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THE MOJ: Lions epic comeback over Redblacks can’t hide their shortcomings

Plus thoughts on leadership featuring Mike Babcock and Coach Prime
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Lucky Whitehead of the B.C. Lions hauls in the game winning touchdown against the Ottawa Redblacks while Ottawa’s Brandin Dandridge can only watch. Steven Chang photo, BC LIONS

GRIDIRON MASQUERADE

The B.C. Lions 41-37 win over the Ottawa Redblacks at BC Place this past Saturday was one for the ages…and for the record books.

Down 37-18 entering the 4th quarter, the Lions scored 23 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes including 20 points in the final 2:23 for the biggest ever comeback at home since the team started play in 1956.

“We talked about it at half-time. We were losing the physical battle on all sides of the ball. They were making plays and we weren’t. Obviously, we made enough plays at the end to get it done,” Lions Head Coach Rick Campbell said after the game.

Despite the fact that his team did the impossible, Campbell and his staff realize that there is work to do if this group is to reach its potential. And while everyone is anticipating the big matchup versus Winnipeg at BC Place on Oct. 6, there is some stiff competition coming up against a rejuvenated Edmonton team this Friday in Alberta and a Saskatchewan squad that beat the Leos in their last meeting.

The bottom line is that the Lions need to be more consistent on both sides of the ball if they want to achieve their ultimate goal.

NICE KNOWING YA!

Mike Babcock’s short stint as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets made Bill LaForge’s time in Vancouver seem like an eternity.

LaForge – the shortest tenured head coach in Canucks history – lasted 20 games into the 1984-85 season. Babcock lasted 11 weeks in Columbus without ever having coached a game and was let go after asking players to share personal photos from their cell phones.

The Blue Jackets organization, led by President John Davidson and General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen, went into damage control and accepted the blame for hiring Babcock despite apparently doing their due diligence and believing that Babcock had learned from his previous mistakes in terms of dealing with players.

There is an old expression about a Zebra that could be applied here.

‘X’ IS A CESSPOOL

I know that as members of the media we are supposed to use “X” as a vehicle to promote ourselves and our brand. Personally, I’ve never liked it and I have only been on the platform for a little over two years.

I’m not into gaining ‘followers’ or posting all the time – I’ll leave that to others. I’ll go on ‘X’ and read some content and there are times that I’m extremely tempted to jump into a debate but then I ask myself why and I come to my senses. To be honest, there are so many ridiculous takes that I just shake my head.

The latest example came Monday night when running back Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns suffered a gruesome knee injury in a game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. There were numerous individuals who tweeted how Chubb’s injury killed their fantasy team’s chances this season. The dude suffers a catastrophic injury and is going to have to go through a long, lonely and painful journey to get back on the field and all some are worried about is their fantasy team?

Give your head a shake.

CONGRATS CANADIANS

I’ve been lucky enough to cover sports in the Vancouver for over 25 years. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go but I have to admit one of the individuals that has always left an impression on me has been Vancouver Canadians President Andy Dunn. He’s one of those people that gets it.

There is a quote that I remember from an interview with Andy several years ago in which he was asked about the Canadians and how they approached business relationships.

“If you want to get involved with the Canadians, we’ll find a way” was his response.

It resonated with me not only because of the organization’s willingness to work with people but also to work with them as partners. So last Saturday when the C’s won their fifth Northwest League championship during Dunn’s tenure, it brought a smile to my face.

Baseball fans in this city are lucky to have him running the show at Nat Bailey Stadium.

COACH PRIME MEMORIES

It’s strange how one interaction can mold someone’s impression of another individual.

Deion Sanders aka “Coach Prime” has made the University of Colorado football program relevant again after a 3-0 start and plenty of media hype to go with it. His outgoing style and showmanship aren’t for everyone, and to be honest, I’m usually not a fan of flamboyant players or coaches either. Call me boring but I lean toward the Derek Jeter-types who just get it done and act like they’ve been there before.

Coach Prime certainly doesn’t fall into that category but a moment on Radio Row at the Super Bowl many years ago made me a fan. Sanders was making the rounds for the NFL Network when I asked if I could grab him in between interviews for a quick two-to-three-minute Q-and-A on the game. Sanders obliged but midway through our session an accredited individual who sole purpose there was to get memorabilia signed (which is taboo) rudely interrupted me mid-sentence to ask Sanders if he could autograph a football.

“Can’t you see that this man is trying to do his job. Show some respect for people who are trying to work,” Sanders exclaimed.

The individual was stunned and left without a response, then Sanders turned to me and apologized for the interruption. Like I said, a little thing but it went a long way.

Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.

READ MORE: Whitehead hauls in late TD as B.C. Lions rally to edge Ottawa 41-37

READ MORE: THE MOJ: Sometimes the critics need to think before they speak





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