Ok this wasn’t exactly from the couch it was actually from the bar, fringe benefits of being a fan rather than an unbiased journalist. Some great CFL fans were in town from Montreal, and it was great to watch the game with them and a few others. It reminds you why you love this game and the fans that follow it.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had to blog about a loss, so here it goes.
Mistakes were the order of the day and the Lions were their own executioners on this day. Lulay, throwing into double coverage for a key interception, the veteran McCallum missing two field goals, and of course special teams allowing big returns again. Both defences battled hard and without those Lions mistakes the score is different. The Riders offence didn’t produce a lot, but as a team they made fewer mistakes and capitalized on the ones the Lions made.
Losing this game wasn’t the worst thing in the world. The Lions last had won 14 of their last 15 heading into Regina, so a little wakeup call might do them some good. The talk of 18-0 can be thrown out the window and we can talk about 17-1. (I kid). Seriously though, sometimes a loss can refocus the troops and I expect the Lions to be hungry next week against Edmonton.
In addition to the special teams issues the Lions offence has yet to reach peak efficiency this season. One drive they look fantastic, the next few they look ordinary or sub-par. Injuries to the offensive line have likely impacted the running game to some degree, and if you listened to the pregame show you would have heard that in addition to Jesse Newman having a setback with his knee, Dean Valli may have had similar bad luck this past week.
Kierrie Johnson’s injury no doubt hurts, and you have to feel sorry for him after it looked like he may be on his way to a breakout year. The Lions do have some options to plug in with Ernest Jackson and Nick Moore each having good training camps and on the practice roster. There wasn’t much success for either Geroy Simon or Arland Bruce on the day and the Lions must find away to get those two more involved. The Lions appear to have dodged a bullet with the early reports that Simon dislocated a finger rather than breaking one.
With a good Edmonton defence in town next week, better consistency will be needed in all areas on offence.
No hoody, no win?
Just throwing this out there; Coach Benevides wasn’t wearing his trademark grey hoody…discuss.
Is it any coincidence that Paul McCallum has missed a few field goals and shanked a few punts this year with a new long snapper and a new field goal holder?
The big play of the game was of course the missed McCallum field goal that lead to the Tristan Jackson return for a touchdown. By definition of the rule the block that sprung Jackson certainly could have been called a clip, but it was close. Even so, there were still 110 yards between Jackson and the end zone. Paul McCallum summed it up best on Twitter when he retweeted and commented on this submission:
“@Glenbuchat2: @BCLions @PaulMcCallum4 it was a blatant clip that sprung Jackson free. Should never have been a TD” If so it is what it is.
Tweets of the game
@ LadyApriil: Saskatchewan rough riders have the ugliest and scariest mascot ever… I’m pretty sure Lions eat gophers! #BCLions #Win3BC
Take that Rider fans!
@CanuckClay: Holy smokes! Was that Kierrie Johnson or Ben Johnson? What a great catch and run! @bclions #win3BC
Great question, too bad we’ll have to wait another 6-8 weeks to see more.
@geroysimon: Finger is good to go! I have 9 others that work fine. Making adjustments to win next week.
Well there you go; the silver lining in every cloud makes an appearance. I feel better already.
The BC Lions are set to launch their newly engineered Reebok jerseys on Wednesday, May 2nd at BC Place and a fan will be chosen to unveil the newest look in the team’s history.
In a great social media move, the Lions ran a contest on Twitter in which one lucky follower will be chosen to unveil the new jersey along with a few high profile BC Lions. Travis Lulay, Geroy Simon, Paul McCallum and Khalif Mitchell will be on hand to model the new threads.
The event will also be open to fans, who are invited to attend at Gate A off of Terry Fox Plaza at 8:00am sharp. The new jersey will also be available for purchase and the Lions players on hand will be signing autographs.
Jerseys will remain on sale at Gate A until 6:00pm on Wednesday and then will be available at the team store in Surrey until May 9th, as well as the online store at BCLions.com.
