It’s time for brand spanking new house owners and a brand new imaginative and prescient for the B.C. Lions earlier than any additional injury is completed to the model
After a miserable weekend in Hamilton right here’s a little bit ray of sunshine to brighten your day, the musings and meditations on the world of sports activities.
• In case you spend any time round Wally Buono, you shortly understand every part he says has a function.
Thus, when he says it’s time for David Braley to promote the Lions to native possession, it’s important to assume he isn’t expressing an idle thought.
In keeping with sources, this market’s endless story shall be revived within the close to future, that means the Lions are on the market. That is accurately. Braley is 77. He was liable for saving the Lions within the mid-90s however, as issues stand, the franchise is perilously near returning to the state during which he purchased them.
There are variations, in fact. The TSN TV-contract being principal amongst them. However the Lions are additionally combating the identical degree of apathy they encountered after they went bankrupt. One thing needs to be completed to have interaction this fan base and Buono is aware of this to be true.
It’s time for brand spanking new house owners and a brand new imaginative and prescient for this workforce earlier than any additional injury is completed to the Lions’ model.
• Nonetheless, the journey to Hamilton wasn’t a whole waste. On Saturday night time, your agent bumped into Ric Aptitude within the bar on the downtown Sheraton and it’s worthwhile to know we’re now besties.
I instructed The Nature Boy that Buono had minimize The Rock when he was making an attempt out for the Calgary Stampeders. This led to a dialogue concerning the soccer gamers who tried to make it in skilled wrestling and Aptitude supplied up this gem.
Otis Sistrunk, the previous Raiders’ defensive deal with, was making an attempt to interrupt in and he was positioned on a card with Mad Canine Vachon. Vachon went into his act — ‘I’m going to kill you. I’m going to interrupt your legs.’ — besides Sistrunk didn’t comprehend it was an act.
“Scared the (poop) out of him,” Aptitude mentioned of Sistrunk. “We didn’t see him after that.”
• Was going via some previous information on the way in which again from Hamilton and got here throughout a sport column from the 2016 West Division semifinal at B.C. Place. In that sport, Jonathon Jennings introduced the Lions again from a 31-19 fourth quarter deficit to a 32-31 win over Winnipeg. Alongside the way in which he went 26 of 35 for 329 yards and ran for 43 yards and two touchdowns, together with an electrifying nine-yard run within the closing minute for the successful factors.
I’ll by no means know what occurred to that quarterback. He’s nonetheless solely 26, 4 years youthful than Hamilton’s Jeremiah Masoli, and he’ll nearly definitely signal elsewhere subsequent season. However his fall will stay one of many nice mysteries in Lions’ historical past.
• Nonetheless with Masoli, that was a masters class in quarterbacking he placed on show within the semifinal. The final two years, Ottawa and Toronto have come out of the East to win the Gray Cup. The guess right here is Hamilton makes it three in a row.
• And eventually, after I consider Willie Mays I don’t consider his closing days with the Mets. Once I consider Johnny Unitas I don’t consider his closing days with the Chargers. And, in my reminiscence, Bobby Orr was by no means a Blackhawk.
Which leads us to Buono. Like different greats, Buono has left behind a physique of labor which transcends the ultimate inglorious act of his profession. Sure, the fairy story ending would have been good and, sure, you’ll be able to simply make the case Buono stayed too lengthy on the dance.
However let’s take out the wide-angle lens and have a look at the totality of his profession.
In 12 seasons because the Lions’ coach he received 129 video games. In 11 seasons in Calgary he received 153 video games. His 282 profession wins are essentially the most in CFL historical past and would place him third on the NFL’s all-time listing behind Don Shula and George Halas and forward of Invoice Belichick, Curly Lambeau and Paul Brown.
Learn that sentence once more slowly.
As for his influence on the Canadian sport, we will discuss concerning the Wally teaching tree which stretches throughout either side of the border and his improvements — he was instrumental in creating the unfold offence which modified the skilled passing sport.
However right here’s the true factor. Since 1972, he’s been part of the CFL and the CFL has been part of him. Once I was 20 we used to drive from Ottawa to Montreal to observe the nice Tough Riders-Alouettes tilts on the Massive O. He was a part of these Als’ groups. I’m now 63 and the previous 18 years of my skilled life have been spent in shut proximity to Buono.
I’m additionally teeing it up on the 17th gap of my profession and don’t understand how for much longer it is going to run. However after I look again I’ll consider the extraordinary folks I’ve encountered, folks I might have by no means met in a special line of labor, and understand how fortunate I’ve been. Buono shall be on that listing.
“I’ll go residence, wrap issues up and begin a brand new life,” he mentioned after the loss in Hamilton. “I’ve been doing this a variety of years. I’ve talked to a lot of individuals who’ve retired they usually’re doing OK. I’m not that totally different. Hopefully I’ll be OK.”
Don’t doubt that for a minute.