Bombers GM Walters, assistant McManus, get their day in the sun | Toronto Sun
CALGARY — Standing at one end of the Blue Bomber locker-room Sunday night, observing the craziness going on around him, assistant GM Danny McManus showed off his left hand.
On one finger was the 1990 championship ring he won as the Bombers’ backup quarterback.
“I get to get rid of this school ring and get a bigger one,” McManus said. “With Wade in charge, I think we’re gettin’ a bigger one. He’s got big fingers.”
With that he laughed, joining maybe 100 others crammed into the champagne-and-beer-soaked room doing the same thing.
McManus has been scouting the U.S. for the Bombers for six years, joining the regime of president Wade Miller, GM Kyle Walters and head coach Mike O’Shea when they took over.
“It’s the culmination of the whole season,” he said of the Grey Cup win. “Accomplishing what you set out to do from Day 1. I kept preaching this to them. It’s the process that we use. Guys buy into that, and this is what you get for it.”
McManus earned rings in B.C. and Hamilton, too, winning Grey Cup MVP honours with the Ticats in ’99.
One of his teammates that season was standing next to him in the Winnipeg locker-room.
“Unbelievable,” Walters said. “It’s so surreal. I’m a Canadian kid from a small town, that played in the CFL, that loves the CFL. The feeling I have right now is the same feeling I remember from 1999. I like to take a back seat and watch. I’m so excited to just look over and see how happy everybody is. It’s unbelievable. We earned this.”
A product of St. Thomas, Ont., Walters says it might even be more gratifying to win now than when he was 20 years younger.
“More gratifying in this role,” he said. “This is what we’ve been building towards.”
Perhaps it’s because he’s gone through some lean years here: a 4-14 season coaching special teams in 2010 and a 3-15 campaign three years later, as the assistant GM under Joe Mack.
Walters has also taken his share of heat as the GM over the last six years.
His hand in bringing the Grey Cup to Winnipeg for the first time in 29 is undeniable, though, his 11th-hour trade for quarterback Zach Collaros putting an already strong team over the top.
Tuesday’s parade, snow or shine, will be his day in the sun.
“I’m so happy for all the hard work we’ve done and keeping the group together,” Walters said. “It’s unbelievable for the city. Get ready for the party.”