever it takes."
The free-agent roster isn't as big as it has been in past years, Bauer said, "but where we have needs, we will do whatever we have to do to fill them."
The Bombers have 12 free agents themselves, including punter Jon Ryan, who signed with the Green Bay Packers.