No 'Mr. Nice Guy'

Monday, July 9, 2007 - 01:00PM

Rob Murphy plays tough, and Wally Buono likes it like that

By Mike Beamish,
Vancouver Sun

As the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield might have observed, Lions fans "went to a fight the other night and a football game broke out."

Left tackle Rob Murphy, the all-time penalty minutes leader in Ohio state high school hockey, got tossed from Friday's 29-9 win over Edmonton after a fourth-quarter dust-up with Eskimos defensive end Adam Braidwood.

Players are ejected routinely from baseball, hockey, basketball, soccer and even motorsport for moments of madness that run the gamut from head-butting to helmet-throwing. In that respect, the Murphy-Braidwood rumble was unexceptional. What made it different, though, is that the event actually lived up to the hype. And Murphy clearly is enjoying his iconic status as the Golden Boy of the CFL Bad Boys. Days earlier, the Esks' Rahim Abdullah called out Murphy and right tackle Jason Jimenez as the "dirtiest players in the CFL."

"I have to discipline Murphy. I have no choice," said Lions head coach Wally Buono. "But I'm not unhappy with him. We don't want our players taking undisciplined penalties, but we're not going to back off either. When you get challenged, you can't play Mr. Nice Guy."

The fact that the game was imbued with an extra amount of feeling, so early in the season, was unusual, Buono said. Friday's attendance of 32,893 represented an increase of more than 6,000 from last year's home opener.

"I think everybody was more emotionally charged -- players, coaches, fans, media," Buono said. "For this early in the year, to have a game of that energy, gives us a tremendous sense that our team can rise to the occasion. I don't believe it was just another game for our players. But, to me, when you look at the [physical] stuff that went on, it was pretty much the same as the last game."

Drama! I love this stuff lol

The CFL is getting a lot of attention in Vancouver these days. I don’t remember the last time the Lions were getting so much print and airtime. This is a hockey city but it is slowly shaping into a great football city too.

We should hire Murphy for marketing the Lions as well. He should get a bonus in his paycheque for this!

It is to bad Toronto can not learn from this. I am one CFL fan happy to see this occuring on the west coast.