Dear Winnipeg Blue Bomber Organization,

You don’t know me, not personally, but I am a fan. Yes, still.

I just wanted you to know that we, the collective “we”, do not hate you. Contrary to popular belief, and the overwhelming impression given on twitter, you do indeed have fans left. We’re just a little quieter than the rowdies who love to hear the sound of their own voices and spout their coaching prowess and high school football stats online. Because much like your team, your players, coaches and management, we’re tired of being crapped on for showing support to a struggling team, for staying positive and refusing to bash them. Please do not take that for naiveté or ignorance though. We KNOW there is work to be done. Oh lordy, is there work to be done. But we the few, are the firm believers that feel there are enough “fans” hollering the negative that perhaps, just maybe, the team could use a little positivity.

We’re the ones who quietly but proudly still don our Bomber gear at work on Casual Fridays. We’re the ones with the Alex Suber screen savers, the BB pinnies up on the wall of our offices, the Bomber logo on our phones. We’re the ones NOT regretting our Bomber licence plates or season tickets. We’re the ones filling the stands with hope and staying till the time runs out, win or lose. We’re still here. Answering “The Bombers, who else?” when questioned on who we will cheer for this week.

I am a fan of the New Orleans Saints also. So as you can imagine, last year was a tough one to be a sports fan. I know loss, in the fans sense of the word. I know you can’t win everything all the time. I know you don’t always have a good game, a good season, even a mediocre season. I also know you can come back from shitty times. I know great things can be born out of low moments. You’re on the right track, fellas. Its a slow process, its a rebuild from the ground up. I can see the movements, the changes, the position switches, the new kids in town. You’re on the right track. We’ve derailed enough, lets stay on that track.

I was walking in Safeway a few weeks ago and a stranger, a total stranger, said to me “Wow, you’re pretty brave to be wearing that sweatshirt”. I had to stop for a second and think, hey, was I secretly transported to Regina? DUDE. I’m in Winnipeg. This is our team. What the hell are you talking about? I replied with, “They’re our boys, you have to support our boys”. He muttered an “I suppose” and walked away. Really? In our OWN CITY?

At work I am known as the face of optimism when it comes to Bomber pride. People think I’m crazy. I’ve been called delusional. I’ve been admired for my dedication. I’ve been questioned on how much I actually could possibly know about the team to still be so positive and hopeful. And I surprise just about all but the lowest of naysayers. Because I know the game. Though they generally go away when I say “They are our home team. Who the hell else are you going to cheer for??”. I have one co-worker who will come up to me before each game and request the usual. “Tell me something positive going in, Char.” So I do. I always have something. Some stat, some new player, some kid off of the injury list ready to ball again. He walks away satisfied, perhaps not anymore hopeful but a little less negative.

So there you go, Bombers. We’re still out there. We see Ford ready to plow through men twice his size. We see Max Hall and his potential (because yes, he has potential). We see Alex Hall and Bryant Turner ready and dying to keep us at the top of the Sack Leader list. We see Suber and Johnson and Washington flying, grabbing, switching roles and making plays. We see Markett, the newbie, making ground, making a place for himself. We see our two new big men, Knapp and Jones, in town for four days, expected to know the playbook and somehow managing to give Hall a little more time to make those passes that seemed to just find their rightful owners more often than not. And speaking of rightful owners, can we just talk about Kelly for a minute? Sky High Kelly, grabbing shit out of nowhere. We see our star, our fave, our veteran who doesn’t want to be anywhere but Winnipeg, Edwards, throwing his body around to catch whatever comes in his general direction. My word that man. Please lets just keep that man.

We see this and more. We get bummed when a loss comes our way, just like the negative nellies out there. But we know. We know you’re trying. We know you’re making decisions that you think, in the heat of the moment, are the right ones. We’ve all been there. And yes, it sucks knowing you have lost again. But we’re still here and we’re staying. We see the moves being made behind the scenes. The releases. The acquiring of new talent. Boltus, Brown, Kelly, Sims Walker, Knapp, Jones, and the mighty Bellefeuille who, while the losses have still come, seems to be able to make things happen every now and then. We see the potential now. And for those of us with common sense and patience, we see what this might bring us next year. That’s right. Next year. Not this week. Not right now. Next year people.

