Michael Bishop - Courage and Strength

From TSN:

WINNIPEG - Michael Bishop has taken a lot of hits this season on and off the football field.

Critics have called the Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Good Mike or Bad Mike as they condemn his inconsistent play and the offence's struggles.

The heat will be even higher on Sunday, when Bishop tries to keep his team's playoff hopes alive with a win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

No matter what happens, Bishop said he can weather the storm because the biggest blows he's faced this year came before he joined the Bombers.

The eight-year CFL veteran was dealing with a family tragedy when he received an SOS from the team in July.

"When I got the call, I'd say I was kind of in a depressed state because little did Winnipeg know or anybody in the CFL know that I had a little nephew (nine years old) who's been fighting for his life for the last three or four years," Bishop revealed Wednesday after his team's practice.

"He had a brain tumour. Two days before I got the call, he passed. I was going through all kind of emotions."

When Winnipeg director of player personnel John Murphy asked Bishop to return to the CFL, he wasn't sure if he was mentally ready.

"I kind of didn't want to leave. I wanted to be there to support my sisters and nieces and nephews," said Bishop, 33, who has two daughters, aged 10 and one year.

"But then I kind of thought that the best situation for me was, all my nephews had watched me play football at some point, so I thought the best thing I can do is not sit back and fall into that deep hole and come back and play. Not only for my nephew, but for my mom."

Bishop's mom died in 2006. He really felt the loss this off-season because he was at home in Texas hanging out daily with his family.

As he was getting ready to come to Winnipeg, Bishop was dealt two more blows within a 12-hour span.

First, his best friend and former Chicago Cubs pitcher Jessie Hollins drowned. While Bishop and his neighbours who knew Hollins were consoling each other outside, one of his neighbours called over to the home of another neighbour.

When the man didn't answer, Bishop went into his yard and saw his door open. He went inside and found the man dead of a heart attack.

"That's why I don't get carried away about the negative things people write -- because you have no idea," Bishop said.

"To go through all of that and then to come here and play footballa "

Bishop's football career has always been marked by ups and downs.

The Kansas State star was second to running back Ricky Williams in the 1998 Heisman Trophy voting. He spent time with the NFL New England Patriots and the Arena Football League.

He joined the CFL with Toronto in 2002, having his best season in 2007 when he went 11-1 as a starter.

However, his days were numbered when the Argonauts acquired Grey Cup-winning pivot Kerry Joseph before the 2008 season.

Bishop was dealt to Saskatchewan in August 2008, and went 4-4 in eight starts. He was released after a playoff loss to B.C. in which he tossed three interceptions and the Riders committed to Darian Durant.

After joining the 1-3 Bombers and replacing Stefan LeFors, Bishop led the team to a 13-12 win over Toronto on Aug. 1 with less than a week of practice.

But Winnipeg soon floundered to a 3-8 record and there were cries for head coach Mike Kelly's firing and calls for a new QB.

"For the most part, people that criticize you are the people that never played the sport," said Bishop, who's gone 6-6 at the helm.

"They never had to get behind the centre and see 12 people that's coming at you every play. They've never been in a winning locker-room. They've never been around a great coaching staff. They've never felt defeat.

"And so when they talk about things like that, sometimes I laugh about it because they'll never know."

In analysing his own play, he looks at the bigger picture.

"Considering everything outside of football and then coming into a locker-room where you're around a bunch of guys you've never played with, I think the end result is that we still control our own destiny," Bishop said.

"So regardless of what happened good or bad, seven or eight weeks ago nobody in Canada felt that we'd be in the situation we are right now."

If the 7-10 Bombers defeat the Tiger-Cats (8-9), they secure second place in the East Division by winning the season series between the two clubs.

A loss would knock Winnipeg out of the playoffs because of the crossover format. If the fourth-place team in the West has more points than the third-place club in the East, the Western squad would earn that third-place spot.

Edmonton and B.C. are tied for third in the West, each with 8-9 records. The teams play each other Friday in B.C.

Bombers receiver Terrence Edwards lives in the same building as Bishop and has got to know him well.

"I think this whole locker-room believes in Mike," Edwards said.

"Mike came into a tough situation a I think he really trusts this locker-room and the locker-room trusts him now."

As for criticism that Bishop is inconsistent, Edwards said it's not always Bishop's fault.

While it's been a rocky road, Kelly said Bishop has handled the bumps well and he's the one who's put the team in a position to make it into the playoffs

"I'm a fan of Mike Bishop for what he's done this year and will always remember him for it," Kelly said.

Bishop has no regrets about joining the Bombers and his goal remains getting to the Grey Cup.

His nephew and mother are motivating him.

"To be there in the championship and get it done, my first thing to do when I get home is to go to where my mom and my nephew are buried next to each other and say, `Here it is.'

"That's what I'm looking forward to."


A very timely reminder that athletes are human beings too.

Regardless of what happens on the field, Bishop is a class act and I wish him all the best in life.

Yeah I read that piece yesterday and thought it was a great story on Bishop. Everybody knows he is great guy and teammate but this is just a real credit to him to even be playing this year. Hats off to Bish.

