November 8, 2011. 10:01 pm
Posted by:Lowell Ullrich
If it was a horse race, and it isn’t a ridiculous analogy, it would be fair to state that a strong finish down the backstretch has earned Travis Lulay of the Lions most outstanding player honors in the West Division.
The result will be made official by the CFL Wednesday morning, as will the selection of two teammates, Jovan Olafioye as top offensive lineman, and special teams player Paul McCallum.
It now remains to be seen if all three can nose out their East Division opponents at the wire next time when the final round of balloting is conducted this weekend and announced in Vancouver on Grey Cup week.
The numbers in the comparison stories in The Province between Lulay and Anthony Calvillo last week told a compelling tale about the performance of the Lions quarterback in the final 11 games of the season. Voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada noticed.
There are no numbers, of course, for Olafioye’s position, other than the fact assistant coach Dan Dorazio noting earlier this year that the second-year tackle had not given up a sack all season.
McCallum’s selection as special teams player seems a bit more dodgy relative to the fact the best kicker in the country wasn’t deemed to be as good enough to be top Canadian, the other category for which the 41-year-old was nominated. But that evidently is only a Vancouver view, as McCallum had voting support here but not enough to push him through to the final round.
Nonetheless, it marks the second time in three years that the Lions have had three finalists, which at least ensures the numbers will be decent for the Nov. 24 ceremony at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.