There was no media availability on Sunday, which was probably a good thing considering how sour everyone was after Saturday’s 32-21 loss to the Stampeders. The frustration is mounting, which is not surprising when you consider they’re 4-11.
A few thoughts after a football-filled Sunday …
• Bombers head coach Tim Burke is no doubt wondering what he did to deserve this mess. He did what he had to do in taking the reins when Paul LaPolice got fired, but he’s not exactly bathing himself in glory. It’s not entirely his fault that the team is losing — it’s mostly Joe Mack’s problem — but there’s a chance he’s blowing his opportunity to be a permanent head coach. It might not be fair, but that’s what it looks like.
• One problem that falls on Burke is Winnipeg’s average number of penalty yards per game has increased since he took over. A lack of discipline was one of the reasons Mack fired LaPolice.
• If the Bombers do fire Mack at the end of the year, the buddy system needs to end on Maroons Road. Lyle Bauer hired his buddy, Mike Kelly, and looked what happened. Then Paul Robson hired his old buddy Joe Mack, and look at what has happened. The Bombers are 18-33 under his watch. Maybe next time the new man in charge will be hired based on their resume.
• It sure looks like seven teams are battling for the right to lose to the B.C. Lions in the Grey Cup. Boy, are the Leos ever looking good.
• I asked Burke after Saturday’s game how long a young quarterback should get to prove he can play in the CFL, in reference to Joey Elliott. Burke said Elliott’s still learning, which I agree with, but then he added that Elliott should be past throwing four red-zone interceptions like he did on Saturday. That’s true. You’d think after the first one he’d be more careful. And then after the second. And then after the third …
• Exciting week ahead: The Winnipeg Sun’s very own Rich Pope will compete in the Wendy’s Kick for a Million semifinal on Thursday in Toronto. If he can win that one, he’ll kick for a million on Friday night at halftime of the Bombers-Argos game.
• The Bombers don’t practice on Monday, but Burke will meet with the media.
• Here are the stories I wrote for Monday’s paper. I check in on whether or not the Bombers are showing any signs of hope for the future, I talked to Jade Etienne about his first career catch, I took a closer look at Joey Elliott’s interceptions, and I explain how the Bombers can still host a playoff game. I’m not kidding.