VANCOUVER— Ask away, ladies and gentlemen. Apparently, there is no question deemed out of bounds by the head coaches in this week’s Grey Cup.
At Wednesday’s introductory news conference for B.C. Lions coach Wally Buono and Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Paul LaPolice, a veteran writer posed an awkwardly phrased version of the annual chestnut that the late Toronto Sun scribe Jim Hunt used to ask: “What is your policy on players having sex on the night before the game?”
Except this year, the reporter stumbled over the question and it came out: “What is your position on sex before the game with your players?”
LaPolice did a quick deciphering, and played it straight.
“I would say, everything in moderation,” said the Bombers’ second-year coach. “You know I was warned about this question. The weird thing is, 10 years ago, we’d never hear this comment, but literally part of my thought process is: ‘Geez, I gotta make sure these guys don’t put it on Twitter.’ So that’s how a head coach’s job changes over the years. Now, it’s like: ‘Well, make sure you don’t put any of that on Facebook.’
“I think it’s kind of too much information from some of my guys, I really don’t want to be included in their Friday and Saturday plans. Just, whatever it takes. If that’s what it takes, boys . . .”
Buono, though, couldn’t let it pass.
“Well, I thought your question was quite weird, you said Paul had sex with (his) players. So just think about what you said, you weren’t saying Paul was having sex? You have to be careful, it’s brought a lot of attention recently, right? And not all good.”
As the room cringed, Buono — who’s heard the question eight previous times as a Grey Cup head coach — plowed ahead.
“Here’s what I say: my thing is, what you do, you do. Some players, God bless ‘em, enjoy sex. Some players don’t. In the end, it doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you line up for 3 1/2 hours. So if sex is an excuse, it’s a bad excuse. You want to be able to have some fun, but when it’s time to play, let’s go play.”
Football, he meant.