Larks 38 – Bomber 33: “Twelve Dollars.”

10:30am (EDT)
Time to get of the office and climb a ladder made of transport trucks up the 401 to Pearson International Airport.

1:05pm (EDT)
WS103 pushes back from the gate to start its journey to River City.

2:39pm (CDT)
The Blue Bastard arrives in Winnipeg. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

3:30pm (CDT)
An unauthorized self-tour of new Investors Group Field. (Full review sometime this weekend.)

The TSN panel getting ready. Who let PauLa back into the city?

The TSN panel getting ready. Who let PauLa back into the city?

4:00pm (CDT)
Already beating the traffic out of IGF to rendezvous with tonight’s chauffeur. Time for the Heineken pre-game.

5:45pm (CDT)
Back in in full game gear and parked in Q lot at the University of Manitoba. More beer, burgers and apparently a birthday cake which would miraculously find itself on the ground before being served.

Q lot now has more than one reason for being.

Q lot now has more than one reason for being.

7:00pm (CDT)
Out of beer, no problem though, can’t be any more expensive than Toronto inside IGF. Strange, four gates named after Hall of Fame Blue Bombers yet only two are open. Gotta save money to pay for the metal detectors I suppose.

Somewhere inside there's a beer price related crime happening.

Somewhere inside there’s a beer price related crime happening.

7:14 (CDT)
Lost the Bastard Phone for the first time of the evening. Thanks random citizen for picking it up and returning it!

7:15pm (CDT)
Ah. Beer time once more!  All beer lines backed up from one wall to the other. Thankfully this one appears to be moving quickly.

The Blue Bastard (BB): “Two Stellas please!”
Beer Witch (BW): “Nope, you can have one and your friend can have one.”
BB: “Two Stellas please!”
BW: “One per person.”
BB: “What country am I in? Saudi Arabia?”
BW: “I don’t make the rules.”
BB: “No but I bet you voted for the NDP. Fine. One for me and one for my friend.”
BW: “He already has one in his hand, he can’t have another.”
BB: “Actually that’s a Bug Light which I don’t think qualifies as being real beer. They sell it beside the pop at Super Store.”
BW: “You want your beer or not?”
BB: “I bet if I threw you 100 feet over there into the Red River you’d float…” Sighs. “Fine, ONE Stella.”
BW: Visibly showing a complete lack of a sense of humour. “Twelve dollars.”
BB: “No, no, I said one Stella, can’t break the rules by having two.”
BW: Points to the sign shown below.

Investors Group Field -- home to the most expensive beer anywhere in Canada. Enjoy suckers!

Investors Group Field — home to the most expensive beer anywhere in Canada. Enjoy suckers!

BB: Defeated, hands over a new twenty dollar bill. “This is the most I have ever paid for a beer in my life and I’ve been to Toronto.”
BW: “Six dollars is your change.” Drops a loonie into a 50 gallon tub of ice and water.
BB: “The justice I am owed by watching you stick your arm neck deep into that shivering tub of ice and water is outweighed by the injustice you continue to suffer the good citizens of Bomberland whom are patiently waiting in line behind me to repeat our mutually unsatisfactory transaction. Keep it and realize how wrong it was to vote for the NDP when Selinger takes that extra penny after you spend it Monday.”

7:37PM (CDT)
Missing the public officials of this province congratulating themselves on a job well done (but wasn’t really). Milt Stegal comes out (in the blue and gold with pads!) to catch a pass from Matt Dunigan (in the blue and gold without pads)! HURRAH! The season is saved! Milt’s back in the line up and playing! High fives all around. That’s also the end of the first $12 Stella.

7:56PM (CDT)
The smart money says we’re seconds away from a fly by by the herc. Everyone is hoping for at least the snow birds, or maybe, just maybe, a pair or trio of F-18s to make some noise.

7:57 (CDT)
Nope. The uninspiring herc is orbiting to the south just over the perimeter. Deep down I know that won’t be the last disappointment of the evening.

7:59 (CDT)
The herc is flying over. Can’t see a damn thing. The roof completely obscures the view. Oh well.

CC-130 not seen by anyone in the upper deck.

CC-130 not seen by anyone in the upper deck.

8:00 (CDT)
It’s coming back around again for the poor souls on the East side who can’t see through the roof! Annnnnd nope. Still can’t see it. At least this seat won’t get wet from rain.

8:01 (CDT)
BLUUUUEEE!

13:48 Q1 (0-0):
The first Bomber play from scrimmage! Here it comes! Buck steps into the pocket… Throws… WRONG TEAM ASSHOLE!

11:55 Q1 (7-0 Larks):
New coaches, same damn dinosaur behind center, same result. Touchdown.

10:10 Q1 (7-0 Larks):
Bombers answer with a two-and-out. Here comes the punt. Milt Stegal is not playing after all. What a dirty trick!

09:58 Q1 (14-0 Larks):
That sure didn’t take long. Fuck. How much did I spend to get here?

It took less than five minutes.

“Fan Helpline?!?! OK, good.  Please help!!!  Someone is letting Paul LaPolice coach again!  14-0 already five minutes into the game!  Come to think of it LaPolice sounds a little french too, ya know?  If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… well…”

02:15 Q1 (14-10 Larks):
Bomber TOUCHDOWN!

09:02 Q2 (17-11 Larks):
In a different line for beer.  This time I’m going to get a $10 domestic.

