For the second time in three weeks, the Edmonton Eskimos' offensive line is being called out by a CFL opponent.
After the Winnipeg Blue Bombers made noise about the Green and Gold getting away with too many non-holding calls, the B.C. Lions have taken it a step further.
USING THE MEDIA
The Lions - tomorrow's opponent at Commonwealth Stadium for the Esks - are using the media to get their message across to the officiating crew.
"It's very frustrating from a defensive lineman's viewpoint when a 350-pound guy locks you up by bear-hugging you," Lions defensive tackle Tyrone Williams told the Vancouver Sun this week.
"They're (Eskimos) big grabbers. I'm not afraid to say it. They know it. The numbers on the side of my jersey, they were almost ripped off. Just getting held by your arms, and around your shoulders ... it's ridiculous. Holding is not called."
The rest of the Lions lost 27-20 to the Eskimos last Friday in Vancouver with the rematch here this Friday.
Williams isn't the only one making allegations in Vancouver. There are rumblings in B.C. of the Esks choking and clotheslining Lion defenders.
"Waaa. Cry," shot Eskimos offensive tackle Calvin Armstrong when told of the allegations.
"Holding is something the ref is going to call and if he doesn't call it then it is not holding. Simple as that."
Edmonton was flagged four times for holding in the game against the Lions last Friday.
B.C. has a league high 56 sacks but only recorded one last week.
Tom Higgins - the CFL's director of officiating - claims the Lions public complaining this week will not have an impact on the officiating crew tomorrow at Commonwealth Stadium.
"It's not going to influence anything," Higgins told Sun Media. "It can't. Our officials come into this as a clean game."
A former coach in this league, Higgins thought that if he complained about the officiating while coaching it might come back to bite his club in the rear end.
"You have to be careful for what you ask for," he said.
These allegations of non-calls by the officials and abuse by the Eskimos probably wouldn't have seen the light of day if B.C.-Edmonton weren't playing back-to-back games.
Just like when Winnipeg complained three weeks ago, it was before the back-end of a home-and-away series.
"There is a lot of tough football being played," said Higgins.
It's often said there is holding on every play in the CFL.
"There is a fine line somewhere," said Higgins. "It's where the line is (that matters)."
"Everybody is entitled to their own opinion," said Edmonton centre John Comiskey. "This comes down to the final weeks in the West Division and competitiveness becomes very fierce."
TIED FOR SECOND
The Eskimos and Lions are tied for second in the West Division with 18 points (9-6 records), two points behind first-place Calgary with three games left in the regular-season.
So, there is plenty at stake tomorrow night.