winnipeg media encourages bomber fans to ignore grey cup?

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Grey Cup tickets for sale. You might even get a deal on them.

Because the dream -- or should that be fantasy? -- of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers playing in their hometown Grey Cup was left in pieces on the turf in the CFL's East semifinal yesterday.

As many reasons as the Bombers gave us to doubt them this season, nobody could have seen this coming.

Then again, perhaps it was the most logical way for it to end: with a maddeningly inconsistent effort that had you scratching your head one minute, thinking they could win the East the next, then writing their obituary -- all in the space of three hours.

It was the Toronto Argonauts 31, Winnipeg 27, but the scoreboard didn't tell the whole story. Not even close.

Leading by 10 midway through the fourth quarter, the Bombers should have been booking their flights to Montreal.

Especially when they looked at the Toronto huddle and saw backup quarterback Michael Bishop in the game for Damon Allen.

What happened next was either a total fluke or the biggest Winnipeg gag job since the 2001 Grey Cup.

"That's going to go down as one of the all-time greatest Winnipeg Blue Bomber chokes," defensive lineman Doug Brown said. "Because we had that signed, sealed and delivered. Up by 10, with seven minutes left in the game? And the way our defence was playing. Two inopportune miscues, and all of a sudden the floodgates opened. And we just couldn't respond, at all.

"We just choked, big-time. There's no other way I can spin it."

Brown's assessment was easily the harshest in a stunned Bomber locker-room.

It's hard to argue with it, though.

This should have been over the moment the Argos put Bishop in. He wasn't going to win it for Toronto any more than Brad Banks was going to win it for Winnipeg.

Neither team had a backup quarterback all season, that much we'd learned.

Bishop's first reaction to being told he was going into the game says it all.

"You're kidding," he told Argos GM Adam Rita.

Here's a guy who'd completed five passes all season, and thrown just one in his illustrious playoff career.

And this is the game's turning point?

"It's unbelievable," Brown said. "That just does not happen. There's a reason why you get after a quarterback -- to get their backup in. It was wrapped up. They put the bow on for us."

Problem is, the Bombers took that bow, wrapped it around their necks -- and yanked.

Bishop must have thought he was back in the Arena League, the touchdowns came so fast.

Three passes, three completions, 110 yards and two touchdowns. All in 1:45.

Meanwhile, the Bomber offence was giving the ball away on a fumble by its best player, running back Charles Roberts, and a late interception by quarterback Kevin Glenn that snuffed out a final, desperation drive.

The stingy play by the defence in the first half -- all for naught.

The brilliant throws by Glenn and acrobatic catches by Derick Armstrong and Chris Brazzell in the third quarter -- wasted.

The courageous running by Roberts -- a footnote.

And another spectacular Milt Stegall season -- down the drain.

Call it a choke. A great effort. A fluke.

Maybe it was a bit of all three.

Either way, it leaves the Bombers, who, through all their ups and downs this year showed some promise and brought playoff football back to Winnipeg, in the same lonely place.

"We'll be at home next week," Stegall said. "That's where we are."

[b]Getting ready to ignore the Grey Cup.

Tickets, anyone? [/b]

Typical SUn. Coast to coast, bashing the CFL.

discusting...thier team made great strides this season, and are sour after comming up just short of winning yesterday.

who guessed at teh seasons start, that the bombers woulda been THAT close to the east finals?

they should be applauding thier efforts, not encouraging a boycott of the grey cup.

Agree...Go Bombers..

Whenever the host team is eliminated, there is usually disappointment and slower sales among local fans. The playoff format guarantees that 5 of 6 teams choke. In the end, there is only one champion. Still, Winnipeg fans should be proud of their team's achievements in being the most improved team of 2006.

The GC game helps the hosting team financially so it would be crazy not for the hosting team to not support it. But I have to admit that in 1996 in Hamilton when the Argos won the Cup over the Eskies, there were hardly any Argo fans at the game, a short 1 hour and a bit drive from Toronto. I knew Toronto wouldn't support their team and after paying full price for a ticket for the 1992 GC in Toronto where there was no where near a sellout, I said to heck with it, I ain't paying full price for a ticket in Hamilton when the Argos played in '96.

