Christmas Greetings to you Bomber fans

The region finally has had its first taste of real “break out the shovel” snow. And with less than a month to go before Christmas, things like goodwill and kindness are starting to become a little more noticeable.
That being said, I’d like to take a quick time-out from all the pleasantry and be a jerk.
I hope I don’t raise the ire of any you “true-blue” Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans but I thoroughly enjoyed watching quarterback Khari Jones get pancaked on the Olympic Stadium turf on the last play of the 89th Grey Cup on Sunday night, signalling the end of Winnipeg’s “dream” season and the start of the Calgary Stampeders’ second CFL title in four years.
And you know what? My pleasure had nothing to do with football.
Right off the bat, I’ve got nothing against the Stamps or the Blue Bombers. It was a solid game and both teams could have easily won. From what I’ve seen and read, the Bombers had a phenomenal season, but just couldn’t get things going when they needed to.
And this is coming from a guy who isn’t much of a CFL fan.
However, I am a fan watching people eat crow—that and talking trash after the fact.
As a person who works in the media, I’ve seen my share of over-coverage (some in town might argue I’ve been guilty of it myself). But in professional sports, local media tend to get more full of themselves when one of their teams enjoys an ounce of success.
Take the Winnipeg Free Press. Their building coverage of the Grey Cup got more annoying with every “Only ‘x’ days to go until the big game!” countdown in blue and gold lettering above the front page or every “commentary” from Khari’s wife, Justine, or every look back at the Bombers’ last Grey Cup win in 1990.
Of course it’s not just Winnipeg. I’m dissecting them because they happen to be the closest city. Spending the last four years in Ottawa, I’ve witnessed my share of how the media can eat up an unproven team.
My particular favourite evening was listening to bits and pieces of a 12-hour radio broadcast of the Ottawa Senators call-in show the night the Toronto Maple Leafs swept them in the first round of the NHL playoffs last spring.
Yup, 12 hours of people calling in with the same complaints all night long. I’m sure the same thing happened in Toronto after their season ended without a Stanley Cup—and in Edmonton after they lost yet another series to the Dallas Stars.
Or even in Tampa Bay the night the Lightning were mathematically eliminated in February.
Sorry, bad example.
I can’t really fault my fellow news gatherers. They’re obviously pressured by higher sources of power (read money) into giving the fans—readers, viewers—what they want and I understand that.
A Bomber fan who covers his or her anatomy in blue and gold paint, and watches a football game in windchill weather, doesn’t give a lick about how hard the Stampeders were prepared for this game, not caring that a 14-4 team was staring them across the field.
As fans, it’s not their job to care about those things.
But there’s a big difference between putting a hometown angle on your pieces and outright cheerleading along with people in the stands. It’s a tough balance, for sure.
This past Sunday evening and Monday, I made a point to flip through the TV channels and the pages of the Winnipeg Sun and Free Press to read all the, “shoulda, coulda, woulda” talk. You’re right, I am a scavenger of Bomber misery. Hear me roar!
I’d better stop being a jerk. If this district is, indeed, for the most part “Blue Bomber country,” I think I’ll just be digging my own shallow,, icy grave if I continue.
So let’s go this route: Losing the big game builds character. There’s always next year. At least they left it all on the field. Go Bombers.
Rah, rah, rah.
• • •
Seventeen games in suspensions were handed out yesterday by the Superior Internatonal Junior Hockey League for a wild donnybrook between the Thunder Bay Bulldogs and Feathermen Hawks last Friday.
Players were climbing the glass to get at each other, as punches—and chairs—were thrown.
• • •
Hopper’s Bruins of the local liniment league came away with the ‘B’ crown after beating Garrett Bowman’s Rainy River squad 7-2 at the Rainy River rec board’s annual men’s hockey tournament.
The Border Brawlers nipped Warroad 4-3 in the ‘A’ final. Seven teams took part in the tourney.
If you are planning any upcoming sporting events or have any sports related information, feel free to call 274-5373 or drop by the office.
You also can e-mail me at rvillagracia@fortfrances.com

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