Bombers rarin' to teach Lions respect

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

They don't play in the same division any more, and only face each other twice a year.

But for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, apparently, B.C. still sucks.

If you thought the bad blood spilled the last time these two met had dried, you weren't in the Winnipeg locker-room yesterday, where a scab from a wound inflicted eight weeks ago was peeled back to reveal a sore still festering.

In the space of five blistering minutes, Doug Brown, Ike Charlton and Glenn January used the terms "idiots," "high-school antics," "asinine," "disrespect," "bush-league" and "a slap in the face" -- all referring to the Lions, who pay the Bombers a visit tomorrow.

As if the heated playoff race wasn't enough to spice up this affair.

End of story?

This whole thing started Aug. 21, in Vancouver, when just before kickoff Lions players turned to the Winnipeg bench, stretched out their arms and brought them down in a V near their crotches.

After the Bombers got a good measure of revenge in a 37-10 throttling, Brown sounded off about the gesture, and he wasn't alone.

The league office came out against it. Lions head coach and GM Wally Buono even fined his players.

End of story, right?

Not quite.

B.C. defensive end Ricky Foley, a talkative sort who leads the league with 11 quarterback sacks, has revived it, calling Brown a "crybaby" in the Vancouver Sun for going public with his original condemnation of the gesture.

Take it away, Mr. Brown.

"If they have a problem with how I responded to that -- action-reaction, idiots," the veteran D-lineman began. "You don't poke a dog behind a fence with a stick. It's too bad Foley plays defensive end, if he's got something to say about it."

Unable to take Foley on, head-to-head, tomorrow, Brown was just getting started.

"You're playing professional football. Try and act like it before you go out and disrespect an entire franchise. You come out and you have some premeditated, juvenile, high school antics ... that's something that happens in high school football.

"If they want to (expletive) revisit it, then so be it. I can't believe it. There's no argument there. That's asinine."

Foley wasn't the only one taking a run at Brown.

Lions receiver Paris Jackson said Brown was "pretty stupid" not to realize the Lions had been performing that move, "just for fun," for years.

"Then somebody calls us out and we all get fined," Jackson told the Vancouver paper. "He took money out of our pockets. Doug Brown is who he is. You can't change him. He tends to whine about a lot of things."

Obviously, Lions players don't feel that badly about what they did, despite the fact the team issued an apology.

"Who apologized?" Charlton said. "Wally Buono, being the great person that he is. I didn't hear one player over there say anything."

'Slap in the face'

Like Brown, Charlton felt the gesture crossed the line.

"You can taunt a player," the linebacker said. "Everybody taunts. But when you just literally, excuse my language, but, 'F-you' -- that's what that was. 'F-you, you don't belong here, we're B.C., you're Winnipeg, you're no good.' We took that as a slap in the face."

Over on the O-line, where they'll get up close and personal with Foley tomorrow, feelings run just as deep.

"What they did was bush-league," January said. "It was peewee football. You should have respect for your peers."

The gesture played a role in the outcome eight weeks ago, but could it be a factor again?

"As a professional athlete, you don't need any additional motivation," January began. "But that's not to say it sure wouldn't be nice to get a win against these guys."

Last word to you, Ike.

"Anytime you can get some type of material like that, trust me -- we're going to eat it up."

Contact Paul at paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca or 632-2788.


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