Fogg in the football forecast as veteran DB makes his return to the Peg
Kevin Fogg remains forever grateful for his three-year run with the Blue Bombers.
But if there’s any regret, it’s that the veteran defensive back and kick returner was never part of a championship team, coming close in the’Peg but never able to get over the proverbial hump.
Fogg is now an Argonaut and a handful of his new teammates can thank Winnipeg for helping Toronto during its Grey Cup run of two years ago.
Fogg was with the Bombers in 2017 when they paid a late-season visit to BMO Field.
The outcome wasn’t decided until the very end when Winnipeg placekicker Justin Medlock, as good as it gets in the CFL, missed a field goal he normally makes in his sleep with no time left on the clock.
The Argos kicked the football from the end zone and straight out of bounds to preserve the win, creating momentum that helped the franchise win it all.
“I do remember that game, a pretty crazy game,’’ said Fogg, who was on the receiving end of another bitter loss last week when Chris Rainey stepped on the end line following a missed B.C.
Lions field goal attempt on the final play of regulation time that produced the winning point in an 18-17 Lions victory.
He also remembers the circumstances that led to his football path to Winnipeg.
During the 2015 NFL pre-season, Fogg was auditioning for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was released but would soon learn that his CFL rights were owned by Winnipeg.
“I just heard it was cold,’’ said Fogg when asked if he had any knowledge of the city. “I heard the nickname was Winterpeg. I wasn’t happy about that. It was good, though, a good experience the last three years there. It was worth it. But it’ll be good to go back.”
Fogg joined the Blue Bombers in 2016 after sitting out the 2015 season.
When he lined up with Winnipeg’s first-team defence and went toe-to-toe with the team’s offensive starters, there were guys such as Darvin Adams, Andrew Harris, Matt Nichols and Stanley Bryant who tested him.
Adams began his career in Toronto, but the receiver couldn’t stay healthy.
In Winnipeg, he has evolved into one of the premier pass catchers in the league.
Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea, meanwhile, got his sideline start in Toronto.
“He was awesome,’’ Fogg said of O’Shea, who won a Grey Cup as a player and later as an assistant under Scott Milanovich in 2012. “Great coach, a fiery guy. Awesome to play for. It’ll be good to see him, a good little reunion. I’m excited to go back.”
Outside of Regina, there’s no better CFL market than Winnipeg, a heightened football culture when the team is winning and the scrutiny increased.
“I actually built a lot of great relationships,’’ said Fogg of his non-football time in Winnipeg.
“It’ll be good to see some people there.”
The Argos are winless heading into their Friday night matchup, but improvements have been made.
“It’s getting a lot better, especially with me being new to the team,’’ said Fogg. “Those are the positives you want to see. You don’t want to see where guys are breaking their trust, going in an opposite way and not try to come together, but it’s been good.
“We’re taking the necessary strides. With coach Chamb (Corey Chamblin) you have a great leader and he knows how to deal with adversity. Looking back at how things happened with them (Argos when Chamblin served as the team’s defensive coordinator) and to see the roller-coaster they had then and to see the adversity they kept fighting through. That speaks a lot about character, it speaks a lot about a culture and for him (Chamblin) to be one of the main guys to help with that I’m excited to be here with him.”
PUNCTURING BOMBERS ‘D’ HOLDS KEY TO ARGOS
For years, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been known for their streak of Grey Cup futility, a run of failing to win that elusive ring matched only by the Ticats.
But at least Hamilton won it all in 1999, while Big Blue most recently captured the CFL championship back in 1990.
Argos fans may remember the epic East final played at the old Winnipeg Stadium in the fall of 1990 when the Mike Riley-coached Bombers advanced to the Grey Cup on the leg of field goal kicker Trevor Kennerd.
The Bombers play host to the Argos on Friday night, winless Toronto versus unbeaten Winnipeg in a matchup that should favor the home team.
“We’re both 0-0 this week,’’ said former Bombers linebacker Ian Wild, who joined the Argos this off-season in free agency.
If anything, the CFL remains an exciting product because of it is so unpredictable, any team capable of beating any opponent on any given week.
Keep in mind, though, that the Argos offence has scored just three touchdowns in three games while Winnipeg’s defence has not allowed a major in the past 10 quarters, a stretch of 34 successive opponents drives without a touchdown. On top of that, Winnipeg’s defence has not yielded 24 rushing yards in two of its three games with none longer than eight yards.
A win Friday and the Bombers improve to 4-0, a start not seen in the ’Peg since 2003.