So now, when you’re on Twitter or reading those god awful comments on the online newspaper stories, remember this. Not everyone thinks you need to fire every coach and coordinator under the sun. Not everyone thinks the stadium was a waste of money. Not everyone wants to run you all out of town with pitchforks and burning sticks. Just the loud ones do. Us quiet ones? Well, you’ll hear us. At every game. Raising the decibel levels. Because where we are quietly supportive behind a screen, we are loud and mighty at the very moment when you need us to be.

Thanks guys, we got your back.
Go Blue.

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Dear Winnipeg Blue Bomber Organization,

    • Indeed, it’s a compelling argument. However – and there is a “however” – even a Bomber fan such as myself, has to wonder how far fan loyalty extends. You see, I am also a fan of the CFL in general. I much prefer it to the NFL. While watching many games, I am on the edge of my seat until the final whistle. I am a fan of evenly-matched competition, of excitement and of well-played football.
      Despite the halftime score of the Eskies – Bomber game on Friday, I had a sinking feeling in my gut that the Blue would come up short. How sad that they proved me right.
      Part of supporting a team is believing that your team also supports you, the fan. Its goal MUST be to continually improve, both on the field and in the front office. It should feel that the fan support must be earned and not taken for granted, that the fans should not feel that they are being used.
      Yes, I am a Bomber fan. I have been for 50+ years and I will continue to be. But lately I’ve been feeling like a parent who has been shoveling an allowance to a teenage son without so much as an offer in return to mow the lawn.

      • I don’t think there is a player on that team that is using the fans and is not trying his best to earn our support. To my way of thinking, you can only say you’re a fan if you’re with them through the good times and the bad times. Otherwise you’re not a fan, you’re just a good-times Charlie.

      • If I was, as you put it, “a good-time Charlie”, I would have switched allegiance many times over in the past half century. My point was that there must be some quid pro quo from all levels of the organization if the Bombers are to meet their responsibility to the community. And make no mistake, they do have a responsibility, in a financial sense and in the quality of product they put on the field.
        I was merely pointing out that of late there is a serious imbalance that must be addressed and acted upon. As a Bomber fan, I hope they can right the ship. But right now, she’s floundering on the rocks of fan disappointment and public opinion.

  1. I can’t understand the negativity either. I grew up a Rider fan in the midst of many abysmal seasons. I learned loyalty and perseverance from that experience. I brought these qualities with me as I moved to Winnipeg, married a Bomber fan, and use these qualities to support the Winnipeg community.

  2. So true and eloquent! I am just learning the nuances of the game and have done this watching the Bombers…on television only as we live in Edmonton. A Manitoban by birth, the Bombers will always be my team no matter what…so GO BLUE GO! I’m with you in good and bad.

  3. Well said… It’s nice to know someone understands and appreciates the Players and the team as a whole… God Bless… Go Blue… Subermom…

  4. I couldn’t have put it any better myself. My wife and I are season ticket holders, with hers going back to the dark days of the Jeff Reinebold era. Yes it is tough being a Blue Bomber fanatic these days but with the recent changes to the team I think that we are definitely a better team now than we were at the start of this season.

    One thing that the often bandwagon fans of the Blue and Gold tend to forget is that a playoff spot is still well within our grasp. It’s only an 8 team league so anything is possible. I also have to hand it to Rider Fan, Regina for all of it’s faults is a football crazy town. Win or lose you know that Mosaic Field is going to be packed to the rafters with some serious 3 down fans. Green is worn everywhere on game day, the sense of anticipation is palpable. Winnipeg fans need to take a page from that book and believe in their team.

    Things will turn around, my wife and I DO BELIEVE!
    Go Blue Go!

    • So agreed with your letter! I’m also tired of the naysayers! Will ALWAYS stand by my team! We are making changes to make us better and it was sad to see so many empty seats on an evening we were paying tribute to Charles Roberts! Will be there Friday cheering loudly!

    • Yes!! As a BB fan living in Saskatoon it’s noticeable when there’s a Rider game on…everyone and their kids are wearing green. On BB game days I proudly wear my blue and gold and cheer on my team.

  5. We need to learn a lot from the rider fans, our team will turn it around and I am proud to wear my Bomber gear, It would be nice to see the stadium packed with fans wearing Bomber color proudly, win lose or an ugly tie. Go Blue Go.

