Bo Bowling may be the most patient guy in Canada. Coming out of the bye week break, the Alouettes’ possible future kick-returner will have to do what he does best.
Trent Guy has healed up since Bowling last returned eight punts for 84 yards (a single- season high for Montreal and a career best for Bowling) in sloppy weather conditions during the team’s road victory in Winnipeg.
“It’s so hard to be patient but I love doing this,” says the 24-year old from Tonkawa, Oklahoma (he tells me population 3,500, but census figures show the town has dwindled to 3,216 since 2010). “It’s tough on me, tough sitting here. I have to be patient and humble.”
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The 5-foot-9, 183-pound receiver is well-practiced at that. Bowling came out of Oklahoma State only to be part of the NFL lockout freeze of college free agents. He’d worked out for about a dozen teams at Oklahoma State pro day and talked to a few with ultimately nothing developing in part because of the labour strife.
The Alouettes were his best and only next chance.
“Brandon Whitaker and SJ Green have been great, helping me, talking to me. They were on the practice roster for what, two, three years before they became starters? I’ll be the same way. I talk to them about it.”
“I’m just being the good soldier. I want to win. I love playing for Coach Trestman. I’m going to stay here; it’s a long season still.”
The Alouettes’ special teams have been an area of concern, but the unit banded together in Week 6. Guy is averaging five yards per return, while Bowling has returned kicks for an average of 8.6.
The CFL average is 10.4
After attending training camp in 2011, he never imagined he’d have to wait until the 18th and final game of the regular season to return all of three punts and register one reception.
“I talk to my dad every day. I get emotional about it because he’s my best friend. When things are wearing on me, we talk.”
Danny Bowling was Bo’s first coach. In Tonkawa, kids are enrolled in the school of hard knocks on-field classes in 1st Grade. Some Oklahoma towns are so small, the kids play in eight-on-a-side leagues.
Maybe the Als will again let Bowling hit those holes at some point this season. Their roulette wheel of returners hasn’t stopped spinning for several years while Larry Taylor and Chad Owens have established themselves elsewhere.
Bowling will be a free agent in 2013. He’ll make a decision when the time comes.
“It’s going to rise again.”
Rick Moffat is the Voice of the Montreal Alouettes on CJAD 800. He works alongside former CFL Dave Mudge. Moffat's first attended Grey Cup was as a fan in '77 - the infamous Tony Proudfoot "Staple Game". Rick is proud to say he had his first beer at an Als' game during the Marv Levy Era. Follow Rick on Twitter @RickMoffat.