Keith Stokes pulled a Terrell Owens on Friday night, taking a magazine from the goal posts and posing as if reading about his highlights. Unfortunately for Stokes, it was obviously only a short story. His touchdown moment was a short lived celebration as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Stokes who had earlier in the game recovered from a brutal clothes lining in the Bomber end, put himself first and team second with the magazine ploy. Actually his touchdown marked a long awaited celebration, as the Blue waited until there were only six minutes to go in the game to score an offensive touchdown. The lack of offence only confirmed what many Blue bomber fans feared was true, this team is not ready to compete for the playoffs, let alone bring the Grey Cup back to Winnipeg.
Hamilton took away a must win game from Canad Inn stadium, and with it virtually locked up third place for sure in the CFL east, the win keeping the Ti Cats in the hunt for a second place finish and a home playoff reward for the loyal Ti Cat fans that have flocked to Ivor Wynne this year.
Miscues by starting Quarterback Kevin Glenn contributed to the Big Blue loss, fumbles and interceptions at inopportune times helping to seal the Blue‘s fate despite a decent game statically for Glenn. The above mentioned showboating by Stokes, which resulted in a penalty just one of the “selfish” moments on a team that somehow lost the team concept this year.
For the Bombers the road gets significantly harder to travel now, they need help to make the playoffs, with losses for Edmonton and Saskatchewan a necessary ingredient for a Winnipeg berth in the playoffs. Winnipeg has only two games remaining in the season, the 24th against the Eskimos in Edmonton and the 29th when the Stamps travel to Winnipeg. Currently two points behind the Esks and trailing the Riders by four points, time and the schedule are not on the side of the Blue.
Friday night was a must win game, the chance to gain some control over their playoff future. Hamilton took that control away from them with the 20-13 victory, all that’s left for the Bombers is the hope that the Eskimos completely collapse, a situation that seems a lot less likely today than perhaps it did on Thursday. Edmonton only has to win one game to secure their playoff spot, if it’s not Monday, then the 24th might be the night they send the Bombers packing for the 2004 season.