If you have been following this segment at all this year you will know that I will hand out a game-ball after each Winnipeg Blue Bomber game, but I will also hand out a jock (all figuratively of course).
The ‘jock,’ is going to go to someone who stunk it up! Maybe it was on one play, or through the course of the game. The idea of the jock, is that it will be the opposite of the game-ball.
On Saturday, July 30 the Winnipeg Blue Bombers walked into Calgary, took care of business, said “Thank you very much,” then saddled up and rode off with an 8-0 record.
If you missed that game, you need to find a way to watch it. Both Calgary and Winnipeg were going punch for punch. The teams were going back and forth in that game! It was fun to watch, but as a Bomber fan it also made me nervous. Calgary had a real shot of beating Winnipeg, but the Bombers would score a touchdown with 4:10 left to go and then added a field goal with only 27 seconds remaining. At the end to the day Winnipeg took the game 35-28. If you are looking for more of an in-depth recap you can find it here.
If you thought handing out a game ball after the Bombers played terribly in Edmonton – the week before – and still won, try handing out a game ball after this game! There are quite honestly a ton of players that could receive a game ball from the Calgary vs Winnipeg game. Right after the game my wife asked me, “Who are you giving your game-ball to?”
*If you wanted to go to the Calgary side of the field I think it would be quite simple. The game-ball either goes to Ka’Deem Carey who was introduced by his son, and then has 14 carries for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns. Or, you go to Rene Paredes who went 5/5 on field goals with a career long of 53.
However, if you have read this segment before, you know my game-ball typically goes to Winnipeg. That makes for a more difficult choice. (I am literally still debating in my head who gets my game-ball as I write).
*How about Zach Collaros? 22/30 for 270 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions?! That would get a game-ball any day of the week! Never mind against a Calgary team coming off a bye week. A Calgary team who, prior to this game, had a 14-2 record coming off a bye week with Bo Levi Mitchell as the quarterback. A Calgary team that had never lost at home after a bye week when Bo Levi Mitchell plays. And Zach does what? Have I sold you yet on Zach getting a game-ball?
*But then there is Dalton Schoen. He was Winnipeg’s leading receiver with 80 yards. Yes he only caught 4/8, but he did have 2 touchdowns. This guy is a rookie. A Rookie! Yet he has great chemistry with Collaros. So far in eight games this season Schoen has 32 receptions for 583 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is averaging 18.2 yards per catch! Really? How do you pass on him for a game-ball?
*Well, you still have to consider Nic Demski. He was placed on the 6 game injured list and there was zero indication he would come back early. Yet he did. After missing four games and not practicing the week of the Calgary game, Demski comes in and produces. Not only did he catch 7/9 passes for 69 yards, and also have 2 touchdowns, he made Calgary account for him. When Demski is in he opens up other players.
*Cue Brady Oliveira. With many fans calling for less of Brady and more of Johnny, Brady Oliveira has himself a game! He had 15 carries for 110 yards! He averaged 7.3 yards per carry, which is way better than his previous 3-4 yard average. While I think Oliveira benefited from the return of Demski opening up space, Oliveira still needs to see the field, make cuts, and run hard. All of those things Brady did.
You could make a case for any of those guys, and numerous others to get the game-ball this week. Just check out the game and individual statistics.
However, I expect Zach to play very well. I expect Schoen to put on amazing performances – his sample size is large enough know what he does. I expect Demski to be an impact player.
What was not certain coming into this game was if Oliveira could put up the numbers that people thought and hoped he could.
So I have to give my game ball to Brady Oliveira. While the others did what was expected of them, Brady did what we hoped he could do.
Oliveira, for running with a purpose, and quieting the naysayers, you get my game-ball.
This one is going to be harder to hand out. Both teams played very good football. There were not any major mistakes on either side. So whoever I chose it is going to be a bit of a stretch. However, the winner of this award this week is going to be Bo Levi Mitchell.
He wins this award for two reasons. First, I believe he mismanaged the end of the game. With seconds left on the clock and down by seven you have to take a shot downfield and hope for a pass interference penalty. But he did not. Rather with seconds on the clock, and on his own 23 yard line he throws as 15 yard pass? You did not even give your team a chance to win with that play.
Secondly after the game, and after that decision, Bo – based on my interpretation – says more than he should have when asked about what this means in the big picture.
“They are a better football team than we are”
That would have been a great place to stop. But no. Bo went on.
“I don’t think they will be at the end of the season…but if you lose to a team two times in a row they are better than you.”
Another great stopping point. But no. Bo went on.
To his credit he did go on and compliment the Bombers a lot. Those all would have been great stopping points. But no. Bo went on.
“You don’t win the Grey Cup right now. You can all crown them the Grey Cup Champions right now if you want to. But they are not going to be the Grey Cup Champions today.”
Wrong. Technically yes they are the Grey Cup champions today. In fact, today they are the back-to-back Grey Cup champions!
“Do I want to beat them because they’re undefeated, yes,” “Do I want to beat them because they are the two-time defending Grey Cup Champions? Yes. But I’ve beat this team 1,000 times, I will see them in the playoffs.”
HELLO! Do you really want to give the Bombers bulletin board material? Do you really think your comments went unnoticed? Do you really think those quotes will not be brought back up come playoff time?
A far better approach would have been that of Zach Collaros when he was asked of what this means in the big picture.
For giving the Bombers more fuel to beat you when they are healthy and when it counts the most, Bo you get the jock.
What did I get right? What did you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.
Written by a Bomber fan, for the Bomber fans.
Follow me on Twitter @DonCruickshank1
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