Winnipeg – Following their final full practice leading up to Friday’s CFL season opener against Montreal, Winnipeg Blue Bomber head coach Mike O’Shea was asked about the importance of winning the first game. O’Shea’s response was interesting and it demonstrated that he fully appreciates the significance of on-field success in a league that is still financially gate-driven to a large extent.
“For the standings, for the room, for the team and for the city, these are all important things that I know on the business side we all think about” said O’Shea. “The players recognize the importance of our fan base and they respect that. Winning is always good for everybody and that’s the plan, to go out and win.”
Added O’Shea”The players like performing, we are in the entertainment business and we like performing in front of a full house. So we have to win to get our building packed, play our hardest so the fans get full enjoyment out of it. It’s fun when the fans are into it. I’ve seen places where the fans aren’t into it and you’re just playing a game. You get personal enjoyment out of it but I think the experience is far greater when you get your fans involved”
Regarding Friday’s opener against Montreal, Oshea said “Yeh, I was fired up today, you could just feel it. I don’t know, I’m sure the other guys could feel it to, just getting that much closer to game time, the players are in a pretty good mood.”
Likely not in a very good mood was running back Andrew Harris. He was a spectator at practice after suffering a suspected hamstring strain toward the end of Tuesday’s practice. A decision on his status won’t be made until Thursday but Harris has to be considered doubtful. If he can’t play, American Timothy Flanders will get the start at running back.