It’s the time of year that all CFL fans dread; the long off-season has begun, and for BC Lions fans 2014 is going to be an exciting year with the franchise set to host the 102ND Grey Cup Championship at BC Place stadium next November.
Before then there is plenty of work to be done and with the expansion draft behind them and all the presents opened in Ottawa, it’s time to roll out our Christmas wish list for the BC Lions. So sit back by the fire with your eggnog and rum and checkout our list. We would love for you to add to it by commenting on Twitter or leaving your ideas down below!
A Strong Shoulder for Travis Lulay
Travis Lulay has been a good boy this year. He has become a fixture in the community and he’s just all around great guy. For Travis we send the gift of health for his problematic shoulder and the hope that he can return to the consistent form he found in 2011 when he led the Lions to their 6th Grey Cup championship. Off-season surgery will hopefully help and here’s to no setbacks and a stronger, dominant Travis Lulay in 2014.
A Dynamic Offence
The Lions offence was a frustrating site for Santa and he’s hoping he can offer some excitement and dominance for the Leos in 2014. Long-time coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine won’t be back but the Lions have yet to land any of the coaches they had interest in so far this off-season. Here’s hoping that whoever ends up in the job, there is a fresh approach that inspires his players to greatness again with results that reflect the talent on the Lions.
Holes for Harris
Whoever gets the BC Lions offensive coordinator position, we hope that they can give the gift of a running attack that was missing for much of last season. The club certainly improved in that department after the arrival of Stefan Logan, but it was embarrassing at times last year how teams were able to contain Andrew Harris and the Lions running game. Harris had to be frustrated at times in that offence but was the consummate team player, and we’re hoping that Santa brings him a dominant year in 2014.
Home Field Advantage
The Lions attendance dropped in 2013, thanks to a picture perfect summer and a not so perfect schedule that featured weeknight games, holiday games and weird start times. The Lions are a tough team to beat at home and we wish for that trend to continue at beautiful BC Place stadium in the coming year. We are also asking Santa for more education for fans that do the wave on offence and sit on their hands on defence. Let’s all be part of a run to the Grey Cup in Vancouver in 2014, get your season tickets and be part of the Pride that is BC Lions football.
A Full Recovery for Kirby Fabien
Santa was disappointed to see a promising young offensive lineman incur such a terrible injury last season so we asked him to provide a full recovery and stability for Kirby Fabien. Fabien was having an outstanding rookie campaign before getting hurt last season and has faced a long recovery process that is still in progress. He is a vital piece of the Lions offensive line and we’re hoping the big fella in red and white is kind to the big fells in orange and black.
Success for Mark Washington
Anyone who has ever been around the BC Lions has probably had the chance to meet and talk to Mark Washington, the new defensive coordinator of your Leos. The appointment was well deserved and after years of learning from the likes of Wally Buono, Mike Benevides and Rich Stubler, Washington now gets his chance to put his stamp on the organization as a coach. They likely would have lost him to another club if the team didn’t release Stubler. He has the respect of his players, the experience and expertise to excel. We look forward to Santa bringing Mark an aggressive defence that will be feared by all in 2014.
The Hall of Fame Game
Wally Buono will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and we are asking Santa to bring us the annual Hall of Fame game and the celebrations that come with that. I don’t believe the Lions have ever hosted that event in Vancouver that usually includes alumni and a dinner. It would be great to have it here as a build up to the 2014 Grey Cup and to allow Lions fans a chance to celebrate with Buono.
Peace for Angus Reid
Last year was supposed to be Angus Reid’s swansong. He would play one more season, then likely retire after what should be noted as a Hall of Fame career in the future. Herniated discs in his back prevented that from happening and the Lions centre didn’t take a snap in 2013. He was a great mentor to those that filled in and has high praise for Matt Norman. Angus had off-season surgery on his back and has begun his recovery. Whether he chooses to play in 2014 remains to be seen, but whatever his decision is, we wish him peace with it, and a pain free year.
A Great Grey Cup Festival
In 2005 the Lions set the new standard for Grey Cup Festivals with their street parties and in 2011 they upped the ante again. With the game back here in 2014 we hope that Santa brings Jamie Pitblado and the organizing committee the best Grey Cup Festival yet. Many fans were shut out of this year’s game in Regina, and those Grey Cup regulars will be chomping at the bit to be in Vancouver. As Lions fans we will welcome the CFL with pride to our city and put on the party of the year!
Most of all…
To all of you who read our blogs, listen to our pawdcasts, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or share a meal with us in Tailgate Empire, we wish you the happiest of holidays, a Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year.
Roar you Lions roar!