Winnipeg – To say it was one of the strangest, weirdest touchdown catches in CFL history might be stretching it. But maybe not. Late in the second quarter of the Blue Bombers 28-24 win in Hamilton last Thursday, Winnipeg receiver Ryan Smith caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Drew Willy. Really, though, Smith didn’t “catch” the ball. Well, actually he did, but it was how he “caught” the ball that had everybody talking. Smith was not looking at his quarterback when the ball arrived on his right hip. Incredibly, the football stuck there for a second, like it had been velcroed onto Smith’s pants, and a split second later, Smith, while still running full speed, got his right hand into position to actually squeeze the football. After the game, Smith said he was as befuddled as everyone else about what exactly happened on the play. Bomber head coach Mike O’Shea was among those who couldn’t quite believe what he had just seen.
“I don’t even know how to describe it, like a Matrix kind of thing. There is one replay that I look at, that you cannot see the ball coming in and then all of a sudden it appears on his hip. I equate it to a Bob Wiley magic trick or something like that. It’s going to be one of those things that I’m just happy to be a part of. It should get a lot of replays for a long time because it’s extremely odd” said O’Shea.
The crazy Smith touchdown was key in the Bombers securing their first win of the season. But there was no wild celebration afterward in the Bomber locker room. This is a team that won only 5 games last year and has been life and death to win back to back games in recent years. As important as the victory was in bringing the Bombers 2016 record to 1-2, it’s just a one game win streak. It will take more than that for the Bombers to convince anyone that they are on the right track. They get their next chance to do just that on Thursday night when the high scoring Grey Cup Champion Edmonton Eskimos come to Investors Group Field.