Wounded Cat SOUND BYTES....

Just in case you don't read the Province newspaper, you may be interested to know what various players and coaches are saying about the current wounded state of the team. I've categorized as follows...

STATING THE OBVIOUS AND TELLING FANS WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR (That is, a lot of "hot air" is put out by the quote BUT there continues to be very little actually done (or changed) about it on the field...)

MIKE BENEVIDES: "We're at a critical juncture here,"..."We've got to hit that nail on the head and opponents are going to have to pay the price to blitz. Otherwise, it's going to keep happening."

DEAN VALLI: "The scouting report is out on us and it is to bring heat. We got to rise to the challenge. You got to trust the schemes. Dan (Dorazio)'s a smart guy. Jacques (Chapdelaine) is a smart guy. They're going to figure it out."

DANTE MARSH: "We're not going to do the point-the-finger bleep."..."That's dissension. That's going to get us nowhere. We believe in the redhead man (presumably referring to Travis Lulay)".

FRUSTRATION FROM WITHIN THE RANKS (Player(s) on the team that seem, by the tone of the quote, to be curious about certain decisions the team is making)...

ANDREW HARRIS (Being frustrated with his "more often than not" role as a blocker for Travis Lulay because the offensive line is, as Matt Dunigan put it, a "sieve" right now):

"There's a point in time where I feel I'm out there going through the motions as a blocker"..."I understand that. But it's a whole lot different than it was at the start of the season."...."Every team gets blitzed, but they find ways to get their backs the ball (Is this a reference to Jon Cornish or Kory Sheets here??)"..."Let them blitz. We have to have answers"..."You can make it seem negative. You can make it a positive. If they're blitzing seven people there's got to be someone open."...

Indeed, NOTE TO THE BC LIONS COACHES, as Harris says...."...There's got to be someone open."

Maybe to avoid the blitz, Lulay should stand back behind the centre about as far as punters stand before punting the ball. Maybe this would give him just that needed extra second or two. It only seems logical that if 7 guys are blitzing then someone has to be wide open for a quick 8-10 yarder. Although I must say that I've seen only 4 guys rushing the QB and still be able to sack him. The fact is that QBs Burris, Ray and Glenn have often had plenty of time to get the pass off and not get destroyed in the process. What exactly is it that their O-lines are doing or are these other O-Lines simply superior to the Lions' O-line?

Beaglehound, the issue with the Lions Canadian players is this--

Because Canadian CFL players will settle in Vancouver, they must plan for life beyond Football here. And because living in BC means BRING CASH, the reality for canadian players in Vancouver is that they must establish a LONG TERM Career in Vancouver while they are playing---

What is the fallout? Well for ex- We have an offensive lineman that goes by the name Dean Valli- He was called into action after KIRBY FABIEN was hurt, and VALLI was starting his own Garbage Dump Business in the lower mainland--- Now you tell me how serious a person in VALLI's situation would be taking the Lions? Would his time and effort be in his garbage dump business that is likely going to feed his family for years or the LIONS who since he is not a LEGITIMATE starter he would likely be out of the CFL in 2 years anyway-
IN other citites the Canadian players dont need to focus on getting a high paying second job because the cost of living is so low in Sask and Winnipeg and Edmonton and Montreal- toronto is expensive as i guess Calgary could be expensive-
When a player can OWN his own house for mid 300 k in other cities, they dont need to find a career and can concentrate on playing football and then become a teacher or a police officer or a reporter for the news or a plumer all of which pay enough to raise a family.

We are seeing that more and more with Canadian players, who dont seem to have any LONGTERM success-- A guy like Andrew Harris has good success in his first season- However he realizes the reality of football careers and then starts doing more promotional apperances and autograph sessions- What happens is he is so focussed on marketing himself to make as much money as possible by using YOUR NAME-- THen what happens is that the player is not training hard, all of a sudden seems a step slower, is not focussed--
This is what happens to many CFL football players, especially the canadian ones--

The reality is that canadian players in VANCOUVER are not that hungry to play football--- Do we have even one crazy hard hitting passionate canadian player on this team? No we don't>

Wally should be looking at players financial positions and also if they are running a business, because if they are, they will put the LIONS second--

Marco Iannuzi a younger player with the LIONS is a financial advisor - he works daily and starts at 6am and then shows up to LIONS practice and then resumes his financial advisor job-
If IANNUZI was playing in SASK he would not be doing the FINANCIAL advisor job on the side as his salary would be plenty-

CFL players have had second jobs since the beginning of time. Ron Lancaster taught boys’ phys ed at my wife’s HS in Regina in the 60s and 70s. Russ Jackson was also a teacher and retired at age 34 (!) to become a principal. Bill Baker was traded from the Riders when Stelco transferred him. Stu Laird was a Fireman while he played for the Stamps, and Dave Sapunjis retired early to concentrate on his off-field career. There are a lot more examples.

The problem is not that the cost of living in Vancouver (or any CFL city) is too high. The problem is that the CFL salary cap is far too low. A low cap made some sense when the league was ailing, but now that they’re doing quite well, a major revision back to a percentage of league revenues is what is needed.