Not much is known about the new look but information reported so far indicate they won’t look too different from the current edition. Reebok and the league are marketing the jerseys as “re-engineered.” Both player and fan versions will see modifications.
“The on-field jerseys were developed to improve the player experience, while the new (fan) jerseys will bring the fans closer to the game,” said Stewart Clark, marketing director for Reebok Canada. “After a two year process and a close collaboration with the CFL and its teams, Reebok is proud to introduce the new re-engineered jersey.”
The CFL signed a five year agreement with Reebok in 2008. The company was recently replaced in the NFL by Nike, who signed a 5-year $35 million dollar deal with the league to be it’s official apparel supplier. Reebok had held the contract for the last decade.
If you find yourself out in the valley, don’t forget to check out our friend Rick at Sports & Stuff in Chilliwack who will have a large stock of jerseys as well when the become available. Rick has the best selection of Lions and CFL merchandise around.
Wally Buono gave his players the morning off Saturday and the result was a spirited afternoon session that saw a fast tempo and some heated tempers to close out the day at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops, BC. There was a good crowd on hand in the stands to watch the practice, several who had driven up from the lower mainland to check out the 2011 hopefuls
Geroy Simon, Eric Taylor and Stanley Franks Michael Carter, Joe Henderson, Stanley Franks, Shawn Gore were on the field but not in pads and not practicing.
Davis Sanchez was back practicing.
Cornerback Dante Marsh left practice on a cart after an apparent hamstring injury. The veteran corner went down defending an offensive play and immediately grabbed the back of his leg. Marsh pulled off his helmet and threw it 15 yards down field and was in obvious pain. He left with an ice bag wrapped around the leg and on a golf cart. He did not return, and according to Lowell Ullrich of the Province will -be re-evaluated in the morning.
The first team offensive line remained unchanged from our previous practice. From left to right, the starting five were Ben Archibald, Jon Hameister-Ries, Angus Reid, Dean Valli and Jovan Olafioye. The line opened some nice holes for the backs during live reps and looks to be gelling nicely. One item of note here, it seems as though Jesse Newman who is listed on the depth chart as the starting right guard has been leapfrogged by Valli, barring an issue we don’t know about regarding Newman.
With Eric Taylor watching, Khalif Mitchell assumed the majority of the starting reps at nose tackle, with Keron Williams and Aaron Hunt on the ends.
Travis Lulay continues to be sharp. The pecking order hasn’t changed behind him with Jarious Jackson and Mike Reilly assuming the 2nd and 3rd reps. Tough to give any assessment on Matt Johnson and Corey Leonard at this point with minimal reps.
Jamal Robertson is the starter right now and that hasn’t changed. Andrew Harris continues to impress and how no effects from an off-season torn pectoral muscle. Newcomer Tim Brown is making a case to stick around.
The two main returners to date seem to me Kierrie Johnson and Michael Smith. Both have had some success to date and both have very good top end speed and shifty moves. The real test will come in Calgary next week.
Practice ended with Korey Banks laying a hard lick on receiver Calvin Simon. That brought the offence and defence together and a tempers flared. From the crowd came the words of wisdom “It’s over, it’s over, we a damn team!” And with that practice was done.
You’re Twitter Questions:
@j_rower asks: “@BCLionsDen, How does Kamau Peterson look? Could he have as good a season as he had in the past?”
Kamau doesn’t look out of place and is getting up to camp speed. He is seeing a lot of first team reps and is running good routes and catching balls thrown his way. Can he be as effective as in the past? That will depend in large part his health and on the return of Paris Jackson who doesn’t seem to be feeling many effects from his injured knee as he works out by himself. That said Kamau is a great addition who brings Canadian depth and a wealth of experience to the room.
@98celtic asks: “@BCLionsDen, Is Stephen Black looking like he will have a breakout year??? Go #82 and Lions!”
Steven Black made some clutch catches last year and by the end of the season was a starter in the offence. So far in camp he looks like he has the chance to take that to another level and I think he has the chance to.
@Markfrancis23 asks: “@BCLionsDen, how is Chris Hodgson doing? I’ve known him since he was a kid…athletic freak…say hello for me.”