  6. This person makes it sound like if you do critisize the team, you are somehow not longer a fan. Just because I think the team stinks, doesn’t mean I don’t wear my jersey. Asa season ticket holder, I stay until the final whistle at every game. Just because you have your head up your ass and like to pretend this isn’t the worst team in franchise history doesn’t mean that the rest of us are not as big a fan of the team as you are.

  7. This is my 36 year as a season ticket holder, and I can honestly say this is NOT the worst team in that time. Most games this team fights to the end, the players are trying and are competing. Yes we have work to do, and it is already underway.

    Having sat through the lows of the 70’s, the highs of the 80’s, then the 90’s and the mess it became, I have seen the tides turn. I will forever cheer for my Bombers. You will never find me booing my team. I will boo the opposition, the refs, the decisions made in TO by video review, but I will never boo my own team. This does not mean I am always blindly accepting decisions made, plays called, or outcomes… at those moments I will quietly shake my head and wonder “what the hell were they thinking?”.

    Blue and Gold run deep in my veins. When I got my season tickets I was there with my siblings, my parents and my grandparent. I have raised my kids on believing in, and supporting, the Bombers, come Hell or high water. Now my grandsons have already been taken to their first games by my daughter and son-in-law. They too, will learn to support OUR team the same way the rest in my family do. You cheer, you make as much noise as you can in the stands, and you ALWAYS wear your colours with pride.

    As I always say (and no disrespect to the Rider team or Rider nation)

    I will cheer for an 0-18 Bomber team before I cheer for an 18-0 Rider team (or any other team for that matter)

    • Regina Canadian Blood Services has a “Bleed Green” promo. Too bad the Manitoba branch of CBS won’t (I’ve asked) have a similar promo here. We could bleed what ever colour we wanted. Perhaps we could please whatever league (CFL, NFL, NHL, etc.) we wanted to. It just might be fun.

  8. I respect the loyalty, and I am an equally loyal fan. But with all due respect, we won’t have a team to cheer for if this keeps up! All we have is hope, and the team should listen to the paying customers and fire that damn coach!! I am at every game, and I love the Bombers and always will, but….. open your eyes and realize if this losing and being pathetic every week continues without a massive change in the coaching, attendance will plummet, and we won’t have a team to cheer for! And, that stadium will be added to our property tax bill, because the team will be bankrupt if they don’t do something NOW!

    The Bombers are my favorite team in the world, but if the organization wants to survive, they have to really look at what the problem is, and the problem is that our coach has NO confidence in our offence, and its HIM who cost us the game against Edmonton. NOT COOL!!! I pay plenty of money to support my team, but enough is enough, and we are all being ripped off! SIck of doing the “walk of shame” down University Cres. after EVERY game!!

    Thanks,
    Paying Customer

  9. Excellent comments, Paying Customer. As a taxpayer, it seriously concerns me that we are already paying for the team and the new stadium, and watching the fans drop like flies, it’s concerning that we will all have to pay. I do not attend Bomber games, so it’s hard enough having to pay for something I don’t get to enjoy anyway. Someone needs to step up to the plate and seriously LEAD this team. And Wade Miller is NOT the guy to do it.

  10. Awesome showing of support for our Bombers! I truly believe there are way more Bomber fans out there that feel exactly as the author of this well penned note do!! GO BLUE!!!!

  11. I am a fan and always will be. We are having a season from hell, but crap happens. I prayed you would win the one game this year against Sask. and you did, so I am happy, happy, happy. Next year we are back in the west where we belong and things are bound to get better. Just keep on trying and never give up.

  12. It’s everyone’s fault . The players. The coaching . The organization
    Can’t blame it just on one section it needs to come together as a whole but yes there will still be football loving our city’s game of fans but when you see some things from the inside looking out -it’s hard . Married to a football player you see beyond the ” field problems here” n there are holes but they can be filled ! & were still here .
    Now call my husband up so he can help bring those recievers down too oldies and newbies can be of offering too

  13. Hey … I have to cheer from 2147 miles away, but I’ll always support the team. Like one of the commenters above, I lived through the seventies and even if the team struggled, we hacked it out because, well, that’s what being a fan is. “Fan” is short for “fanatic” … which is someone who maintains a position in the face of all adversity. I’ve always thought it was just as much fun cheering for a losing team than cheering for a winner … but perhaps that’s because in my lifetime I’ve had more experience with the former. But you know what? Eventually … not this year, probably not next, but some year … those guys are gonna win. And man, I remember how sweet that was …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s