Magical mane men

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

With each win, the spotlight intensifies on the B.C. Lions.

After surviving a scare from the Montreal Alouettes on the weekend, the Lions are now undefeated in 14 consecutive regular-season games dating back to last year.

If Wally Buono's crew defeats the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium, the Lions will have sole possession of second place on the all-time CFL regular-season win streak list.

At the moment, that spot is being shared with the 1954-55 Eskimos.

The Calgary Stampeder organization holds the record, as the 1948 and 1949 clubs combined to win 22 consecutive games.

The Lions can't tie or set that record this season with only seven tilts remaining before the playoffs.

But at 11-0 so far in 2005, this year's B.C. squad can set some records and join some lofty company.

Only one team -- the 1948 Stampeders -- has ever managed to complete an undefeated season in CFL history. It was a 12-0 season, meaning this year's Lions team can set a new record for the longest winning streak in one season with two more wins this fall. If that happens, the Lions will also set the record for the longest winning streak to start a season.

EVERYONE WATCHES THE LEOS

While the Lions are putting together a phenomenal season on the field, the organization is quietly in the midst of an incredible year at the box office.

After 36,066 fans walked through the doors of B.C. Place last weekend, the Lions have attracted 190,190 fans to six regular-season games.

Believe it or not, that eclipses the overall attendance count for the entire 2002 regular season, when 176,110 fans sat in the seats. The year before, the Lions garnered 178,709 fans for the regular season.

In 2002 the Lions had less than 6,000 season-ticket holders. This year that number is 19,000.

Barring some sort of disaster, the Lions will draw close to 300,000 fans over nine regular-season games this year, giving the organization its highest attendance count since 1991.

A $5.2M RENOVATION?

Taylor Field in Regina could be home to a major $5.2-million renovation project this winter.

The Saskatchewan Roughrider brass is hoping construction will start in December on a new building in the south end zone that will feature the ticket/administration office and sponsor/club lounge.

If it becomes a reality, the old office area under the stadium will be used for the players.

"We don't have the kind of weight room and training room that we need," said Rider CEO Jim Hopson. "We would like to see things like a players' lounge and meeting rooms."

The board of directors on the community-owned franchise must give its stamp of approval before anything can happen.

Hopson is hoping sponsorship dollars and funds raised through a facility-user fee on every Rider ticket will pay for half of the renovation bill. The remaining $2.6 million will likely come through financing. After years of horrendous debt, the Riders entered this season debt free.

LATE HITS: Montreal is now winless in Vancouver since the summer of 2000 ... By beating the imploding Ottawa Renegades last Friday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won on the road for the first time in 377 days. The Bombers hadn't won away from home since beating Saskatchewan on Labour Day weekend in 2004 ... Watch for the Bombers to unveil a new third jersey on Oct. 10.

HITS & MISSES

HIT

GAVIN WALLS

Winnipeg rookie defensive end scores two touchdowns against Ottawa.

HIT

CHARLES ROBERTS

Bombers running back tops 1,000 rushing yards for fourth consecutive season, a club record.

MISS

DON MATTHEWS

Instead of taking the regulation tie with a chance to win in overtime against B.C., Montreal's coach gambles with a two-point convert with 50 seconds left and fails.

NUMBERS GAME

9 -- The number of interceptions Ottawa quarterback Kerry Joseph has thrown in the last four games.

0 -- The number of Ottawa wins in that stretch.

5 -- The number of games Riders all-star receiver Matt Dominguez is still expected to miss on the injured list.

17 -- The number of years since the Riders have hosted a playoff game.

2 -- The number of points the Riders are behind the Edmonton Eskimos for second place.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"It's kind of silly, really."

-- Jesse Lumsden on being called a 'Hamilton Hottie' in a newspaper article

"He's a killer out there."

-- Eddie Davis on teammate Scott Gordon

GAME OF THE WEEK

ESKS VS. LIONS, SATURDAY, 5 P.M., COMMONWEALTH

Can the Lions stay undefeated in 2005?

Will the Lions all but mathematically clinch first place in the CFL Western Division? That will give them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.


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