lions

The three most important games of the BC Lions 2013 campaign

Get It Done!

After a disappointing end to 2012, here are 3 must wins for the Leos!

The B.C. Lions watched the 100th Grey Cup from the comfort of their homes, although it likely wasn’t comforting knowing that it should have been them representing the West Division that day in Toronto. The Argos took a page from the Lions’ 2011 Cinderella story by winning the Grey Cup in their own backyard last November.

It’s a dream all pro football teams have, and in the CFL it is very attainable… that is if your club can survive the long, wacky, unpredictable rigors of the CFL season.

The Lions, and their fans, believed it was them who would be hoisting the Cup again last year, but things didn’t quite go to plan. But with a refined roster including younger, hungrier players look for the team to bounce back in a major way. Here are the key matchups to watch in B.C.’s quest for the 2013 Grey Cup.

Argos at Lions July 4th

The regular season home opener is always a big deal, but when it’s the defending champs coming into town it’s that much bigger. This is East vs. West, and the past two Grey Cup Champions going head to head. The Argos will be out to prove they didn’t just get lucky last season, and the Lions will be hungrier than last year’s squad who may have rested on their merrits too much.

Lions vs. Argos

The Argos come to town in a battle of the last 2 Grey Cup winners.

Both teams have a legitimate shot at the Cup again this season, although Montreal seems to be more of a favourite in the East Division. Toronto and B.C. share some similarities on and off the field. Of course no matter who wins, David Braley wins.

The Canadian multi-millionaire owns both these successful franchises and has been sitting pretty for two consecutive years in the winners’ circle. On the field, both teams have a great pivot at QB in Travis Lulay and Ricky Ray, and both have a great playmaker in Andrew Harris and Chad Owens respectively.

Riders at Lions Oct. 4th

Every Lions fan already has this marked on their calendar. It’s the first visit by Saskatchewan since long time Lion legend Geroy Simon joined the Rider Nation in the off-season. Games with the Riders are always great, it’s a perennial West Division rivalry.

And the green and white faithful travel well, which always makes for a great atmosphere no matter where the game is played.

It will be very interesting to see how the Vancouver fans react to Geroy’s return to B.C. Place. I will be there and I will give him the hand he deserves, but I cannot speak for the thousands of others who will be in attendance. Speaking of attendance, look for this game to rake in the highest total of the season for B.C.

Stamps at Lions Nov. 1st

Calgary are the defending West Division Champs, so naturally it’s our goal to try to dominate the season series with them, especially since it was them who knocked us out of last year’s playoffs. It’s no secret that the West will likely come down to these two teams again in 2013. And home field advantage will be important, as it always is.

The interesting thing about this year is that we get the joy of playing the Stamps four times, meaning the season series can be split.

Hopefully the Lions will finish with a better record anyways and not need to go down to tie breaker technicalities to host the West Final. But this game is the most important of the four not just to determine home field, but also because it’s the last week of the regular season.

Now this could mean it’s a meaningless game, but I wouldn’t count on that in this league. Winning the final matchup would be a big boost heading into the post season for both of these teams. Look for all games versus the Stamps to have great fireworks in 2013.

Having singled out these few games as the biggest, don’t forget that there are 15 others to watch this year for B.C. If history is any indication, this should be a wild year in the CFL.

Go Leos!

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About Bryan McFarlane

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