End of the Superman Era in B.C.
As I write this with tears in my eyes, looking at the picture of a green #81 jersey posted on Facebook by Geroy Simon himself, I feel many things.
I feel sadness, anger, shock, and a sense of betrayal.
Growing up attending all home games of the B.C. Lions and idolizing Simon since I was a preteen, I have this feeling of abandonment coming over me.
It’s like a father walking out on his family. I know that’s a fairly extreme analogy, but that’s how it feels for a true fan of the team and it’s most famed player of all time.
There’s anger on a few levels, or maybe it’s more like disappointment. Here are the five things that really bug me, and likely thousands of other Superman fans.
As if it’s not bad enough our beloved all star player gets suddenly and unexpectedly traded, but he goes to Riderville!?
The colour green already invokes a sense of anger when I see it, and now that the B.C. Lion I idolized for over a decade will be dawning one of those awful green jerseys I know my blood will boil.
It really is like salt in the wound to see his last named stitched upon a Riders uniform; anyone but them would have been easier to stomach.
Why couldn’t he have just gone to Hamilton where every other CFL veteran goes to die?
I realize all professional athletes rely on their confidence to help them perform at a high level, but there is a time and place to be full of yourself.
Geroy had a very lackluster season in 2012, barred by injuries and lack of meaningful production.
To ask to be traded after a year of respectable numbers is different, but not after you virtually made no difference on the field for a whole season.
If his reason for requesting the trade was that he wanted more balls thrown his way he should consider two things first: to have throws go your way you need to A) play in the game and maintain your health, and B) get open!
Simon has arguably the best hands in the league still, but his wheels are surely not as reliable as in years past.
In his mind he must still be an MOP caliber player. We all knew Arland Bruce had a big ego, now Simon has solidified that he is not too different from his former Lions teammate.
When something is brewing for a long time, or even a few weeks, it gives fans and the media a chance to analyze the situation and wrap their heads around it.
This situation came literally out of nowhere.
Kudos to Wally for pulling the trigger so quickly after Simon requested to be traded, but this really left no time for anyone to react to Simon’s demands.
Maybe that was part of the reason Buono rushed it so quickly, to avoid a public backlash against Geroy.
Regardless of the details, which now don’t matter, it is really just a frustrating situation for Lions fans to be in.
We were all still buzzing over the news of Arland’s departure and some of the other shake ups across the league… then boom! The hammer was dropped on our heads with no softening of the blow.
What We (didn’t) Get in Return
Geroy Simon is the league’s all time receiving leader. He has records, rings, and the respect of the whole country.
He’s a household name, and although he had a very unproductive season this past year, he is still Superman on paper.
That’s why it is so infuriating that we got basically nothing in return from the Roughriders.
A guy who won’t start or make an impact at all( and is also an import), and a third round draft pick seem hardly worth it for a guy who sells more jerseys than you can shake a stick at.
It’s obvious he’s not worth the money he once earned and still wanted, but he is worth someone decent, or at least some first round picks in return.
Wally usually knows best, so in the long run we may all be satisfied, but as of right now we are down two star players with none brought on to replace them.
#81 Won’t Retire in Orange
This is perhaps the saddest part of this whole fiasco.
When I hear the name Geroy I immediately envision him striking the ‘superman’ pose in his bright orange jersey under the bright lights of B.C. Place.
That’s how it should be forever, but soon I will see him run onto the field in a green outfit, and it just won’t look right.
He really should have just retired in B.C. Really, what is he trying to prove?
Will this be another Jerry Rice or Terrell Owens scenario? I hope not for Simon’s sake, although I have very mixed feelings towards him now.
I would never wish something bad upon him, but I do hope he makes no impact on the Riders squad and realizes he left the best organization in Canada.
I know Simon was well liked and respected in the B.C. locker room, but rest assured the Lions’ DBs are salivating at the opportunity to shut him down or pick off a pass thrown his way.