This Cat is spittin' mad
Nasty insults about the city of Hamilton raise the fur on Cat president's back
July 31, 2007
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jul 31, 2007)
That's what the president of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats says is in store for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the disrespect that organization has shown the Cats and the city of Hamilton.
Scott Mitchell says he wants Hamilton fans to vent on the Blue Bombers when the Prairie club plays the Cats Friday night at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
"Winnipeg fans caused us to take four or five of our penalties Friday night. Doug Brown spit on the city. They've done things to us as a franchise that I hope our fans will rally behind. And if you can, forget about our record for one night and let's make it tough on Winnipeg to play in a tough stadium Friday night," he said.
And if that isn't enough the Cats are holding a Black Out Night in which the team will wear all black uniforms and fans are encouraged to wear all black as well.
Mitchell is upset that Brown, a Bomber defensive tackle, reportedly called Hamilton a "shithole" in a column he wrote for the Winnipeg Free Press.
The Cat president is steamed over Winnipeg running back Charles Roberts' published comments that the Ticats would be 0-6 "when we get through with them."
But what has Mitchell and Hamilton head coach Charlie Taaffe in a real lather is the end of Friday's contest that saw the Bombers beat Hamilton 36-18 in the Manitoba capital.
On the second last play of the game Bomber passer Kevin Glenn took a knee to end the play.
But on the final play of the contest, Bomber head coach Doug Berry had Troy Westwood attempt a 49-yard field goal. The kick was wide and run out of the end zone by the Cats.
Berry told the Winnipeg Free Press he went for the three points since points scored is used as a tiebreaker in the event of a tie in the standings.
Taaffe was so miffed with the play he refused to shake Berry's hand afterwards.
The Hamilton bench boss said yesterday the field goal didn't sit well with him.
"You already have 38 points. How many more do you need? I'm sure he has his reasons to justify it. I just don't think it is appropriate. The game is already won. You take a knee and move on. But that's me, that's my feeling," he said.
Mitchell called the attempt to run-up the score "disgusting."
He said the Cats showed class by letting Bomber receiver Milt Stegall celebrate his record-setting 138th touchdown with a brief ceremony on the field even though the Bombers didn't ask or receive the Cats permission to stop the contest.
In an e-mail reply Bomber president Lyle Bauer said it was a league decision to stop the game and honour Stegall. He assumed someone contacted the Cats.
That said, he wondered what Mitchell was raising a fuss about.
"If this is a marketing ploy, good for him and I hope it works. They have done a good job in Hamilton and they have a good team," he said.
Mitchell had his own reply to the Bombers.
"We're going to win Friday night. That's my statement to Charles Roberts and everyone else. We're going to win Friday night because I have enough respect and admiration for our players to know they're not going to take that."
"The return favour for us sitting through the Milt Stegall thing is Doug Berry trotting his field goal team out with two seconds left to kick a 52-yard field goal.
"I'm upset about it, so is Charlie and the players better be as well," Mitchell said.
The Cat president says he wants to see some pride. From his Tiger-Cats. From Hamilton fans.
"Because at the end of the day Winnipeg is doing this to our fans and not just to us."
Mitchell rejects the notion that Cat fans have started to stay away to protest the poor play. While the Cats drew less than 22,000 to its last home contest, the smallest crowd in the Bob Young-era, Mitchell said four hours of rain before the game was to blame.
"We would have had 24,000 to 25,000 if it hadn't rained during the day," he said.
Mitchell said poor crowds will not effect how the club is managed.
"As much as you guys want to make a big deal about the fans voicing their displeasure, that is a huge deal for the fans, it is not a huge deal for the franchise because we continue to pay the bills and go out and do everything we need to do to be successful," the Cat president said.
But he added the Cats must begin to win to keep the good crowds coming.
"People in Hamilton are not stupid. The fans deserve better, Bob (Young) deserves better. We're all upset. And I want the players to be upset."firstname.lastname@example.org