‘Little Speedy B’ says a tearful goodbye to Ticats

There were some tears on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ practice field on Wednesday afternoon.

Brandon Banks Jr., the eight-year-old namesake of the Ticats receiver, is heading back to his full-time home the United States after spending several weeks with his father in Hamilton. “Lil’ Speedy” was a fixture at practice, helping to shag balls, hand out water bottles and generally having about as much fun as a kid can have.

But when it was time for him and his dad to begin the journey home — they left about halfway through practice — there were some tears, plenty of hugs and heartfelt goodbyes as the whole defence paused their session to give him a send-off.

“He was having fun and got to be around his dad, who’s a superstar. It’s cool as hell,” said linebacker Simoni Lawrence. “Any time you get to do something that helps your teammate feel more comfortable in life, it’s good.”

Head coach June Jones, who has also allowed Nikita Whitlock’s son to help at practice, says he enjoys having kids around the club.

“It’s very important for those little guys. They’ll never forget that,” Jones said. “It’s all part of being a team.”

While Banks may have left practice early, he looked good enough in the early going that Jones says he may be ready to play Friday after dealing with a knee issue that kept him out of the first couple of days.

“His leg looks like it’s good to go,” Jones said. “I expect he’ll be able to play, so we have some decisions to make.”

With Terrence Toliver and Luke Tasker also set to return to the lineup that already includes Jalen Saunders, Rashad Lawrence, the recently-acquired Chris Williams and Canadian Mike Jones, the Ticats now have a glut of receivers.

The Ticats could unleash an all-American lineup that features five former 1,000-yard receivers — Banks, Tasker, Saunders, Williams and Toliver have all done it — but would have to make a ratio change elsewhere to make it happen (likely by using Canadian Mercer Timmis at running back.)

But there are other lineup and salary-cap implications to consider.

“We have some different ways we can go,” Jones said. “We’re going to total up how many plays everybody would be on the field.”

If Jones sticks with an American running back, it’s likely to be Alex Green, who is set to come off the six-game injured list after breaking his hand in the pre-season. He’ll replace John White, who has started the last three games, carrying the ball for 89 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.

Jones said White has done everything he’s been asked to do, but Green has a little more experience in the offence. Allowing Green to return to the lineup falls in line with his commitment that players do not lose their jobs due to injury.

“What I do and what I saw have to be the same, otherwise I get compromised,” Jones said.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1568 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

23 Comments on ‘Little Speedy B’ says a tearful goodbye to Ticats

  1. Lots of TSN coverage about Manziel making his first CFL start at QB for the Als…. and a big surge in ticket sales for Montreal… pretty sure ESPN will be all over this too… all good stuff… just wish he was wearing a Ticat jersey…

    Everyone loves a comeback… and if Johnny Football makes it all the way back to the NFL then this game will forever be a part of the story… too bad Ticats brain trust didn’t realize the amount of PR they would benefit from for all future NFLers considering coming north to the CFL…another fumbled ball by Ticats…

    • Ridiculous comment… Fumbled ball.. Sheeeeesh

    • I’ll hold my criticism until after the game tomorrow, but a far as the “everyone loves a comeback” crap, not everyone is pulling for little Johnny. If it was your sister or friend he beat up, I’m sure your opinion would be different. It amazes me how some people are so blinded by their own greed for a “winner” that they continue to put lying, cheating, drug adled a-holes like Manziel and Tiger Woods up on a pedestal. If they weren’t professional athletes, would you be as forgiving? Manziel has had plenty pf chances and pissed them all away, and now he wants you to adore him again only so he can skip town if he has any modecum pf success. Man, I didn’t realize you could be bought off so easily. GO CATS!!

