Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bombers Investment at Investors Group Field pays off despite Loss to Al's

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers opened Investors group field on June 25, 2013 with a loss but the 33,500 fans in attendance had to feel like it was a win despite the home team’s inability to hold onto a 9 point lead heading into the 4th quarter.

The pre-game ceremony had a bit of everything from the culmination of the kickoff run (passing the game ball from town to town in Manitoba like an Olympic torch) to honouring former team legends to thanking (in some cases booing) those responsible for the Bombers new digs. 

The most popular part of the said ceremony was Milt Stegall dressed in full Bombers uniform(minus the helmet) taking a Matt Dunigan pass to the ‘house’ breaking the gold ribbon and leaving fans in a celebratory mood and wondering what might have been had Milt and Matt been able to play together.  

The Big Blue must have still been finding their way to the field despite receiving a warm welcome from fans as they proceeded to give up 14 points before the quarter was 6 minutes old thanks to Buck Pierece interception( one of three on the night) and poor special teams as the Al’s returned a punt for pay dirt before Super Milt could change back into his civilian clothing.

The Bombers did manage a field goal in the first quarter and their defense lead by Bryant Turner showed some promise but the offence seemed unhinged and could not get on track leaving the fans to wonder if the Bomber brass made the right decision by keeping Buck.  Buck did look more mobile, which is a good thing as the offensive line is a work in progress.

The halftime entertainment featured Tom Cochrane and Red Rider who put on a decent show despite the poor sound quality. The singer who has penned several hits including ‘Big League’ and ‘Life is a Highway’ didn't play another classic titled ‘Victory Day’ but it sure looked like the Bombers were headed for one as they turned on the heat at IG Field outscoring the Al’s 20-1 in the third quarter to take a short lived lead that sent the decibel level in the new digs to 108.

Unfortunately, the Bombers were playing against a savvy veteran in Anthony Calvillo who had a great 4th period picking apart the Bombers defense and making the Bombers offence pay for not being able to move the ball on the ground (35 total rushing yards for Chad Simpson) or in the air.

There was also a questionable coaching decision made by Tim Burke early in the 4th quarter with the Bombers at their own 2 yard line he elected to punt the ball rather than take the safety. It gave Sir Anton a short field to work with and he hooked up Jamal Richardson for his only TD throw of the night, which gave the Al's the momentum and they never looked back.

The positive from this game is that the Big Blue were competitive, something that not many believed they could be after a poor preseason. They still have work to do but gave the fans something to cheer about even if it was more of the same from a team that has failed to find its offensive identity since Buck arrived and a team that had revamped its defense by purging Jon Hefney, losing standout Jason Vega to the NFL and Marcellus Bowman to Hamilton.

Big Blue’s next game is Thursday night in Montreal and this will be a tough test as they generally do not fare well in Montreal. 

This is a new season and a new team. Coach Burke has laid the law down and isn’t afraid to hold his players accountable for their actions. The question is can he find a way to get them to focus and play sixty minutes of solid road football that will lead to a win?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sportmentary.com welcomes your comments and lively debates. All we ask is that you keep your comments civil.

Please Note: When commenting on posts, it is prohibited to post links that are deemed to be spam or advertising.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.