Print Edition: November 30, 2011
It’s 1994, The Vancouver Canucks lose the Stanley Cup in seven games to the New York Rangers and Vancouver is destroyed due to riots. The other team in BC, the BC Lions, hosted the Grey Cup festivities and the home team took home the championship. Skip forward to 2011; The Vancouver Canucks lose the Stanley Cup in seven games to the Boston Bruins in the finals and the city of Vancouver is once again destroyed due to riots. The Grey Cup festivities are set to be held at BC Place and the home team BC Lions have punched their ticket to play in the big game versus the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. As history repeated itself, The BC Lions won the Grey Cup by a score of 31-23 over the Winnipeg “Swaggerville” Blue Bombers.
The CFL’s 2011 Most Outstanding Player and Lions quarterback (QB) Travis Lulay had a huge game as he lead the way for the Lions offense. Travis Lulay completed 21 of 37 passes for 320 yards and added two touchdowns to receivers Arland Bruce and rookie Kierrie Johnson who caught his first ever CFL touchdown. Travis Lulay put on a performance that showcased why the Lions are head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Lulay’s outstanding play earned him the honour of being the 99th Grey Cup’s most valuable player.
Veteran receivers Geroy “Superman” Simon and Arland Bruce turned in big efforts to help the Lions capture their sixth Grey Cup victory. Simon caught four passes for 79 yards while Bruce grabbed five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Paul McCallum also added four field goals to contribute to the Lions 31 total points.
Early in the fourth quarter the Lions held a dominating 31-9 lead over the club from Winnipeg and the game looked all but over. Buck Pierce, former Lions QB and current Blue Bombers QB, orchestrated what looked like would be a complete come back in the fourth quarter. He had two touchdown passes to receivers Greg Carr and Terrence Edwards which set the score at 31-23 and made it just a one score game. However, on the ensuing kick-off following the second touchdown, the Blue Bombers attempted an onside kick. The Bombers thought they had recovered the ball but the refs ruled the ball had not travelled the required 10 yards before being touched. The Lions got the ball back and were able to run the clock down before giving the ball back to the Bombers. Buck Pierce ran out of time and the Lions rushed onto the field celebrating the victory.
The BC Lions, who started the season with five straight losses, are the first team ever in CFL history to begin the season 0-5 and go on to win the Grey Cup. The victory was Lions head coach Wally Buono’s fifth Grey Cup win in nine appearances which ties him with the likes of Don Matthews for most Grey Cup victories as a head coach.
The Lions were playing with heavy hearts, as they did in the West Final, as they honoured the memory of head trainer Bill Reichelt’s 18-year-old son, Dylan, who passed away a short few weeks ago in a tragic car accident. Dylan grew up on the Lions sidelines assisting his dad and helping out with water boy duties. Prior the West Final, the Lions honoured Dylan with a moment of silence. Following the West Final, Geroy Simon presented Bill with the game ball as the entire Lions family came together. Dylan would be proud to see how the Lions played and finished in a dominant fashion for him. Arland Bruce summed it up best, “We did it, we did it baby!”