Hello to the Bye Bowl

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

Call it the Bye Bowl.

The winner of tonight's B.C. Lions versus Calgary Stampeders tilt at McMahon Stadium in the Stampede City doesn't get a trophy or banner. The players are afforded no bonuses or rings. They simply get a scheduled week off without being branded with the word "slump."

The loser of the Bye Bowl might be saying "bye-bye" to some personnel.

Both teams have lost their last two home games. For 3-4 Calgary, losses to B.C. and the Montreal Alouettes sandwiched a two-point road win over the Edmonton Eskimos. The 5-2 Lions were losers to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. It was the Leos' first consecutive dome defeats since the dismal end of the 2005 season.

"Banged-up" Buck Pierce starts as B.C.'s quarterback. Concussed ex-Stamp Dave Dickenson travelled with B.C. and will be on the sidelines, but only to offer advice.

Linebacker Jamall Johnson (arm), defensive back Korey Banks (ankle) and receiver Tony Simmons (foot) will be ready to play. Simmons' return gives Pierce another target, but Geroy Simon remains waiting for a breakout game.

"They're starting to throw the ball in my area more, we've just got to be more efficient and make the big plays," Simon said.

Johnson can only help Otis Floyd and Javier Glatt in their bid to contain Stamps' running back Joffrey Reynolds. Calgary's offence depends on inconsistent quarterback Henry Burris, who looks like a genius some nights and a jackass on others.

"He can be a shaky quarterback, but he's a good quarterback," said Lions' defensive back Ryan Phillips. "He's a scrambler, he can throw the long ball. We have to try to make him do the things he doesn't like to do."

An added attraction - or distraction - may be the attempted comeback by troubled toe Duncan O'Mahony. The Abbotsford product was a Stamps' rookie in 2001 after a record-breaking career with the University of B.C. Thunderbirds. He eventually followed Wally Buono to B.C., but was cast out of the Lions' den after too many missed field goals in 2005. O'Mahony was signed by the Blue Bombers but went missing before training camp last year. He was cut by the Stamps after training camp this year and was about to officially retire from the game when he was called to temporarily replace underperforming punter Burke Dales.

O'Mahony is taking it one game at a time, but needs two to reach the century mark in CFL games played.


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