Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/10/2009 (3710 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THIS week's spat between the B.C. Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers over some pre-game taunting back in August is a reminder that there's lots of little boy in the gladiators we watch each weekend.
Remember when Billy or Spike or Stinky or whatever his name was picked you last for the tackle game on the vacant lot? Or ripped your shirt when he tackled you? Or told you your mom was ugly? It was war in your little world and the next time you got a chance — bang — you drilled the little sucker.
Turns out the big fellas in the CFL aren't much different. Prior to the Bombers hanging a 37-10 whomping on the Lions back on Aug. 21 in B.C., the home side got together near midfield and aimed an obscene gesture at the Bombers.
The Lions stole the move from the members of a pro wrestling faction known as D-Generation X, who, back in the day, would enter the ring and make a chopping motion around their mid-section. Classic wrestling theatre but below the belt of accepted behaviour in pro football.
Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown wrote about the incident in his weekly Free Press column and the Lions eventually paid a fine, reportedly $75 per player. The issue jumped back into the news this week when Lions defensive end Ricky Foley and receiver Paris Jackson fired a few shots at Brown.
"It was a crybaby article. (Brown) went against the code. That was within the game. It was not an emotionally based comment after the game. I don't understand that. He took the time to sit down, write, bang it out, proofread, edit and complain like a little baby," said Foley, in a chat with Vancouver reporters on Friday. "It was about team solidarity, not about trying to insult anybody... If they want to say they whipped our ass and ran the ball down our throats, fine. That's okay. Talk about that. But to write an article? Who's he? He's a football player, not a commissioner."
The Lions weren't done.
"If he hasn't noticed we've been doing it for five years, then he's pretty stupid," said Jackson. "We don't directly do it at the other team. We do it just for fun. Then somebody calls us out and we all get fined. Because Doug Brown has a column, he feels he should write about it. Everybody has their opinion. But he took money out of pockets. Doug Brown is who he is. You can't change him. He tends to whine about a lot of things."
Walking past Brown's locker after Bombers practice on Saturday was all it took to get the former NFLer and perennial all-star jawing again.
"If telling a bunch of grown men to 'suck it,' is their team-building exercise then maybe they should keep it behind closed doors," said Brown, when asked if he believed he had violated any code. "The only code you play by as a professional athlete is to respect your opponent regardless of their record, their personnel. If you follow that creed then things like this never happen.
Brown also had a jab for Jackson.
"Jackson is mad because this is the first time he's ever had to contribute to charity. He had that money pegged for the Roxy (nightclub) on Burrard," said Brown.
Foley arrived in Winnipeg on Saturday and was told about Brown's comments on Jackson and the fine. He immediately broke into laughter.
"That's funny. That's funny. See, so I guess Doug's not that bad a guy. He's a funny guy," said Foley. "I just don't think he's the guy to do it. Let somebody else do it."