Berry ditches ‘ bland’ brand
Coach who was quiet in Winnipeg a real chatterbox in Regina
EDMONTON— There’s dip to make, nachos to bake and beer to chill so let’s get right to it and make our Grey Cup prediction. Team of destiny is a cliché and I don’t buy into it. Revenge, redemption, or whatever you want to call it doesn’t figure into this game either.
Unfinished business? Taking out the trash or calling g a client back falls into that category, but winning a football game has nothing to do with losing one a year ago.
With that out of the way, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will wi win the Grey Cup and it won’t have a anything to do with the 13thman man calamity calamit that cost them last year’s CFL title game. gam Riders QB Q Darian Durant is on the precipice precipic of being this league’s next dominant do passer and ma he needs a Grey Cup win to shove Als pivot p Anthony Calvillo aside.
Calvillo’s going to the Hall of Fame and before he’s done will likely hold most CFL passing records. He’s at the absolute height of his game.
But Durant has been nipping at his ankles for some time and it’s time for a bigger bite. Montreal’s secondary is suspect and Durant will shred it.
Bum Phillips made a memorable remark about his Houston Oilers and their dogged pursuit of the Pittsburgh Steelers back in the late ’ 70s.
“ One year ago, we knocked on the door. This year, we beat on the door. Next year, we’re gonna kick the son-of-a-bitch in,” said Phillips.
Next year has arrived for Durant and the Riders.
LIFE LESSONS: Expect Riders offensive co-ordinator Doug Berry to be the next head coach in Regina should Ken Miller decide to step down this offseason. Berry was gassed by the Bombers after three straight playoff seasons and a trip to the Grey Cup in his three-year stint as head coach in Winnipeg.
The Bombers have gone 11-25 and been shut out of the post-season since Berry’s departure. The guy can coach, but for mostly cosmetic reasons — poor rapport with media, players and fans — he was run out of Winnipeg. Berry says that won’t happen again. “ I coached in the collegiate game for a long time and a big part of that job was building the brand to help in recruiting. I got away from that in Winnipeg and in particular with the media. In retrospect that was my biggest mistake — to not build the brand when we had the opportunity,” said Berry. “ I consider myself a friendly person and I like to talk to the media.
“ I don’t know where it all started or when it all started, but I had a stigma in Winnipeg that I was unapproachable. That’s not me.”
IKE’S STILL CHOKED: Former Bombers linebacker Ike Charlton will be on the 46-man roster today for the Alouettes but will it’s unlikely he’ll dress. Charlton was released by the Bombers early this season and then spent six weeks at home until the Als brought him in as an insurance policy.
A Grey Cup win will be nice but it won’t take away from bad feelings Charlton has about the way he was treated on the way out of Winnipeg.
“ I did whatever that organization asked of me. I worked with the young guys and tried to be a leader and I was good in the community. They didn’t even try to trade me. Coach ( Paul) LaPolice had a little smirk on his face when he released me. Joe Mack never even spoke to me.”
Saskatchewan Roughriders offensive co-ordinator Doug Berry is actually a happy-go-lucky chap, who was misunderstood in Winnipeg.
gary. lawless@ freepress. mb. ca