Moments in Time: BC QB’s
While the Vancouver Canucks have often been referred to as a goaltenders graveyard, the B.C. Lions have produced a whose who of QB’s over their tenure in the CFL, and while it is a lot easier to find an elite tosser in a field of eight, rather than a superstar stopper in a league of thirty, those who have graced the orange/white or black/silver (depending on your era), without a doubt belong in talks of all time CFL quarterbacks.
QUARTERBACK CLUB….(Based only on their time with the Lions)
Joe Kapp (1961-1966): Far before my time, only the printed word leads me to believe that Joe Kapp was a tough as nails QB, possibly one before his time. A three time HOF’er (CFL, BC Sports and BC Lions), Kapp’s first year with the Lions ended with a horrid single victory record.
Two years later the Lions would appear in back to back Grey Cup’s, falling short in ’63 and winning the trophy the following season, both of which Kapp was named to the league All-Star team.
Joe Paopao (1978-1983, 1990): I didn’t get to see much of the “Throwin’ Samoan”, other than on flashback highlights, and while he doesn’t don any of the hardware that some of the other Lions greats have, Paopao proved to be a popular player among fans and players for his willingness to launch the ball.
Roy Dewalt(1980-1987): Dewalt piloted the Lions when I started following the game in the early 80′s (I was about five years old). Memories of listening to Dewalt connecting with “Swervin” Mervyn Fernandez come to mind during road trips and family get-togethers.
After leading the team to a Grey Cup appearance in ’84, Dewalt walked out of Olympic Stadium with a year later with a Grey Cup and a Most Valuable Player award. Dewalt finished his seven year run with the Lions second all time on the team list for completed touchdown passes with 129.
Damon Allen (1996-2002): A whopping 27, 621 yards puts Allen on top of the all time Lions passing charts. As one of only two Lions to tally a touchdown in the 2000 Grey Cup, Allen punched in a pair of short yard runs to help bring the CFL Championship back to Vancouver.
Dave Dickenson (2003-2007): With two Grey Cup appearances, one Grey Cup ring on his finger and a Grey Cup MVP in his back pocket over the course of his five year tenure with the Leo’s, Double D set a standard for excellence in BC.
However it was also during his time with the Lions that Dickenson had to deal with misfortune on and off the field as he was a part of the great QB controversy with Casey Printers during the 04-06 seasons, along with suffering a number of career impacting injuries to his knee and head.
Not one of my favorite passers in terms of excitement level, Dickenson was without a doubt one of the most effective QB’s in team history.
5B Casey Printers (2003-2005, 2009-2010): Which Casey Printers do fans remember most? The arrogant one who chewed out teammates and threw them under the bus when times got tough, or the one who stepped up when Dave Dickenson was sent to the injured list and gave the Lions a Mike Vick like QB for the first time in years.
Not afraid to mix it up in the air and on the ground, Printers launched fans into a frenzy in piloting the team to an eight game winning streak after a 3-5 start and top seed in the West.
Injuries forced Printers to miss out on the chance to capture a Grey Cup.
Although a headcase, as his final throw as a Lion was that of his helmet on the ground, Printers had the ability to be one of the greats in Lions history.
Doug Flutie (1990-1991): Although most remember Flutie for his time with the Stamps and Argo’s, it was under the Dome where his CFL career first started.
Grabbing the Most Outstanding Player award in 1991, the 5’10 Flutie electrified fans in his short stint with the club and still holds the team record of passing yards in a single season with 6,619.