Lions prez will be missed

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:09 PM ET

Bob Ackles was just gearing up to lead the crusade against the NFL coming to Canada, and his deep-rooted passion for the CFL was apparent every time he spoke on the issue.

Bombers president and CEO Lyle Bauer said that was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to his B.C. Lions counterpart.

"Bob just brought so much experience and history and passion to the league," Bauer said. "That will be missed more than anything."

Ackles died yesterday morning of an apparent heart attack. He was 69.

"He's always been a great ambassador for this league," Bombers head coach Doug Berry said. "He believes strongly in the CFL and the branding of it, and certainly since he's come back to the B.C. Lions we've seen the resurgence in the popularity of football in that whole city."

The Bombers host the Lions on Friday at Canad Inns Stadium, and Bauer said there will be a ceremony of some kind.

"It would be inappropriate if we didn't pay tribute to someone who has done so much for this league," he said.

CRYPTIC COACH: Berry is still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong in Montreal on Friday, when his team fell behind 28-0 in the first half en route to a 38-24 drubbing.

He's obviously searching for answers everywhere, because he intimated yesterday that maybe not every Bomber was in his hotel room reading his playbook on Thursday night.

He wasn't the only one thinking that.

"Maybe there were some things happening the night before the game that I'm not aware of," he said. "I don't know."

Berry hadn't even heard rumblings that players were enjoying the electric Montreal nightlife, which made his comments even more puzzling. Then again, it could just be his way of ensuring accountability as the Bombers try to emerge from the funk of their 0-2 start.

He plans to discuss the topic with the players when they return to the practice field today.

"I want to just say, 'Hey, listen. If a shoe fits, you better wear it,'" Berry said. "And it's not that I have to find out about it -- you don't want your teammates to find out about it. There's an honour system. There's a respect. We're all men."

QUIRKY STAT DEPT: Perhaps the Bombers should lose Friday, because history shows their chances of making the playoffs are better after an 0-3 start than an 0-2 beginning.

When it comes to qualifying for the post-season after poor beginnings, the Blue and Gold are 4-for-9 after an 0-3 start but 7-for-17 after an 0-2 start.


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