Buono takes potshot

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Wally Buono took the heat off his own team yesterday with the use of visual aids.

Before officially starting his pre-game news conference, the B.C. Lions head coach had the lights dimmed, cued up the projector and showed the play everyone was talking about this week in Calgary.

Before discussing the brawl against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in which a Lions player was suspended and two more fined, Buono instead educated the media about a different incident.

Prof. Buono wanted to point out how the play where Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris dislocated his shoulder wasn't unnecessary roughness and was ruled correctly.

To refresh everyone's memory, Burris scrambled to the sidelines, was tripped up and hit out of bounds by Hamilton's Zeke Moreno.

"This is a great defensive play and I will tell you why," Buono said in starting his information session. "It's because the player doesn't get a penalty. The officials make a great call, but you don't realize it until you slow it down and look at it."

By pointing out Moreno went to his knees and stuck out his arms to soften the landing on Burris, it wasn't a play that should have been called.

The Stampeders disagreed with the CFL's ruling and review, and president Ted Hellard issued a statement outlining why on Tuesday. He was immediately slapped with a $10,000 fine.

When told about the free class on football given before he arrived yesterday, Stamps head coach Tom Higgins was perplexed.

"It would have been nice to sit in and listen to what he might have said," said Higgins, who would argue Burris shouldn't have been hit because he was on the ground.

"Everyone has an opinion and this is no different. It's (an argument) that might be waged for a long period of time.

"The Calgary Stampeders football players and Hamilton Tiger-Cats didn't get involved in any kind of fracas that caused any other disruptions.

"I'm not sure why he brought any attention towards some challenges we may have. It was done and buried, a prepared read statement and it was over."

Buono was obviously having fun this week in getting ready to face the Stampeders at B.C. Place Stadium tonight (8 p.m., CBC).

Following the brawl with the Lions, Roughriders general manager Eric Tillman criticized Buono for either condoning or turning a blind eye to the tactics of his offensive line. Tillman was slapped with a $1,000 fine, while Buono sat back quietly.

When Burris went out against Hamilton, Akili Smith threw an interception to end the game. Had a penalty been called on Moreno, the Stamps would have been first-and-goal on the two with enough time to run three plays.

"That's not a penalty," Buono said. "A bad call costs Hamilton the game. They made a good call.

"I'm not trying to point the finger at anybody.

"I just want you to realize the speed and complexity of the game."


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