CFHOF Profile: James West

j-westThe Winnipeg Blue Bombers have had a rough time over the last few years as they are a team that has been unable to win a Grey Cup in more than two decades.

The Bombers’ last Grey Cup came in 1990 and since then they have been back but have been unable to take home the ultimate prize.

It wasn’t always that way though as the Bombers were once a very strong team that were constantly a team to watch.

They are the team with the most Grey Cup appearances in the CFL and are the third best team in terms of wins, with 10 total Grey Championships.

The Bombers have a proud tradition but recently they have faltered in their attempts to get back to being a dominant team.

Teams like that can never be held down forever as eventually, they will always come back to win games.

It might take a while but the Bombers will be back and will compete again.

For now, though, as they wait for that time they can look back at a time when they were a team to be feared.

They will get some help in looking back as they honour a couple of legendary Bombers who enter the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

One of those big names will be James West who helped lead the Bombers’ defence become one of the best of the era.

When West was on the field it was clear that the other team was going to have a rough day as he remained one of the most feared linebackers in the league.

Alongside Tyrone Jones, West formed one of the best pairs in the middle of the defence throughout the country.

The reputation that both brought to the league was half of the battle as they immediately made teams plan for them.

It was tough to go up the middle and every team knew that as they were forced to change their game plan knowing they had to deal with the pair of linebackers.

That can be huge for a team as they completely remove plays from a playbook and limit a team.

Of course to do that they need to be great in order to get that reputation and West certainly fit the bill.

With 460 total tackles and 51.5 sacks in his career, West was great in the passing game and the run game able to shut down teams.j-west2

His attitude was always intense, as most defensive players are, in the locker room where he was an emotional leader for the team.

He was the type of player who set the rules for the teams and carried out the punishment should those rules be broken.

Both on and off of the field, West was a leader and one of the best players on the field/

The only question for many when he decided to retire was when he would be placed in the Hall of Fame.

When Jones was put in it seemed like only a matter of years until they elected West to go alongside his battery mate.

It wasn’t as easy though as the Hall of Fame took some time to figure out if West belonged in the Hall.

In reality, it took far too much time to elect West as he was always one of the best in the league when he played.

He helped to lead one of the best defences of the time alongside other hall of famers who knew just how good he was.

He had the stats and the accolades along with the two Grey Cups he won with the Bombers and yet it never seemed to be enough.

He was constantly passed over for other players with possibly bigger names and the questions about his Hall of Fame career continued to grow.

Finally, though he joins Jones and the other hall of famers on that defence in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

He takes his rightful spot among the other great players and for Winnipeg fans it is a chance to look back at when the Bombers were a team to beat.

They will be able to see their past and look to the future as nobody can keep a team down forever and the players of the past should be a reminder of just that.

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