Winnipeg – Winnipeg Blue bomber head coach Mike O’Shea says he’s not a big fan of revisionist history. And O’Shea says the fact that the Bombers have historically found McMahon stadium to be a graveyard will have no bearing on the outcome of their meeting on Friday night. And he’s right. The Stampeders have won 21 of the past 24 Winnipeg visits, and 12 of the last 13. But as O’Shea points out, many of the players on his 2016 club weren’t around for most, if not all, of that dismal record. And so, what happened in the past will have nothing to do with what happens in their Canada Day clash.
What is of significance is the Stampeders have rarely lost at home to anybody in recent years, and venerable old McMahon is a hill all teams have to climb when they come to the foothills.
The Blue Bombers and Stamps both opened the CFL season with losses so there is a little extra emphasis going into game 2 of their respective seasons. The Bombers dropped a 22-14 decision at home to Montreal while the Stampeders were 20-18 losers in B.C.
Calgary has lost some key offensive performers from last year in running back Jon Cornish, and receivers Jeff Fuller and Eric Rogers. Stamps struggled on offence in Vancouver, failing to crack the 300-yard total offence mark and head coach Dave Dickenson says quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, running back Jerome Messam and the rest of the offensive crew plan to up their game this week. The Bombers also had a tough night offensively in their loss to the Als, and O’Shea expects Drew Willy and company to be a lot better. Willy won’t have one of his top weapons, Weston Dressler, who will miss the game with a head injury. Rookie Thomas Mayo takes his place. Willy threw for 210 yards in the fourth quarter of the Montreal game and O’Shea hopes they will pick up in Calgary where they left off vs the Als.
Catch the entire 6-hour broadcast on 680-CJOB as Bob Irving and Doug Brown hit the airwaves at 7pm Manitoba time with the pre-game show, the play by play at 9.