The following has been contributed by Brian Wawryshyn, owner of the BC Lions fan blog BCLionsDen.ca
The bye week is upon the BC Lions and the timing probably couldn’t be better for fans and players alike. The Lions are off to a 1-6 start and struggling to find their winning ways. With a young roster and some injury issues, they’ll be using this week off to try and right the ship.
Despite their record to date, there are some great reasons to get out and see the BC Lions in action – and no bigger one than the experience of Empire Field. Even casual sports fans are having a great time on the site where the Lions played until 1982. The great summer weather has made for a few beautiful nights watching football in the environment it was meant to be played – outdoors.
The Lions and the PNE have allowed for a great game day atmosphere. The pregame tailgate parties fill the parking lot with the aroma of barbequed goodies and allow hardcore Lions fans to mingle prior to the game. The sounds of live bands can be heard from the Lions Street Party, held two hours before each game. The Felions dance team is on hand along with Leo the Lion and activities for kids.
The game atmosphere itself is completely different than what recent generations of Lions fans have experienced at cavernous BC Place stadium. The configuration of the temporary stadium has fans right on top of the action. It hasn’t taken Lions fans long to figure out that metal bleachers make a lot of noise when you stomp your feet and â€œOrange Thunderâ€ has been filling the air when the opposing teams have the ball on offence.
The club has also done a good job of celebrating the past, bringing out such alumni players as Norm Fieldgate, Al Wilson, Tyrone Crews as well as former coach Vic Rapp among others.
If only the Lions could give the fans more to cheer about. The 1-6 start is the worst ever under the Wally Buono regime and the team has really struggled on offence with problems on the offensive line as well as injuries and inconsistent play at the quarterback position. Fans and media have been quick to point the finger at the coaches, but it’s been all of the above that has contributed to the slow start.
The break will see some new players brought in to try and stop the bleeding (such as 3 time all-star defensive lineman Jonathon Brown, formerly of the Toronto Argonauts) but, for the most part, it will be up to existing team members to turn things around and get the first win at Empire Field and try and get back into the playoff race.
If you haven’t been to a game, make sure you check one out. It’s great fun for the whole family, and with the PNE and Playland within a stone’s throw of the stadium, it’s easy to make a day of it.
The next BC Lions game is Friday August 27th at 7:30pm against the first place Calgary Stampeders. The PNE is in full swing on that day, so plan your time and transportation accordingly.
Brian Wawryshyn is the owner of the BC Lions fan blog BCLionsDen.ca and can be followed on Twitter as @BCLionsDen.
Miss604.com has two tickets to give away for the next BC Lions game vs the Calgary Stampeders, Friday August 27th. Here’s how to enter to win:
One winner will be drawn from all entries August 24th at 9:00am. Follow @BCLions on Twitter for updates and team news.
Update The winner of the Lions tickets is Natalie – have fun at the game!