Written by Guest Blogger: Dorian McLean DorianMcLean.com
There’s something special brewing in Winnipeg that hasn’t been felt for many years.
They’re currently riding a 21 year Grey Cup drought but have been close several times, making it to the big game four times since their last win in 1990.
But that hasn’t stopped the fans from helping set new numbers in season ticket sales at 21,155 as the 2011 season was set to open.
This coupled with the new Winnipeg stadium set to open in 2012 has brought a lot of renewed buzz to the city of Winnipeg.
The Blue Bombers have had two straight sell-out games, something not done since the Milt-Stegall era and are on the verge of selling out two more straight games. If their play continues they could look at a record season at home.
This is all coming from one of the team’s worst seasons in recent history as they fell to 4-14 last season, where they set a new league record with nine games lost by four points or less.
The football club is currently in their bye week and sits alone atop the East standings with a 6-1 record. Such a feat had not been accomplished since 1984.
They lead the league in sacks; three players are in the top ten in interceptions and are combined for eleven. They sit second in rushing by Fred Reid with 496 and two players are combined for six forced fumbles in the top ten.
Quarterback Buck Pierce has stayed relatively healthy all season, something that has been debated much of his career. Pierce has started seven games, has a 6-1 record under his belt this season and shows no signs of slowing down.
The team is doing everything right that they need to do and they are doing it with a team that is full of young players and made up of mostly sophomores.
A team that went ten road games straight without a win has won three this season and the close games they missed out on the last season have been nothing but success for them this year.
The passing of long-time defensive line coach Richard Harris was a tough moment for the team to overcome but they’ve done the man proud and the team has been bonded tighter than it may have been in years past.
Much of the credit has to go towards sophomore head coach Paul LaPolice, who in the off-season surveyed his team and asked for feedback.
That feedback led them to leave the team with roughly the same roster as a year ago and help build on certain areas. That decision has since paid dividends.
Joe Mack, the Vice President and General Manager of Football Operations, has spent his time looking for more talent to help build the teams depth.
Their depth was put to the test in week six when veteran Doug Brown and rookie Dorian Smith were both out and Bryant Turner and Don Oramasionwu both stepped in and the team continued as if nothing happened.
For a team that has struggled offensively out of the gate, the man at head coach must have some real powerful words as they have been a dominant second-half team.
Whatever they’re doing, keep it up.
For previous submissions, be sure to check them out here: http://bit.ly/pSCIiJ – http://bit.ly/pVDBBk