You’re right about Hodgson being an athletic freak. I can tell you this the guys arms are huge! Right now Hodgson is a bit of a project. I haven’t been able to keep that close a watch on him, but here is a video the BC Lions did on him if you haven’t seen it: http://www.bclions.com/article/getting-to-know-chris-hodgson
At KieranM37 asks: “@BCLionsDen who’s who in the secondary? Hyland getting the most reps at S? Banks back at HB?”
David Hyland is currently second in the depth chart at halfback behind Stanley Franks. I haven’t seen him playing any safety and the Lions are currently trying to Canadians in J.R. LaRose and Jason Arakgi at that spot. Korey Banks is still lining up at nickleback and will do so often as the Lions for with a 3-4 defence on many downs. Banks had a solid year last year and the team will look for more of the same. The rest of the secondary is a little banged up. Stanley Franks, Ryan Phillips and Davis Sanchez all have minor ailments, and as we alluded to above Dante Marsh left practice today.
Photos: June 11th, 2011
There is no doubt that social media has become a valuable tool for many businesses and professional sports teams have taken advantage of this exciting new platform to engage with their fans like never before. News is now updated in real time and teams that have a strong social media presence are expanding their brand.
The BC Lions are no exception, and over the last year the club has made a strong effort to take advantage of social media to promote their product.
Jacqueline Blackwell is the Communications Coordinator and Website Administrator for the BC Lions. She also runs the Lions Facebook and Twitter accounts. She agreed to talk with us about how the Lions are embracing social media as an organization and where they plan to take it in the future.
Interview with Jacqueline Blackwell, Communications Coordinator and Website Administrator for the BC Lions:
Q: Jacqueline thanks for taking the time to discuss your social media program with us. Maybe we can start with when the club really started to utilize social media?
A: We started our Twitter feed and Facebook page in 2009.
Q: There are several BC Lions players on Twitter. Angus Reid, Geroy Simon, Dante Marsh are all prominent on that platform. Does the club offer any social media training to its players or have a policy in place to deal with social media use?
A: As far as media policies go, we treat social media as we would traditional media sources. We provide overall media training to players who we believe require it or request it. The vast majority of players who join the club have gone through media training at some point in their college career. As it applies to Twitter and Facebook however, we ask that they use caution refrain from making statements via social media that they wouldn’t state publicly. Such statements can include criticizing fellow players or coaches, officiating, the league or any other remarks that the club would impose a fine for if they were said to a member of the media or in another public manner.
Q: The Lions recently held a live Twitter chat where fans got to ask coach Wally Buono questions. I thought it was very successful and a great initiative that I haven’t seen other CFL teams do. Does the club have plans to do more of these types of fan interactions in the future?
A: Yes, Wally was the CFL’s first coach/GM on Twitter and is still the only professional head coach on Twitter in Vancouver. He was very receptive to the idea from day one since our overall success as an organization comes from the support of our fans. He will continue to be available via the Q & A’s but has indicated that other coaches should also have an opportunity to speak directly to our fans. We’ll be hosting Q & A’s with both coordinators and other members of the organization moving forward, during training camp and throughout the season.
Q: The Lions were one of the first CFL teams to jump into social media. I believe they are second only to the Montreal Alouettes when it comes to Twitter followers, and your Facebook page has over 26,000 followers. What plans does the club have to build on that momentum in 2011? Will the club explore the use of other tools like Foursquare?
A: We’re always looking new ways to connect and we’re trying to create a variety of reasons to follow the Lions on Twitter or Facebook. Whether you’re after football content, prizes, player profiles etc. we try to touch on all areas of the club. There are challenges to keep the messaging strong at certain times of the year so promotions such as 100 Days to Training Camp allow us to not only start ramping up to the season, but allow us to give away great prizes and shoot cool videos. Tools like Foursquare are interesting but we want to concentrate on elements we know we can do well rather than spreading ourselves too thin.
Q: Obviously, a big part of social media is engaging and networking with others. How is the club planning to do that in 2011?
