Murphy has double the praise for Braley

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:44 PM ET

Rob Murphy first met David Braley when the left tackle lined up for the B.C. Lions.

As first impressions went, Murphy was struck by Braley’s no-nonsense approach, his willingness to win and be the best, his dedication to community and his warmth.

Braley has owned three teams in the CFL and his two current assets will go toe to toe this Friday at Rogers Centre in the first of two meetings during the regular season.

“First and foremost, he’s a great guy,’’ Murphy said of Braley. “He’s been a great ambassador for this league and no doubt he’ll continue to be one for many years to follow.

“Having Mr. Braley as an owner in B.C., he always gave us that winning edge as far as providing us with whatever we needed to succeed. Much like in business, he wants to win.”

Murphy has seen no change in Braley as Argos owner.

The same commitment Murphy saw in B.C. is evident in Toronto, the same passion Murphy felt from Braley is very much palpable.

“There’s no b.s. with Mr. Braley,’’ Murphy added. “He’s fair and he wants results. The great thing he did in B.C. and what he’s doing here is he’s so involved in the community. He knows this league is a fan-driven league and the more times we can get out in the community the better you can drum up support.”

In the immediate aftermath of last week’s win over Calgary, Murphy had an opportunity to chat with Braley at Rogers Centre as the one-time Lions offensive lineman began to look ahead to his meeting with his former mates.

In a moment of curiosity, Murphy wondered if an owner of two teams in the same league had a preference.

“When I talked to him, he honestly said he didn’t care which team wins the Grey Cup,’’ Murphy said. “As long as it’s one of his teams and I truly believe that.

“He’s been owner of B.C. longer, but he’s not pulling for one or the other. And you believe him because that’s the kind of man Mr. Braley is, he’s the kind of man you want to be with off the field because you can talk to him about anything.

“He’s so worldly that you can pretty much ask him anything.”

For Murphy, a meeting with the Lions is more than just a game.

He spent three seasons in B.C., developed friendships that have grown since his move to Toronto, and views his matchups against his former team with added meaning.

“These games are always fun, always exciting because you’re going up against guys you knew for three years,’’ Murphy said. “There’s a little more animosity. It’s business and it’s a war when you step on the field.”

Murphy makes a habit of reaching out to Lions head coach Wally Buono once or twice every other month during the season.

“The guys I’m really close with on that team I’ll call once a week,’’ Murphy said.

But come kickoff, it’s all business, an approach Braley would appreciate and applaud.

frank.zicarelli@sunmedia.ca


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