Let me go on record from the very start of this post, that I like Swaggerville. For those of you who are unaware, Swaggerville is the name that Winnipeg Blue Bombers defense has given itself. You can read about it here and here. What I particularly like about Swaggerville is that it is taking flight in things like t-shirts and tattoos.
Let’s face it, the CFL operates on paper thin margins at the best of times. The Bombers, in addition to this are in the process of moving into a new stadium and will want to sell as many seasons for next season as early as possible. The birth of Swaggerville and the merchandise that goes with, will help the Bombers in both of these areas. Plus, the impetus for this is coming from the local level as opposed to the CFL corporate offices.
As long as the corporate types stay out of this, this is also a great opportunity for local, small businesses to make some extra dollars for themselves. As Thursday’s announcement on the impending closure of Aqua Books should remind us, even successful local businesses are not that far away from being in difficult straits. If the Bombers success continues, Swaggerville will provide a boon to more than just the team itself, and as such I think the whole Swaggerville motif should be continued.
However, the key to all this is “if the Bombers success continues…” The flip side of the Swaggerville debate is whether or not the Bombers have move too far too quickly in celebrating their prowess, given that the season is only one-third over. I don’t particularly care if Swaggerville gets other teams upset. Playing for the mental edge might backfire, but it can also work out well.
The bigger concern is that the Bombers start believing it themselves, to the point where they think they can turn it on at anytime. Or perhaps that all they have to do is step on the field and their opponent’s offense is already defeated. Tonight’s game against the B.C. Lions will be a good test of that.
One of the things I’ve noticed about the Bombers in the last 3 or 4 years is that they seem to have trouble winning the games they are supposed to win. The games where the opponent is playing really poorly. The games where the opponent has lost one or more key starters.
Tonight is such a game for the Bombers. The B.C. Lions are 1-5. Yes, they won last week. Yes, they are playing at home. Yes, they added Arland Bruce to complement the devastating Geroy Simons(why did the Bombers ever let him get away. I know they also had Bruce, but for all his talent Bruce has had a habit of drifting in and out of games at times). In spite of all this they are still 1-5. This is a game the Bombers should win, and if they bring the Swag, I suspect they will.
Yet, I still have a niggling doubt in the back of my mind that they’ll bring the t-shirts and leave their game at home. More than the Eskimos game, I think winning against the Lions, of all teams, will do the most to show how far the Bombers have come or need to go.
Final Score: Bombers 30 Lions 16
**One last thing. The CFL has been doing a good job of things overall, but they have to move Argos-Ticats back to Labour Day.**