The BC Lions fell to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in yesterday’s game and it wasn’t by a small margin either. The Bombers beat BC 43 to 22. I think a lot of people were surprised by that, especially the way the Lions started out this season—at least Lions fans were. Both teams were undefeated going in and now the Lions have suffered their first loss against the returning Grey Cup Champions, the Bombers.
But going into the game this week, the Lions had the absolute best of intentions. They were ready and roaring to go. Lions head coach, Rick Campbell had these words to say after practice this week:
“They’ve been the best team in the league the last couple of years, and they’re undefeated this year too…You always want to see how you measure up against the good teams. Our practices are set up so that the majority of it is our offence competing against our defense…
We want good-on-good and we want guys competing the best they can in practice. I think it pays off on both sides of the ball where you’re playing against a unit that’s trying to get better and be a cohesive unit. That’s always a focus for us in practice.”via Global
He wasn’t at all overconfident, as is his way, but hopes seemed high at practice for the Lions before heading into the game for sure.
Of course things turned out badly for the Lions when game time came around. In truth even last week’s game against the Ottawa Redblacks—a game the Lions won by a very small margin…34 to 31…showed a slight decline in playing style for the Lions…the momentum shifting a tad from where it was in the first few games of the season.
Surely that wasn’t at par with what we’ve seen nor what Campbell expects of his team. Regardless, a win is a win and a win it was, but that low margin was exactly what the Bombers pinpointed and they attacked it like a wild animal would attack an already wounded animal in a fight to the death….
But talk about overconfident…. As it turns out BC’s very own Marcus Sayles, a defensive back, had some words for and about the Bombers and they may have done a lot more harm than good. He stated:
“Right now they look like they’re a little vanilla…They’ve been skating away by little points, so we feel like we can beat them pretty bad.”via The Province
Sayles certainly misspoke, and he was called out by none other than Bombers defensive end, Willie Jefferson:
“He called our offence vanilla … now he needs to go out there and make a play against our vanilla offence…If our offence can go out there and put up points, then our vanilla offence put up points against your amazing defense…
He came out and said what he had to do and now he has to make his plays and do what he needs to do and not let our vanilla offence score.”via The Province (link above)
Unfortunately for the Lions, that’s exactly what happened. And after the game Jefferson had this to say…
“(We were a) chocolate sundae…We had some sprinkles on there. A little whipped cream, a cherry on the top. It just wasn’t vanilla, I can tell you that.”via The Province (link above)
And level-headed as always, Lions QB, Nathan Rourke, had this to say after the loss:
“We didn’t have guys pointing fingers or going in the tank. That’s what I like about this team…You learn a lot more about people when there is adversity and you lose. It’s easy to win and have people pat you on the back…
You learn a lot more when you do have a setback. They’re obviously very disappointed. I’m disappointed. I hate losing. But at the same time, I know they see the big picture and we got a lot of important football ahead of us.”via The Province (link above)
In the end, the above words and the words of Rick Campbell speak volumes about the Lions needing to get on the same page attitude wise…Rourke and Campbell seem to be a tad more of the humble mind, while some of the others seem intent on putting their feet in their mouths and to no avail…
Defensive back TJ Lee did not regret the overconfident words of his teammate however, but agreed that the experience was quite humbling:
“…I mean, they made more plays than us today…They gotta line it up next time. That’s all that matters. And I love how my guys responded. We’re not beating each other up during the adversity, we’re hugging each other during adversity, and letting each other know we’re gonna ride for each other…
This is a great humbling and it’s a great learning opportunity for the next time we play them — or anybody else for that matter. We’re a solution-based defense and team. We’re going to fix our mistakes and come back better. We can’t hang our heads on anything. We played hard. They just played better. They out-schemed us. But we’ll be back.”via The Province (link above)
After the game, Campbell made some statements that lead me to believe that despite his high hopes before the game, he kind of suspected a loss, and their first of the season to come at the hands of the returning Grey Cup champs. He said:
“We’ve got to play better to beat those guys. They’re good…They’re a good football team; we want to be like these guys. The guys won the Grey Cup back to back and they’re undefeated. They’re the cream of the crop, and we’re trying to get there, too…
I still like our team. We obviously didn’t make the plays we needed to make today, but I like our guys. I think we got a lot of football ahead of us. It hurts to lose but … onward we’ll go.”via The Province (link above)
And in the end, these words are perhaps the best way to look at a loss… “Onward we’ll go.” The lions are set to take on the Tiger-Cats on Thursday July 21st at 10 PM EST.
*For all your 2022 CFL Season News…CFL News Hub
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