I have to say the Bombers did a lot better than I thought they would this season. A lot of "experts" picked the Bombers to finish last as well. I say the Bombers are not that far away from being a GC contender. Glenn, IMO, became a #1 QB this season. Now , he has some more weapons(Armstrong, Brazzell and Stegall, if he comes back) to work with for next year. If they can find another reliable receiver they should be the class of the East next year. If I were a Bomber fan, I would not ignore the GC game, because whoever is there playing, it will be a great game. Yes, Winnipeg fans should be disappointed that their team wont be playing, but they have a lot to look forward to for years to come. Who knows, maybe a Bomber-Rider GC game might happen, just wont happen this year. Consider this possibility-A Rider-Bomber GC at Mosaic--now that would be an insane week in Regina!

Believe it or not, what he says is probably the way many Pegers feel about the Bombers, they have had the chocker label for sometime, but that is no reason to take the celebration out of the GC event, thats just plain wrong.

...the Sun is a great rag for seizing on the negative...This team has made great strides this year...and just about made it to the final...A very harsh learning experience and one the Bombers will benefit from in the future...If every city in the league who hosted the Grey Cup ...took the attitude ' if our team dosen't play in the BIG GAME, we won't bother supporting the event' the Sun suggests....we have a very BIG problem...I don't see that as being the case in every instance in Winnipeg....There are a lot of people and media types working hard to make this Grey Cup a success....the Sun, i'm afraid is not one of them.... :expressionless:

In the end, this is just an article. And really, how much effect do you think articles really have on whether people attend a sporting event or not. I personally don't think that much. Print media is not very important these days, the big boy is television.

Isn't that what everyone was talking about when BC lost to Edmonton in the West Final last year and that BC, with it's fairweather fans, wouldn't come to the Grey Cup because the Lions were out. The difference is that the Grey Cup was pretty much sold out prior to the loss and BC fans still went to the game.

They can encourage a boycott of Canada's biggest sporting event.

We can encourage a boycott of Canada's crappiest newspaper.

The fact is, the big thing is either 1) going to the game and watching or 2) watching it on TV. Anything else, other than listening to a game on TV, is really fodder, not much impact. Print media people these days are minor people in the media biz in my opinion, they have little impact. Most want to make it in TV but can't. They can write whatever they want in my opinion, I don't care really do be honest. They have to be someowhat controversial to get even a smidgint of the impact a television broadcast of a game or television newscast has on people.

Good point.

The last time the Grey Cup game was in Winnipeg, there were plenty of empty seats. Should the city ignore the event this time around, I'd expect it to be very difficult for the Bombers to be awarded another Grey Cup game in the next decade.

I agree with you completely. This is what I was saying a month ago on here. But Bomber fans were quite upset with me for saying this.


I know how it hurt last year when Edmonton knocked us out in the Western Final. But we still sold out Grey Cup.

Bombers should be proud of the improvements they made this year.

You mean that the WINNIPEG PRESS is just like the TORONTO PRESS , GO FIGURE?! :wink: :lol:

REAL , REAL SMART. Nice CFL fans they have in WINNIPEG :roll: :wink:

We should all write him. Very responsible.
I guess WINNIPEG wants an NFL team? :lol:

Maybe the VIKINGS will move there. :wink: :lol:

They shouldn't have been awarded this one, it should have went to Saskatchewan. They had 50 000 in 95, and had a regular season game against Calgary that drew 55 000. So why would they give it to a city that only got 40 000 last time?

I don't care who is in the GREY CUP.Those who have tickets and don't go because their team isn't in it are just not great CFL fans.

They are really missing the fun and the whole point.

But this also happened in HAMILTON [1996]

MONTREAL , fans were just fantastic when their team lost in the EAST FINAL and the game was in MONTREAL.

Even in the CFL's dark days when they had an all West GREY CUP , the ARGOS sold 45,000+ but it wasn't easy.