X 2

Make that 3. Although I don't like the Bombers run under Mike Kelly, I respect the hell out of what Bishop's doing :thup:

Put me down for times 2

Is it me or when it comes to Bishop, Kelly never endorses Bishop propery. Here he says he’s a fan, ok that’s nice but then he goes and says I will always remember him for … Kelly to this day has not commited to Bishop or even opened the window for Bishop to take that team over beyond this season. I look forward to this weekend.

...I'm also looking forward to this weekend ...and the next one as well.... :wink:

.......KUDOS TO MICHAEL BISHOP... :thup:

I just read the article on Bishop's finances, that's pretty low blow by your local press and it smells... I just hope the Ticats organisation is not involved with leaking this...

Oh geeze…please don’t think of the Winnipeg Sun as ‘press’ …it’s pretty much a local tabloid.

It's in the FP. They have reporters who go over the Queen's Bench Registry to look for names. To me what's criminal about the whole thing is Bishop is being charged 24% interest!!!

Yeah I have some friends in the loan sharking business and I could have gotten him better rates…

That’s what happens when you dont show up in court…

I am not sure it is news worthy but the timing is certainly very odd as it appears they’ve been docking him for a month now.

...Just goes to prove out how petty this Wpg. media is......sure he's a public figure.....so is Bob Irving....and Ed Tait....maybe they should publish how much money each is owing on their mortgage...AND before you say it ....yes it was brought to court and was an offence (minor as hell)...but the timing sure does smell... Oh and by the way did you hear Kevin Glenn passed gas as he left a Tim Hortons the other day ... :thdn: C'MON what the hell kind of media do we have around the Peg.. :thdn:

I would not know. With my diet. I smell like wet grass all day long :slight_smile:

Sounds to me like they're the new age press that does anything to shock you about a person. They dig deep and try and shock you like with Bishop's finances. Who's business is that but his own and the Bomber org.? The Winnipeg free press.. aka the CFL's TMZ....

Scott Taylor (formerly with Win Free Press) biggest scum bag there ever was. Now there`s a guy that would get shivers up and down his spine if the CFL folded.

Speaking of press, here are my 3 biggest losers.....Scott Taylor, Brian Williams(pre tsn) Steve Simmons...I could go on

I beg to differ...

An excerpt from Scott Taylor's blog:

2) Mike Kelly gets smarter every day. And maybe he doesn't even know it. The Winnipeg media has been obsessed by Kelly's radio outburst after Sunday's 48-13 loss in Montreal. If you believe the local hacks, Kelly is bad for football in this town and while it's nice that he's giving people who already don't go to the games an apparently valid excuse to continue not going, he has done something that the last coach of this team would never, ever do.

Kelly has decided that when his team loses, he's going to take responsibility. What a novel idea. The last guy, Doug (It's not my job) Berry, would throw half-a-dozen players under the bus before he'd even hint that maybe he didn't do everything humanly possible to have his team ready to play. In fairness, Berry was often criticized for that approach.
Now, when the local fishwraps get a guy who takes ALL the responsibility, it makes them crazy. "He's rude," they cry.
Yep, he's rude. He's also taken the spotlight away from a horrible effort in Montreal and taken all the heat himself. Football needs more Mike Kellys, not fewer.

  1. Speaking of Kelly, the most interesting suggestion made by the media during the past few weeks is that people have decided NOT to go to Blue Bomber games because those people don’t like the coach. Apparently, since the beginning of the 2009 season, Winnipeg football fans, care only about the coach. The colour of the uniforms and the people wearing those uniforms, no longer matter.

Spare me that crap. People don’t want to go to Blue Bomber games because (a) the parking is lousy, (b) the stadium is a broken-down dump, (c) the post-game traffic is a mess (d) the tickets are a tad expensive and (e) the game is on TSN HD. A growing number of real sports fans in Winnipeg get TSN HD and that means they get every Bomber home game in their living rooms with a great picture and replays and they don't have to worry about bad parking, warm beer and a rotting stadium.

Get a grip boys. If owners actually believed that people suddenly started buying football tickets to watch coaches, those owners would immediately hire Jessica Biel, Kaley Cuoco, Jennifer Garner and Kate Beckinsale… as coaches.

I agree about Steve Simmons though.

Met Kate, worked out at the same gym while she was here shooting a movie. (She's tiny) and very sweet.

Nothing criminal charging 24 percent interest. Credit cards charge 28%.The Bombers were served with Garnishe notice from courts. This is all part of next circus act. He left Toronto and casually forgot to pay his loans. No difference from him or us. You don't pay your loans and see what happens. It says something about a person who skips town and who would not take care of this. I'm not surprised about this.

papa you again are not thinking right. No need to smear Bob Irving. He is a good citzen of this community. Whatever money Irving owes I am sure he pays and does not make community look bad. Skipping town and not paying loans is serious. Bishop owes lots of money 97,000 dollars. You seem to think people who owe big money and don't pay are okay. Just look at your friend Asper. How much does his owed ? Maybe you should start club of Bomber Alumni and stooges who are poor citzens and don't pay loans. You could be President of this club.