The Winnipeg Jets officially stepped out on the ice Wednesday September 21st for two exhibition games …one in Winnipeg before an ecstatic
sell-out crowd … where they thrilled the fans with a 6-1 victory. The other
game was in Columbus where they lost 5-1. The rosters were made up
of seasoned players and quite a few rookies. Dustin Byfuglien, already a
fan favorite, (as well as yours truly) made known his presence seconds after
the opening face-off with two thundering hits. Then… thirty-seven seconds
later he squared off with Cody Bass. Manitoban born players Kevin Clark, Jason
Gregoire, Troy Bodie and Shayne Wiebe played for the Jets; while Mart
Stuart played for the Bluejackets. Manitoba fans were overjoyed with their
home-grown talent. The third game was played in Nashville, where perhaps due
to the absence of their boisterous fans, they lost 4-3. Their fourth game was
played in Raleigh, North Carolina where they went down to a 4-0 loss. The Hurricanes got two quick goals in the first and followed with two more in the second. It was the Hurricanes first victory in the exhibition season. Winnipeg will take some time to settle into the league, but the fan support will be a tremendous asset. I, for one, will beg, borrow or steal a ticket when the Jets come to Toronto. Go Jets Go!


Winnipeg Blue Bombers (shades of the Vancouver Canucks) By Momma Gouche

Canadian hockey fans had all but etched Vancouver’s name on the Stanley Cup; only to see it scratched in the play-offs. Even though I don’t believe in spooks, it appeared as though Roberto Luongo had some aversion to the TD Arena and put up a deplorable showing. The management chose to stick with Luongo, which – in my opinion – was their undoing. My hometown – Winnipeg Blue Bombers – who have not won the Grey Cup since 1990 – started out with a seven games win streak; only to be stymied back to back loses to a lesser Saskatchewan Rough Riders. They managed to squeak by Montreal 25-23 which put them back on top, but last Saturday, against the Toronto Argonauts, they played their worst game I have ever seen. The Bombers scored a touchdown three minutes into the game, but the Argonauts soon evened it up and then went ahead. In the early 1950’s I had season tickets to the Bomber games and wished to think I understood every play and penalty. What with interceptions, flags, injuries, five changes in quarterbacks and challenges I lost all track of the game. When Clarence Denmark made a brilliant – one handed – catch in the end zone, I thought there might be a chance for Winnipeg to pull themselves out of the dirt. Even in the dying seconds the Bombers almost pulled it off; but Toronto prevailed and won by a single point. Something is very much amiss for a team that opened with such confidence and finesse to be struggling to stay in the game against the worst team in the CFL. Perhaps the management needs to stress the no yards ruling and enforce more discipline on the Bombers over zealous actions.