The B.C. Lions had a couple of surprise visitors at their walk-through practice on Friday at BC Place Stadium.
Owner Amar Doman showed up and gathered the team on the field post-practice to present a ‘gift’ to quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. which turned out to be a pair of white, orange and black Nike’s with Adams’ name emblazoned on the heel.
After some applause, Doman then told the team that they each had their own personalized Nike’s waiting for them in their lockers.
Needless to say, the announcement was met with the largest end-of-practice roar that I’ve heard this season.
It was just another gesture by Doman which has endeared him to players, coaches and fans alike.
Hall of Fame defensive lineman Brent Johnson also stopped by to wish the Lions luck in their Western Division Semi-Final matchup against the Calgary Stampeders and to also meet defensive end Mathieu Betts, whose 18 sacks eclipsed Johnson’s record for most sacks in a season by a Canadian.
After practice, Johnson was introduced to the defensive lineman as they walked off the field, and in a sign of great respect, each and every d-lineman came up to shake Johnson’s hand and give him a hug.
Johnson also got caught up with former teammates and current Lions assistant coaches Ryan Phillips and Kelly Bates as well as former head coach and current special teams coordinator Mike Benavides.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“C’mon RP! You have to dial up some blitzes to free him (Betts) up some more,” Johnson with some sarcasm directed to Phillips, who is the Lions defensive coordinator with Betts wholeheartedly agreeing to the notion.
PICK ME! PICK ME:
The Canadian Football League announced its All-Stars this past week, and as usual, some players who were snubbed took to social media to voice their displeasure.
I can’t speak for other voters but I like to talk to get input from players and coaches on who impressed them during the year, so my selections are not just based purely on stats.
That being said, some of the decisions aren’t easy.
There are always going to be players who are upset they weren’t picked and that will never change. It’s like picking the four teams for the college playoff. Those teams hovering around five, six and seven will always gripe about being overlooked. I guarantee you when that format expands to 12 teams in 2024 that those teams that finish 13 through 17 will probably gripe about not being selected.
The fact of the matter is you’re always going to have some players who are not happy about the selections, but to quote the great philosopher king Todd Bertuzzi, it is what it is.
The Lions saluted long-time analyst Guilio Caravatta on his 25 years in the booth providing color for the Lions radio broadcasts. Caravatta is a Simon Fraser grad who was a back-up quarterback with the Leos from 1991 to 1998. After his playing career, he was hired by the legendary J.P McConnell and worked with him on the CKNW broadcasts until they lost the rights to then-TEAM 1040 in 2003. Since that time, he has worked with Rick Ball, Scott Rintoul and yours truly.
The team had video tributes on social media saluting Caravatta’s milestone from franchise icons such as Wally Buono, Lui Passaglia, Geroy Simon and Doug Flutie.
On a personal note, it’s very easy to describe Caravatta.
He’s just good people. It’s a pleasure to work with him, and better yet, call him a friend.
JUST LIKE CLOCKWORK:
Usually a contest featuring Joe Burrow and Josh Allen would be the game of the week in the National Football League but it’s taking a backseat this week as there are three other games that will have bigger billing.
The best part about Sunday’s schedule that you can wake up in the wee hours of the morning and enjoy your football fix until late that night with nothing but marquee matchups.
It starts off in the wee hours of Sunday morning at 6 AM when the Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) take on the Miami Dolphins (6-2) in Germany. Then at 10 AM, the Baltimore Ravens (6-2) entertain the Seattle Seahawks (5-2). That’s followed at 1:25 PM by an NFC East showdown between the Dallas Cowboys (5-2) and the Philadelphia Eagles (7-1) in the City of Brotherly Love. And finally, at 5:20 PM, it’s Burrow and his Cincinnati Bengals playing host to Allen and the Buffalo Bills (5-3).
The game that intrigues me the most is the Dolphins-Chiefs contest.
Miami is 6-2 but all their wins have come against teams with losing records. Their two losses are against Buffalo (48-20) and Philadelphia (31-17).
If the Dolphins are going to be real contenders in the AFC, they’re going to have to beat a real team and it doesn’t get more real than Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media.