Sunday, November 14, 2004

Rebirth on the Pacific

Much has been made of the turn around on the field by the BC Lions, a stable coaching situation and a bounty of quarterbacks seems to have made the Lions the team on the rise in the West if not in the entire CFL.

But there has been more to the success of the Leos than just the on field performance, in the background where the day to day franchise rebuilding has taken place is a former waterboy, Bob Ackles. Returning to the Lions three years ago Ackles began the process of returning the Lions to their former place of honour in Vancouver's sporting circles.

There must have been many days it must have seemed like a lost cause, sparse attendance, rundown facilities and a general malaise about the team in the province, gave Ackles a larger challenge than he may have wished to take on. But tackle it he did and Sunday afternoon somewhere between 55,000 and 60,000 fans will trek down to BC Place to restore the Roar! A sure sign that Ackles has put the team back on the right course with the BC sports fan!

The Vancouver Sun's Gary Mason provides this fascinating profile of the Lions Go To and Can Do man. From a team barely mentioned above a whisper a few years ago, the Lions have become THE TEAM of the town this year and with an exciting never say die kind of spirit they may find many of their new found friends back again in May of next year, ready to roar when a Grey Cup Banner is raised to the top of BC Place. When it comes time to take some bows, the guy at the front of the line should be the Old Lion himself Bobby Ackles!

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