GLEN SUITOR TSN
What a difference home field was for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week. After dropping four straight games on the road, the Bombers finally got back in front of a wildly enthusiastic home crowd and fed off the energy to register their first win.
Some may say they were a little fortunate but, as the old saying goes, at the end of the year they don't ask how, just how many. And for the Bombers, last week was number one.
It was a close game that went right down to the wire where the key play was, fittingly, created by pure hustle and adrenalin: defensive tackle Jake Thomas forcing a Steven Jyles fumble to seal the win. That type of play was fitting because this was a different Bomber team playing in front of the home crowd than the one Winnipeg football fans watched on TV the first four weeks, especially on defence.
The energy in the old Canad Inns Stadium was electric and the Bomber defenders fed off that energy and were flying around. Case in point: according the official stats, Jonathan Hefney may have only registered four tackles, but he was all over the field and as animated as he has been all year.
It looked as close to that aggressive, "in your face," Bomber defence from 2011 as we have seen all year, and that is why it shouldn't have been a surprise that the game-winning play was made on sheer adrenalin and hustle.
It was also a great reminder of how important home field advantage can be. I know that the visiting team won three out of four games last week,[u] but when the fans are as loud and as intense as they were in Winnipeg, they can make it very difficult on the visitors, and in a small way actually influence the outcome of a game. You never know if that one procedure call that the opposition's offence takes because they can't handle the crowd noise is going to be the play that makes the difference.[/u]http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=402036