There has been a lot of CFL news of late with the release of the 2011 schedule and the opening of the free agency period.
The BC Lions added key pieces to both their offensive and defensive lines in signing import left tackle Ben Archibald (Calgary) and defensive tackle Eric Taylor (Toronto).
The signings addressed two areas where the the Lions had hoped to improve. Not since Rob Murphy left for Toronto two season ago have the Lions had two solid tackles on the offensive line. With the emergence of rookie Jovan Olafioye, who will move to right tackle and now the addition of last years most outstanding offensive lineman, the hope is that QB Travis Lulay will be well protected from the get go this season. The two import bookends leaves the Lions with some decisions to make on the offensive line and my signal trouble for Justin Sorensen who has struggled to impress when filling in for injured players the last two seasons.
Eric Taylor will be slotted in on the defensive line to team with Aaron Hunt on the inside and bring experience. The 29 year old Taylor signed a 3 year deal with the Leos.
Egg on my face
A rumour making the rounds Wednesday originating from a tweet by Sportsnet’s Perry Lefko (one that he’s since deleted) suggested that Lions DB Stanley Franks would not be playing in 2011 due to a family issue and would be released by the Lions proved to be false. I found the tweet by Lefko odd since earlier that day The Province’s Lowell Ullrich had written the 24 year old Franks had signed an extension with the team.
Priding myself as a blogger that likes to get things right, I sent Lowell and other media people I trust a message on Twitter, asking if he had heard the rumour and he replied saying he would would post something later. He did and labelled the report as false.
When I originally read the post, I took issue with this paragraph:
“As for whether Franks is coming back at all, which made the rounds in cyberspace Wednesday, two words: Paper shuffle. Players receiving contract extensions, by definition, need to be released before their new deal is registered. Teams must wait until the legal stuff is done for making announcements. Bloggers aren’t under quite the same conditions.”
What? I didn’t post anything about the rumour! I tried to do the right thing and check my facts! Another shot at the blogger! How dare he!
I sent Lowell another message asking “Why the shot at bloggers?” Again he replied…”You shouldn’t be so defensive. I am a blogger too. I am referring to myself.”.
I crawled back into my blogger hole, rather red faced, after an apology to Lowell of course.
Great start to Grey Cup ticket sales
Reports also surfaced this week that the Lions have sold 22,000 plus Grey Cup season ticket holders so far, with tickets yet to go on sale to the general public. With the renovated BC Place in the picture, you can be sure the game will be a quick sell-out so get your tickets fast when you get the chance. It’s going to be a helluva show! Tickets to the general public are expected to go on sale in late spring.
Camping in Kamloops
The Lions will once again be holding training camp in Kamloops. Camp will open June 5th at Thompson University. BCLionsDen.ca will once again be up at camp for a few days and will attempt to bring you as much of the action as we can.