Leo overlooking Printers?
Damon Allen will be honoured on the B.C. Lions Wall of Fame when the Eskimos come to town on Saturday night.
Certainly a deserving honour, but for everyone who remembers the way Damon Allen was booted out of town in 2002, it’s a bit of a curious one.
Allen only produced one Grey Cup in the seven years he was the pivot for the Lions, and that win in the year 2000 was won on the back of the Lions’ running game. Allen was solid, but not spectacular with the Lions throughout his run, regularly disappearing in the playoffs and not using the talent he had around him.
In fact, this new member of the Wall of Fame was dumped by the Lions for a second-round pick, a third-round pick and several rolls of tape. Wally Buono and Bobby Ackles thought Allen was done and his style just never seemed to click in Vancouver.
Enter the Casey Printers/Dave Dickenson wars of the mid-2000s.
Everyone had an opinion, and it was because of that whole debate that interest was sparked once again in the Lions. My question is: Will we ever see Printers in the wall?
Printers in 2004 put together one of the best single seasons by a Lions quarterback in club history. Other than Doug Flutie in 1991, no other Lions QB dominated the game like Printers did, and he did it in a way that sold tickets and energized the fanbase.
I still think back to that 2004 Grey Cup when Wally Buono made the mistake to start his boy Dave Dickenson over Printers. That decision cost the franchise a Grey Cup, and it was the first step in the splintering of Printers’ relationship with the Lions.
Personally, I think Printers has just as much a right to be on the wall as Allen – his numbers alone in that incredible ’04 season should be enough to warrant inclusion. He broke the 5,000-yard mark, completed better than 60 percent of his passes, threw 35 touchdowns and had a QB rating of 115.
In his seven years as a Lion, Allen never threw 25 touchdowns in a season and never had a QB rating over 100.
We all know Printers’ career never really panned out after leaving the Lions. He couldn’t catch on in the NFL, didn’t fit in on Hamilton and the second run with the Lions was pretty forgettable.
That said, he was the right player at the right time to return a franchise to relevancy and make the game seem fun for everyone out there.
Printers deserves a spot on the Lions wall for that incredible ’04 season and his role on that ’05 Grey Cup team.
He may not be the most popular guy with teammates or management, but I believe Printers had a genuine connection with the fans. Giving them a chance to remember what he did when interest in the Lions was pretty low would be a nice gesture.
Plus, who doesn’t want to look at Printers’ name on the wall and tell their grandchildren that there was the guy who turned chicken salad into chicken shit?