They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and that was on full display at practice with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Monday.
A young fan was in attendance dressed as head coach Mike O’Shea, presumably in advance of Halloween. The child sported a bushy blond beard, a headset, a hat and hoodie featuring the team’s logo, and a navy blue parka.
The team posted a video on Twitter of the youngster meeting a number of the team’s players including franchise quarterback Zach Collaros, star pass-rusher Willie Jefferson, and middle linebacker Adam Bighill. He also had an opportunity to meet the coach himself.
It’s not surprising to see young fans in Winnipeg wanting to emulate O’Shea given his run of success since becoming the head coach of the team in 2014. He has an 81-58 regular season record with the Blue Bombers and has gone 68-30 since Week 6 of the 2016 season. The club has won back-to-back Grey Cups under his leadership and is slated to host the West Final on Sunday, Nov. 13.
O’Shea is the fifteenth-winningest head coach in CFL history and the third-longest-tenured head coach in the history of the Blue Bombers behind Bud Grant and Cal Murphy. If he remains in Winnipeg after this year — he is not under contract for next season — O’Shea is on pace to surpass Murphy late in 2023 and Grant early in 2024.
The Blue Bombers (14-3) will host the B.C. Lions (12-5) on Friday in their final regular season game of the year. The contest does not mean anything in the standings as the two teams have already clinched first and second place in the West Division, respectively.