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Game-Balls & Jocks: Snatching Defeat From Jaws Of Victory – Who Stood Out For Right/Wrong Reasons: CFL Week 10 Montreal At Winnipeg

For this week’s edition I am not going to get into many statistics. If you want you can find the statistics and play-by-play on the CFL Game Tracker.

There was nothing pretty about the Bombers’ game on Thursday night except for the over 30,000 fans in the stands!

The Bombers came into the game 9-0 and were looking to make some history if they went 10-0 being only the seventh team that has done so. It would have also have been the first time the Bombers were 10-0 since 1960. The Bombers also had a chance to be the first team in the CFL to secure 400 home wins.

None of that happened.

Winnipeg looked tired! They had a grueling schedule – barely playing at home – and had not had a bye week yet. They came out flat. They remained flat.

I was sincerely hoping that the fans would give the Bombers an injection of energy. Fans, you did your part. Bombers, you did not respond.

Maybe you are reading this and are thinking that I am being overly critical. I do not think so. Point to one player or staff for the Bombers that are letting themselves off the hook today. Spoiler alert, you will not find one.

Here is some video evidence to that point:

If you are looking for a 9 minute emotional rollercoaster, look no further!

Perspective Through The Eyes Of A 7 Year Old

My 7 year old son stayed home and watched the whole game. I asked him about it this morning. He said, “Well we knew the Bombers were going to lose at some point.”

Hopefully the loss stings a little less for you all as time passes.

Game-Ball

Can we just skip this? Can I take a pass?

We could have been having a very different conversation right now!

*If the Bombers had completed that goal line stand, I would be looking at the Bombers’ defence or even Adam Bighill to get a game-ball. However, they did not complete that goal line stand.

Look, I saw it on the jumbo tron. The Bombers did line up offside, by a toe. You can clearly see a bit of a cleat over the white goal line. By an inch or by a mile, offside is offside. I told everyone around me, “You may not want to hear it but look at the screen, he is offside.”

That just cannot happen. There is a big white goal line strip. Do not cross it.

The counter argument is that the ball was actually spotted a bit behind the 1 yard line, so the Bombers were not offside. I get the argument, but when the down and distance is 3rd and goal from the 1 yard line, do not leave it in the referee’s hands to make that call.

*The game-ball could have gone to the offence even though they had a terrible showing. In the last drive of the game the Bombers did exactly what they needed to do. They marched down the field, set up two run plays, and were set to kick a walk-off field goal with no time – maybe 2 seconds – left on the clock.

I told everyone around me, “Yes! Two run plays and a field goal, would seal it!

But what happened? Shank!

Liegghio misses bad from 32 yards out.

Some people will look in hindsight and ask, “Why did they not just kick for a single?” Here is why. Liegghio is expected to make that field goal. Liegghio expects himself to make that field goal. Before the game he was sitting around a 90% success rate on field goals. Earlier in the game Liegghio hit one from just insode the 45 yard line. That is why you do not try for a single. Hindsight is not 20/20. Hindsight is misleading because it assumes we knew the outcome before the event occurred.

I really have one or two options.

Option 1: nobody gets a game-ball. Name one player for the Bombers that really deserves it. I have an impossible time finding one.

Option 2: It is going to sound like a rip off if you listened to the best post-game show on Bonfire Sports https://bonfiresports.ca/, Bonfire After Dark. I was thinking the same thing as Darrin Bauming. The only group that deserves a game-ball is the fans!

So, for coming out in droves, by being the loudest fans in the CFL, all 30,000+ each and every one of you – unless you were cheering for the Alouettes gets a game ball!

Jock

*I only saw this on the highlights after I got home, but the jock could go to Montreal quarter back Dom Davis for doing the Bombers’ celebration leap into the fans after a touchdown.

My son thought it was funny. I think it is idiotic.

Seriously! Davis probably should have received a taunting penalty and is lucky he did not get hurt. I would not call for this, but if you jump up to the fans of the home team and you are the visitor, you are taking your health into your own hands! Lucky for Davis the fans just pushed him back and did not do something worse to him.

If this was not a close game, I thin Davis takes a beat down from the Winnipeg players for that stupid move!

*Another candidate for the jock could be the Bombers’ Offensive Line. They looked like Swiss Chees for the second week in a row, giving up 5 quarterback sacks.

*However, I have to give the jock to the Bomber kicker Liegghio.

Let me make the counter argument first. It goes something like this:

“The Bombers played poorly and there are many people to blame for the loss. If they scored more points, or if they had a goal line stand, Liegghio’s missed kicks would not have mattered.”

I get all that. However, the game is where the game is at that point in time. The most important play is the current play. The most important play with little if anything left on the clock is the field goal for a win. Whatever has happened before that is at that point irrelevant.

The Bombers did exactly what they needed to do by moving the ball down the field, and giving themselves a chance for a field goal to win.

But Liegghio shanked it.

Had he drilled it, he would have been the hero! People would have been saying, “Wow that was a terrible performance by the Bombers but Liegghio saved the day!”

Ok. So Liegghio misses and then we have overtime. Winnipeg kept Montreal to a field goal, and all Winnipeg had to do to continue overtime was to hit a field goal of their own!

In overtime you start with the ball in field goal range – the 35 yard line. It is assumed that you will at least get a field goal. Well you know what they say about assumptions!

The Bombers first two plays in overtime are a rush for no yards, and an incomplete pass.

Bring out the kicking team. Time for a field goal. Time to see a second overtime series. Wait! The kick is up and…it hits the upright and does not go through.

Some will say “Liegghio did not lot lose the game for the Bombers.” Again, I understand that it is a team sport and other players needed to step up, and did not. To me that is “Should of, could of.”

If Liegghio makes the field goal at the end of the 4th quarter we all say, “Liegghio won the game!” (Completely neglecting the other points the Bombers put up by other players.)

The logic has to stay consistent. So either we would be wrong if Liegghio made the 4th quarter field goal and we said, “Liegghio won the game!” Or, it can rightfully be said that “Liegghio lost the game – not on his missed 4th quarter field goal attempt, but on the overtime miss that ended the game.”

It brings me absolutely no joy to write this. Yes other Bomber players messed up. However, for missing two field goals, one that would have won the game, another that would have extended the game, Liegghio for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory you get the jock.

I doubt he ever gets the jock again. He has proven himself this season!

What did I get right? What did you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.

Find all my articles here.

Written by a Bomber fan, for the Bomber fans.

Stay with CFL News Hub for the 2022 season.

Follow me on Twitter @DonCruickshank1

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