07:15 Q2 (20-11 Larks):
BB: “Bud please.”
BW: “We’re all out of domestic, Stella only.”
BB: “Is that a sick joke? Who told you I was coming over here?”
BW: “What?”
BB: “You ran all out of cheap beer in the second quarter?”
BW: “Yeah, guess so.”
BB: “Wow. What a scam. Joke’s on me.”
BW: “Twelve dollars please.”

Half time (23-13 Larks):
At least we’re not shut out and there’s still lots of time left. The half time show is very uninspiring but has a Grey Cup like feel to it. Waiting in line for beer again.

11:32 Q3 (27-23 Bombers):
What? Just like that we’re winning? WOOOHOOO! All is forgiven. High fives all around. Suddenly everyone is having a very good time.

12:01 Q4 (33-24 Bombers):
The Bombers are on third down deep in their own end.  Tim, give ’em two. Don’t be an idiot, they’ll get a field goal at a minimum.

11:20 Q4 (33-24 Bombers):
Oh you fucking idiot. You really screwed the pooch on that one. Have you forgotten last year’s Banjo Bowl already? Tying your noose already I see. Keep going jack ass.

10:17 Q4 (33-31 Bombers):
See! That really worked out. It took AC all of two plays to score a TD. Sure glad you didn’t give up the safety! Still winning by two… Should be able hold on here. Just need a little help from Buck, although he’s due for his injury any second.

09:47 Q4 (33-31 Bombers):
Ah and Buck’s limping, just noticed.

04:28 Q4 (34-33 Larks):
Lark field goal.  There goes the lead.

01:41 Q4 (37-33 Larks):
Lark field goal.  The hole deepens.

00:25 Q4 (38-33 Larks):
Buck’s third interception. Well done sir. Way to lead us out of the fire. That’s the game.

"Man it's hard throwing all these interceptions. Good thing I'll be taking practice off Sunday." - Buck Pierce.

“Man my arm is sore from throwing all these interceptions. Good thing I’ll be taking practice off Sunday.” – Buck Pierce.

11:30? (CDT)
What a bunch of crap. I suppose we should just be thankful it was close. How long it will take to get out of the parking lot here is anyone’s guess.

11:40? (CDT)
Lost the Bastard Phone for the second time while emptying my bladder in the ditch. Thankfully it was easily found.

12:00? (CDT)
Switched vehicles for the final leg of the trip back to the weekend’s lodging. The Bastard Phone is nowhere to be found and has been lost for a third and final time.  A fitting end to the night.

Post Game Rant

The good guys had this one but again demonstrated how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Buck Pierce had numbers typical of last year. 19/34 for 258 yards, 2 TD and 3 Ints. AC’s are about the same, the difference being he only threw one interception. This is reflected by the final score of 38-33. Although both teams had two touchdowns as a result of possessions from interceptions, the Larks had a field goal off another and ended the game for the bombers with Buck’s third gift in the 4th. Buck was not good enough to win and he wears this one along with Tim. Had he been able to move the ball more in the final frame the bombers would have had better field position and the defence may have been able to turn two field goals into punts for the win.

Tim Burke’s decision to punt instead of conceding the safety at 11:20 of the 4th quarter reeks of insanity.

Above: definition of insanity.

Above: The definition of insanity.

Let’s go back to September 9, 2012 at the Banjo Bowl. In his second game as head coach Tim Burke decided to punt for the coffin corner instead of trying for the long field goal with time running out in the 4th. Renault booted the ball through the end zone and gave the Inbreds great field position to drive for the game winning field goal as time expired.

Against the Larks on Thursday, instead of taking a safety and pushing the opposition back into their own end he decides to punt. This tactical error resulted in the Larks being at the Bomber 44 with a first down. It was an average punt, 43 yards, that only had a two yard return so you can’t blame special teams for giving up a lot of ground. Even if the Larks didn’t get any further down field they would’ve tried and had a good chance of making the ensuing field goal. The one point difference between a safety and a field goal does not justify the cost of field position. This was wrong and stupid, anyone with a basic grasp of CFL strategy knows it. Tim Burke was rewarded for his incompetency two plays later with a 43 yard AC to S. J. Green touch down.

Tim, did you think AC would let you get away with a mistake like that? This was the turning point of the game and the Larks did not look back. The Bombers ended up losing by 5 points which happens to be the point differential between a safety and a converted touchdown.

Step 1: Make two loops and cross the end behind their midpoint.

Step 1: Make a figure 8 and cross the end of the rope behind its midpoint.

The defence played well enough to win. The lousy Larks were held to 354 yards of total offence.  Can’t blame them.  They were in AC’s face for much of the night.

Specials teams gave up a TD but also had one of their own to cancel it out.

In the end incompetency was the word of the day.  Tim Burke blew it in the 4th and Buck Pierce kept throwing it away.

The Larks looked every bit as much as predicted with all new coaching staff.  They were very unsure of themselves and especially their new offence.  They had a proven winner leading them at QB to take advantage of what was given to them by the Bombers (turnovers, and a really bad decision to punt that was basically a turnover).  In football that’s all you really need to do.

The team from the most corrupt city in Canada is ready to lose. If Buck plays to his abilities and Burke can keep his head out of his ass, the bombers will have their revenge in the rematch on Thursday.

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