WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Jim Speros says the Grey Cup is coming to Baltimore. He just doesn't know which year it arrives.
"Because Hamilton and Baltimore are so close, no one is going to come out a loser," the Baltimore CFLs owner said. "One of us is going to get it in '96 and the other in '97."
Reg Low, chairman of the 1996 Grey Cup bid committee and president of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, didn't go quite that far. But he said yesterday that his personal recommendation will be to award the 1996 and 1997 games at the same time from a group of bidders that includes Baltimore; Hamilton, Ontario; and Edmonton, Alberta.
Low said his four-man committee will review the bids next week, then submit its recommendation to the Canadian Football League board of governors. A vote is expected on Aug. 8.
Speros' preference is to bring the 1996 Grey Cup to Memorial Stadium.
"My stance is, I want '96," he said.
Low said his committee is still waiting to receive Baltimore's guarantee of $3.1 million in revenue, which must come from the city.
"We're still waiting for final word in Baltimore," he said. "Hamilton has its guarantee in place. Edmonton has its guarantee in place.
"As chairman of the bid committee, first of all I want to make sure we get the best deal for the league. Secondly, I want to make sure the bidding city isn't going to get hurt."
Eric Holsinger, who served 4 1/2 years with the Orioles as vice president/chief financial officer, has joined the CFLs in the same capacity.
"It was the last front-office position I was looking for," Speros said. "It's good to have a financial guy with a sports background. It strengthens the organization. I'm happy I got such a qualified guy."
Until now, Joe Namath -- not that Joe Namath -- handled the team's finances as vice president of operations.
Namath will return to private business, but will be retained on a consulting basis, Speros said.
The chicken man
In Vancouver, British Columbia, they called it the "cricket dance." But Baltimore rush end O. J. Brigance said he doesn't really have a name for his impromptu celebration after a sack.
"I enjoy playing the game," Brigance said, "and I'm going to celebrate when something good happens. A lot of times I get so excited, I don't realize what I'm doing. My wife will say, 'What were you doing out there?' "
Brigance, who ranked second in the CFL with 20 sacks for the B.C. Lions last season, had two going into last night's game. But he showed off his sack celebration last week in Baltimore for the first time in a 40-24 victory over Shreveport. It resembled a rooster walk, with pronounced leg and arm movements.
After rushing for 62 yards in the season opener, the CFLs have run for 127 yards each of the next two games. Coach Don Matthews said offensive coordinator and line coach Steve Buratto did some tinkering with the blocking schemes.
"Coach Buratto adjusted the schemes," Matthews said. "We're doing a better job of blocking. And [Mike] Pringle is a hard back to bring down."
John Lopez, head trainer with the CFLs, worked a double shift last weekend. He was at Memorial Stadium so late after last Saturday's game against Shreveport taking care of injured players that he stayed at the stadium for Sunday afternoon's Chesapeake Classic, a high school all-star game.