A: Yes, 2011 is shaping up to be a very exciting year both on and off the field – our first tweet-up last year was a success we’ll be engaging some new partners to host them more frequently. We’re always pushing our players for more content too, so we’re looking at getting one of the guys to commit to a blog in 2011. We’re looking at some social media-specific contests and content which gives us some freedom to use creativity and a little fun. We have always been a leader in bringing behind-the-scenes content to our fans and we’ll continue to do that as well. Our customer service staff has also recently launched their own twitter feed specifically designed to keep fans updated on ticket-related info and then in-game information during home games which will help make everyone’s game day experience the best it can be.
Q: How about Grey Cup? Will social media play a role in the festivities?
A: The 2011 Grey Cup committee has some huge plans for this November and they will be rolling out an independent social media program in weeks to come.
Our thanks to Jacqueline for taking time to discuss the Lions’ social media initiatives with us. It’s going to be an exciting year to be a Lions fan and we’re looking forward to watching the Lions brand grow!
Want in on the BC Lions social media scene? Here is the information you need to be in the know:
Geroy Simon @geroysimon
Dante Marsh: @dantemarsh
Korey Banks: @24Banks
Brent Johnson: @brentjohnson97
Cauchy Muamba: @CauchyMuamba
Wally Buono: @Coach_Brillo
Dante Marsh: @dantemarsh
Steven Black: @itSblack
David Hyland: @hylander37
Nick Moore: @NickMoore_1
Paul McCallum: @PaulMcCallum4
Sean Whyte: @SeanWhyte10
Congratulations to @MTBikerguy on Twitter who won two tickets to the Lions and Eskimos on Sunday June 20th. The marks a historic day in the history of the BC Lions Football club and BCLionsDen.ca and ShowtimeTickets.com were happy to give away a pair of tickets!
The winner will be contacted by DM on Twitter to arrange pickup.
Thanks for playing everyone and thanks to ShowTimeTickets.com for supplying the tickets.
GO LIONS GO!
Welcome to the new BCLionsDen.ca, or as we’ve been shamelessly flogging it in recent months, “Version 2.0″.
As you can see, I have given the site a face lift, and changed our format by entering the realm of the blog/content management system. Over the past few years the blog has become a popular and effective tool in the world of social media, a field that I am growing more interested in. For that reason, I wanted to create a fan site that was more of a magazine style and see where it will go. The new site has been a large learning curve, with headaches and challenges, but a lot of fun one as well.
We want you to feel like you’re sitting around in a room with friends, talking about the BC Lions and the CFL. This country has some great football writers, like Lowell Ullrich but they can’t express the raw views of you the fan. They can interview the players, the coaches, write reviews on games, but they have to remain somewhat neutral in their analysis and reporting, while fans have a strong attachment to their teams and have no such limitations. While we want your true opinions, we also want you to respect that players and coaches are human beings, and personal attacks of any kind won’t be tolerated on this site. The ultimate goal would be to have players see what we’re trying to create here and feel comfortable to participate on the site, interacting with you the fans.
Another goal of the site is to celebrate the players and personalities that have been involved with the BC Lions over their 50+ year history, by compiling as many alumni profiles as we can to make sure these people that have provided us with memories as fans are not forgotten. This area of the site is still in the works, and now that the main design and content is done we’ll be concentrating on adding these alumni profiles as we can find information on former players. If you’re a former player and could help us with pictures or information about your career, we would love to hear from you.
I am very pleased to have my friend Dennis Prouse writing for the site. Dennis is a transplanted BC Lions fan living in Ottawa, and has been coaching amateur/minor football for many years. Dennis has great insight on the technical aspects of the game and you can look forward to his contributions soon and throughout the season.
I do apologize however. I simply ran out of time in my efforts to get all the sections filled in, so there are a few areas of the site that will come online when I finish them and add more content.
All told, I’m happy with the end product, and I hope you are too! Tell your friends and fellow Lions/CFL fans about us. Your participation is vital to our success and growth!
So welcome to BCLionsDen.ca 2.0, and ROAR YOU LIONS ROAR!