Coaches keep 'em laughing

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

Wally Buono and Danny Maciocia deserve credit for making life entertaining.

The two old friends from Montreal neighbourhoods delivered one of the best pre-game media conferences at Commonwealth Stadium in years yesterday, joking around for reporters. The head coaches debated about who came from the richest Montreal area. There was a jab about tomato sauce between the deeply-rooted Italians.

But Buono also had plenty of serious comments, including discussing the sagging playoff hopes facing Maciocia and his Eskimos.

"The season is not over," said the B.C. Lions bench boss.

"People just assume who the playoff guys are. That is not been established or resolved yet. Football is a game where you have to forget the past and get on with the future. And whether you win or lose, it is the past.

"If you live in the past and you are losing it is a negative thing. If you live in the past and you are winning, you are going to start losing. What happened last week can't affect anything you do this week."

Buono's boys will face rookie quarterback Stefan LeFors today, making his second career CFL regular-season start, with the Eskimos three points below the final West Division playoff spot.

On paper, it's a huge mismatch as the Lions lead the CFL with 21 points - 10 more than Edmonton. But Buono applauded LeFors for his effort in his first start last week.

"He didn't fall apart (last week)," said the coach. "He handled the mechanics of the game very well. He handled a lot of things very well.

"He has to go through the pains of losing sometimes to learn how to win."

FINISH LINES ...

Esks LB Shannon Garrett will play today after suffering a hip flexor injury in practice earlier this week ... Lenny Williams and Damien Anderson will share special teams return duties today, meaning Tony Tompkins has been benched ... Watch for Rhett McLane to dress today as an extra Canadian, replacing Agustin Barrenechea.


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