HAMILTON -- It is somehow appropriate that perhaps the most famous CFLer of all time will be honoured at the annual Hall of Fame Game between the Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers just two days after Ron Lancaster lost his latest battle to cancer.
TSN will dedicate tonight's broadcast to Lancaster, with a special feature on his brilliant career and will honour new Hall of Famer Doug Flutie, among others at halftime.
"I've known Ron Lancaster for decades," TSN/CTV sports anchor Brian Williams said in a statement. "Not only was he a Hall of Famer on the field, he was one of the best broadcasters ever to cover the CFL when he teamed with the late Don Wittman. For more than a generation he was the face of the CFL as a player, coach, executive and broadcaster."
Lancaster, who was serving as a special advisor to the Ticats, had also been Hamilton's head coach and GM. And when the Tiger-Cats were told he had died during yesterday's walk-through, they all stopped, gathered around and said a prayer for him.
"With Ron Lancaster passing away, this game will also be almost like something special for his memory," said Bomber wide receiver Arjei Franklin, who knows the Ticats could use the tribute as inspiration.
"Maybe, but once that game starts, we've got to play to win," he said. "In life, it's sad when anything like that happens but everyone understands the way the game should be played and once you step on that field, you're playing to win."
INDUCTEES: Former Bomber John Bonk will be among those Hall of Fame inductees to be honoured tonight. The others are Flutie, Mike (Pinball) Clemons, Mike Pringle and Tom Shepherd (builder).
ZEKE FUN: Bomber LB Zeke Moreno will face his old team just two weeks after Hamilton dealt him to Winnipeg.
"You want to show an organization that you're a good investment," Moreno said. "I'm happy to be here in Winnipeg and I think everything's going to work out ... It's going to be fun (tonight) ... It's going to be exciting. It's not going to be a dirty game, it's going to be a fun game. I enjoyed being with those guys there. I built relationships there and I'm going to continue to build relationships."
HASHMARKS: The Bombers are talking to free agent OL Bobby Singh ... Hamilton running back Jesse Lumsden will miss tonight's match with a shoulder injury ... Recently-acquired DE Alain Kashama will make his Ticat debut tonight ... Tabbies fans are being asked to wear black for Blackout Night ... The'Cats are apparently chasing RB Kenton Keith, the former Saskatchewan Roughrider just cut by Indianapolis ... Former Hamilton QB Timmy Chang made the trip here but is unlikely to dress for the Bombers tonight.
PLAYER TO WATCH ...
Casey Printers, No. 1
Arriving in Steeltown amidst much fanfare and a thick contract, the CFL's former Most Outstanding Player has yet to live up to his promise. In fact, Printers has the worst quarterback efficiency rating in the CFL at 68.4 and there have been whispers of a locker-room split between Printers and the more popular Richie Williams.
NUMBERS GAME ...
7-3 -- Winnipeg's record over the Tiger-Cats in their last 10 regular-season meetings.
1-6 --Winnipeg's record in Friday night games this season.
65 --The number of interceptions Kevin Glenn has thrown as a Bomber, sixth on the club's all-time list.
40 -- Quarterback sacks Hamilton has allowed to date, which is dead-last in the CFL.