An interesting theory Gridiron but I think it needs to be thoroughly researched before it carries much weight. Paris Jackson and family live in the Lower Mainland. I don't what he does in the off season but I'm sure he works at something else. Paris is a dedicated Lions player.

Ryan Phillips makes his home in Seattle WA as a High school teacher in the off-season. Khalif Mitchell has a degree in Communications. Loch Heron of the B.C. Lions [ early 1970s] was working part-time with Woodward Stores Ltd in the off-season. Ron Stewart of the defunct Ottawa Roughriders was lawyer. It would not surprise me if some of these players maintained other interests during the playing season.

If what you are saying is that Lions players are moonlighting on their days off during the football season maybe some are and maybe some aren't but I'm not sure there is a connection between what they're doing in their off-time and their performance on the field. I definitely see no connection to the cost of living in the Lower Mainland. Yes, it is pricey but that is if you want to live in right in Vancouver.
I'd also want to see how many Lions players actually live in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland during the off-season. Don't a lot of them make their home in the States because they are from the States? Aren't a number of other players from other parts of the Canada and go back home during the off season? If I'm not mistaken Jason Clermont was from Regina and having since retired is now into Real Estate. He may have even been doing some real estate work during his football career.

I think most players work towards some sort of alternative occupation/career because they know the longevity in pro sports is short lived. I cannot see this affecting their performance on the field. In fact I think most players give top priority to their pro career before anything else because they want to remain in pro sport for as long as possible. They also know there is the risk of being traded, having to sell the house and move the entire family to a less desirable location in the country if they are not performing up to snuff.

Yes Beaglehound, I would like to see the CFl raise salaries by 25%, especially the minimum salaries- The minimum salary in the CFL should be around 75k with the average player earning around 100k-

I feel the game would be a lot better if we paid players more- Because of the low salary good players dont come from the states to play here and local canadian players are retiring early to pursue other career options-- That is because the CFl salary is really not that much--

The food bill for a CFl player is much much much higher than yours or mine food bill- From the supplements, to the training gyms to the nutrition, to the massages, there is an investment to keep your body in football shape, all of which comes out of the players own pockets-

The league is certainly making money, but the fact that they are not sharing it with players, you have the end result which is sloppy football, missed assignments, cheap shots, coaches with no clue what to do, undisciplined players, dropped passes, no blocking, just really bad execution---

You want better execution which would translate into more of a NFL GAME--

I have been a CFL fan for over 31 years, but sadly I must admit that the current state of the league is this--- THE CFL is not a league where execution levels are high and the professionalism of the game is high--
Look no further than the referrees that they employ in the CFL- They are not that good, and dont understand how to correctly call a roughing the passer call or a horse collar tackle- Both of these calls you get the REFS guessing whether its a foul before the player actually has hit the QB or tackled the player-

The CFL now can improve on its product- Currently its product is mostly a comedy of errors, there is no team perhaps other than CALGARY and TORONTO when healthy that can EXECUTE a good offense- They appear to practice and understand as a team how to put an entertaining smooth offense-
The rest of the league looks like the offenses do not practice- BC, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Montreal, Sask, all can look on any day like an amateur level execution--

The NFL is a progressive league- Their sound and their cameras are world class and they are putting their games on TV and are getting more and more popular- This has an effect on the CFL because now the CFL will start to look really amateur compared to the NFL- NFL is like a LED TV while CFL is like a black and white TV-

The CFL will soon not be considered as a PRO LEAGUE- This will be the PERCEPTION soon, and remember PERCEPTION is reality--

Guys like me, and Beaglehound and Dooger have been longtime fans, so we understand the roots of the CFL, but remember the younger generation does not know about the history and deep roots of the CFL in canada, so all they will know is the NFL and how EXCELLENT their PRODUCT is, and they will look at the CFL and notice a huge dropoff in terms of popularity and product.

The CFL should scrap the existing structure and try to be like the MLS-- Meaning they should try and establish CREDIBIITY as a real PRO LEAGUE and cut out the weaker players and pay players more and you will see a better league all around-

I don't know Gridiron. I just don't know. A few weeks ago I asked football fans that watch both the CFL and the NFL what their thoughts were about CFL refs vs NFL refs. The responses were interesting. Many thought the NFL refs were better trained and more consistent. And then a number of respondents felt that the NFL refs were prone to blowing calls or missing obvious calls just like their CFL counterparts. From this I beginning to think that both the CFL and NFL refereeing is about the same but it depends on who you talk to. I'm also beginning to think that because of the nature of the game it may not be humanly possible to call a game as accurately as we want. I've seen refs get crucified by the crowd only to see in the replay that the refs had it right all along.

Pay the players more money and they'll play better? That's a tough one. Just take a look at hockey. Look at the salaries. I've seen players pulling in two or three million dollars annually who during some games just float on the ice. It's as if they're pacing themselves for the playoffs.

I watched a movie last night called Moneyball with Brad Pitt. He plays a real life baseball GM. Google it for more details and if you can...watch the movie. It's fascinating and kind of blows your theory of higher salaries resulting in better production out of the water. Apparently it is a true story.