Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Now that was just stupid

You don’t want to hang all of this one on Brian Brohm. Or the hogs in front of him. Or the defence. Or the special teams.

This was an equal-opportunity screwup. Share and share alike.

But the main reason the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were given a 37-19 wedgie by the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday? Just blame it on stupid.

Stupid is Mike Willie running into punter Ray Early to breathe fresh life into a stalled Saskatchewan drive.

Stupid is an illegal contact penalty on Johnny Adams on the same drive.

Stupid is an unecessary roughness penalty on Johnny Adams on the very next play on the very same drive that ended in a touchdown for Gang Green.

Stupid is an unecessary roughness penalty on Lin-J Shell.

Stupid is an unecessary roughness penalty on Bruce Johnson.

Stupid is Lirim Hajrullahu hoofing the football out of bounds on a short kickoff attempt with one minute and 27 ticks remaining on the clock and the score 30-19 for the ‘Riders.

Stupid is a Marcel Bellefeuille game plan that did not include a pass attempt of more than 10 yards until the skirmish was 28 and a half minutes old. That’s almost an entire half without flinging the football far enough for a first down! And that’s the offensive scheme that we were told was much too complicated for newby quarterback Matt Nichols to master in three days? Five-yard sideline passes? Doesn’t say much for his smarts, does it.

Which brings me to one final stupid: Stupid is the Bombers filmaholic head coach, Mike O’Shea, not starting Nichols despite the fact he hadn’t been in town long enough to sample his first Salisbury House cheese nip.

Oh, yes, stupid ruled the day on many levels for the Blue and Gold, losers to a previously inept Roughriders outfit which, at 0-9 entering the fray, had been the free space on the 2015 Canadian Football League bingo card. The Green People gave the Bombers a proper paddywhacking before an SRO audience on a wind-swept afternoon in that ugly excuse of a ball yard on Piffles Taylor Way in Regina, and I doubt very much that Winnipeg’s filmaholic head coach needs to watch video evidence to confirm how ugly stupid his crew was and is.

I mean, what’s there to see, other than a pathetic parade of penalties and further evidence that Brohm is not a CFL-quality quarterback?

The best you could say about Brohm’s work on Sunday is this: He didn’t implode. There were no picks. Actually, there wasn’t much of anything. No touchdowns. No energy. No excitement. Just blah…and some garbage yards and a few garbage points once the debate had been decided in the ‘Riders’ favor.

Mind you, Brohm is working with an extreme handicap, and this time I’m not talking about his throwing arm. He has Bellefeuille for an offensive coordinator.

I’ve never had a peek inside Bellefeuille’s play book, but, judging by the play-calling, it can’t be any more complicated than an Archie or Jughead comic. And it’s certainly less entertaining. I swear, the Bombers would be better served if the QB simply crouched down in the huddle and designed plays in the dirt. You know, like the kids do in sandlot football. That way we might actually see a deep ball thrown on occasion.

Not with a Bellefeuille offence, though. He’s bold and brash like Donald Trump is mousey quiet. His idea of daring is running with a pair of scissors. Plastic scissors.

So, ya, anyone behind centre for the Bombers is playing with one arm tied behind his back.

Who that will be when the same two outfits do it all over again on Saturday at Football Follies Field in Fort Garry remains a mystery, but it’s my guess that Nichols will get the call he should have received on Sunday.

If not…well, that would just be stupid.

rooftop riting biz card back sidePatti Dawn Swansson has been writing about Winnipeg sports for more than 40 years, longer than any living being. Do not, however, assume that to mean she harbors a wealth of sports knowledge or that she’s a jock journalist of award-winning loft. It simply means she is old and comfortable at a keyboard (although arthritic fingers sometimes make typing a bit of a chore) and she apparently doesn’t know when to quit. Or she can’t quit.
She is most proud of her Q Award, presented to her in 2012 for her scribblings about the LGBT community in Victoria, B.C., and her induction into the Manitoba Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association Media Roll of Honour.

2 thoughts on “Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Now that was just stupid”

  1. The undisciplined play is “stupid” and inexcusable as you say. Willie is the only one who gets a partial pass; he had the punt essentially blocked, only to see the punter angle the ball to the right. The other penalties were stupid and selfish, and I got the sense the defence was mailing in their performance in the last quarter.

    As for Marcel he is a ‘dead man walking’ as you pretty much suggest. The number of short passes he calls is unbelievable in a 3-down game. The whole situation is rather pathetic. They got rid of Gary Crowton in mid-season in 2013 because his offense was predictable and unsuccessful, and they replaced him with Marcel Bellefeuille. Some upgrade for the team and fans. The personnel decisions – both in the Front Office and on the playing field – simply doom this team to failure. Will you or I (similar ages) ever see another competitive BB team year-in, year-out? I really am beginning to wonder.

    The Bombers will likely beat the 1-9 visiting team with the 3rd-string rookie QB this coming weekend. But the win will be a meaningless one to me. And now we enter the brutal part of the season where we hear ‘the Bombers still have a playoff chance’ over and over…all because the CFL allows an inane 70% of the teams into the playoffs.

    Thanks for the insightful article – the ‘no passes over 10 yards in 28 minutes’ is amazing, and the ‘garbage time’ extra yardage is a good catch. I hope you don’t mind the feedback and my venting. Enjoy your week, and by the way Chocolat and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are indeed excellent movies. Glad you enjoyed them. Cheers.


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