Do you realize what the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have become? The Toronto Maple Leafs, that’s what.
We know this to be a certainty because, in yet another disastrous, last-place season that can best be described as The Barnum, Bailey & Blue Bombers Circus, exactly one person has paid a price for any wrongdoing with the Winnipeg Football Club—Paul LaPolice.
There’ll be no attempt here to revisit the removal of LaPolice as head coach eight games into a 6-12 campaign that was equal parts horror show, slapstick and pure incompetence, because I’m not into flogging horses, dead or otherwise.
The thing is, anyone who follows Blue-and-Gold (mis)fortunes can tell you the coaching change changed nothing. Buck Pierce kept getting hurt, Joey Elliott/Alex Brink kept throwing interceptions, Gary Crowton kept proving he knew very little about three-down football, players kept suffering brain cramps and taking undisciplined penalties, and Teflon Joe Mack the GM kept making no sense by talking about coaches having the bad manners to die.
So, in the results-driven business that is professional football, the mind boggles at the notion that Paul LaPolice—and only Paul LaPolice— pays for the sins of this Sad Sack season.
There is, of course, something to be said for continuity, and lord knows the Winnipeg Football Club has already paid enough people to not coach and/or generally manage. That’s seldom a good way of conducting business. Especially if it’s going to cost you half a million bucks, which is what Teflon Joe is due over the next two Canadian Football League seasons.
Raise your hand if this makes sense to you.
I mean, Teflon Joe has been generally managing this once-proud franchise for three seasons. He has a 19-34 record. He has twice finished in last place. He wouldn’t know a quarterback if Peyton Manning was standing in front of him.
Meanwhile, the man he gave the head coaching job to after deep-sixing LaPolice has a 3-6 record and is guilty of making some of the most brainless decisions ever conceived. That would be Tim Burke, who, until Thursday, was the interim head coach.
He’s now the permanent head coach. Or at least he is until the Bombers do what they always do, which is pay him to not coach after two seasons.
So Teflon Joe stays on as GM. Burke gets a promotion.
Oh, I almost forgot. Gary Crowton, the architect of the CFL’s worst offence east of Edmonton, returns to devise his head-scratching game plans which usually mean passing the ball when you should be running the ball.
Terrific. Everyone keeps his job.
And for what? For finishing in last place? Again?
This certainly challenges logic.
But, hey, not to worry. Flip, Flop and Fly will now be held accountable. If they soil the sheets in 2013, they’ll be run out of Dodge.
This is a truism because Garth Buchko, the radio guy with zero football background and even less football know-how, says so.
““Next year we have to win,” is how the CEO with no gridiron cred put it on Thursday when advising the people that pay his salary that he doesn’t give a damn what they think. “We could line up excuses for this year. But we’re not in the excuse business. We have to be responsible. There are no excuses next year. We have to be accountable to wins.”
Next year? Who’s accountable for this year?
Oh, yeah. Paul LaPolice, who was 2-2 in his final four games before being ambushed by Teflon Joe.