It may appear as if Eric Taylor and Khalif Mitchell, who’ll be part of our in-paper preview Friday, weren’t aware of the Lions’ rather dismal record lately against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats when this shot was taken at practice this week, but Mike Benevides insists that is not the case (Wayne Leidenfrost-PNG)
The reasoning has never seemed quite clear, but there is a sense not everyone gets pumped up locally about a Lions game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Maybe it’s still the Angelo Mosca-Willie Fleming thing, or maybe Mosca and Joe Kapp.
It’s traditionally the worst draw of the season for the Lions and lately, it’s also produced the least favourable results. B.C. has lost five of its last eight games against Hamilton in the regular season, including the last three in Vancouver. The Lions have won 13 straight dating back to last year against the rest of the league. They’re 0-2 against the Tabbies.
In another example of the attention to detail of a football coach, Mike Benevides was asked what were the issues around the last time the Lions’ lost at home to Hamilton at Empire Field. The recall of the new head man was something to behold, recalling a controversial catch-and-run play by Hamilton’s Chris Williams as if it happened 10 minutes ago.
“We were looking to try and get a replay but that night we had Gene Simmons in the building and TSN was focusing on him. We could not get the challenge, and if we could have got a challenge it would completely have changed the complexion of the game,” said Benevides.
So perhaps we should change the records here; the Lions are 0-1 against Hamilton lately and 0-1 vs. Simmons.
But Benevides also didn’t need to be reminded that B.C. has started horribly in the last two starts against the Ticats, trailing 14-0 after nine defensive snaps at home last year and 10-0 in the first 10 minutes of their last loss of any sort, which was Oct. 22 in Hamilton.
So that brought back more talk at the walkthrough about home-field advantage, which has been a discussion point lately, when it was again made clear by Wally Buono that he’s still having some difficulty going along with the whole idea of opening the $563 million roof taxpayers eagerly put on his team’s stadium for games.
“People aren’t coming here to sit in the stadium and see the summer. They’re coming to see the B.C. Lions win,” Buono said. “To me it’s clear-cut: Create the best environment for the club, then the best environment for the fan experience, in that order. Winning enhances the fan experience. I’d love for every home game to be raining in Vancouver.”
So there’s two topics we can kick around Friday at 12 noon at our weekly Lions live chat right here at this same location. Does Buono have a point about the dome? And why can’t the Lions beat the Ticats in Vancouver lately? Leave your umbrella at home.