    • Traitorous on my part perhaps…but I’ll be voting for Manziel and the Al’s tomorrow…that’s how pissed I still am at this current dysfunctional TC organization. Maybe Manziel bombs as a QB with the TC’s…who knows…but the fans here got absolutely CHEATED finding out. Your point about future NFLers coming North is bang on…one of the first things I thought about when I heard about “the trade”. Tillman and Mitchell have their collective heads buried so deep in the sand that they don’t get the “big picture”…”the trade” has many ramifications besides the obvious collective bodies moving to different area codes.

    • This is the most ridiculous hot take in the history of hot takes and you should be too embarrassed to allow your face be seen in public for weeks, even if nobody knows you posted this laughable, laughable post.

      Hamilton won that trade. They won it going away. I can’t even call it a ‘grand slam home run’ because Hamilton scored way, way more than 4 points on this trade. They got two first rounders that are likely to be first overall picks. They got starting Canadian defenceman.

      I nearly passed out from laughing over the idea that this trade was “another fumbled ball by the Ticats.”

      Manzier is a big fat NOTHINGBURGER. And I get a huge laugh out of all the fanboys who cream themselves over him.

  2. Noodles Romanoff // August 2, 2018 at 9:54 am //

    Agree Snake.

    Forgive me if this is a stupid question but ??? who keeps track during a game as to the number of Non-imports on the field versus the number of Imports? Does the ref have to look at this each time the offense or defense comes onto the field?? Do they keep track of this for each play or is it based only on the pre-game roster?

  3. Tiger man // August 2, 2018 at 10:14 am //

    These guys play such a brutal sport that we sometimes forget that they are human.

    Good to remember that.

    • Foodie Foodnerd // August 4, 2018 at 3:38 am //

      Thanks for an important reminder, Tiger cat. (sincerely; not sarcasm!)

      They’re human, and they have people who love them, that already have to read a lot of ugly, heartless ragging on their loved one.

      I can’t stand reading players, coaches, teams referred to as trash.
      I don’t care if they lose 100 straight; nobody deserves to be called that for any legal play that doesn’t involve dirty moves intended to cause injury.

  4. Ticats have left me in tears a few times this season too! But the Ticats don’t need Little Speedy B at their practises. They need the screaming kid in the buggy at Walmart with the mother who’s clearly given up trying to calm the kid down in order to wake the Cats up alittle. A kid that will drive them crazy with their eyes rolling around in their heads. This feel good stuff has softened the team up. Where’s that kid from Van Halen? Have you seen Junior’s grades? ……. And the cradle will rock! LOL It’s a heartwarming story. Really it is. but enough tugging on the heartstrings. Lets get MEAN again!

  5. Good on June Jones for letting Bank’s young son feel part of the team.

  6. Lancer 68 // August 2, 2018 at 3:38 pm //

    Kathmandu…I take it you’ve never ever played a down of football. It is a TEAM GAME…and great experiences like having little ” Speedy B” at practice brings a TEAM together. Players are also human beings. Brandon Banks spends almost the entire day immersed in football. It is not a 9 to 5 job. To have his little guy with him during some of that time…BEFORE HE LEAVES TO GO HOME..is good for Brandon and the team. Fans do not own a players’life..either on the field nor off regardless of how much money they make. You misunderstand and are ignorant to what it takes to make a team “mean”.It is impossible to maintain the needed intense brutality at all times. In fact it is harmful and counter productive. Kudos to the Ticats for developing the same type of respect for their players as people first that the ESKIMOS had in the late 70’s and early 80’s. They didn’t do too badly with their ‘feel good stuff’winning a hand full of rings in five years. Tiger Man gets it..I hope you do too and you will appreciate and enjoy your Cats more!!

  7. Lancer 68 // August 2, 2018 at 3:51 pm //

    Snake…Have you considered the Ticats have a great PROVEN quarterback NOW and adding improving their line and receiver corps improves the TEAM! Johnny sitting on the bench doesn’t attract future NFLers to Hamilton either. God help Ticat fans when the day comes when the brass makes moves for NFL PR. Great gutsy move by the Ticats. I am an Eskimo fan and fear the Ticats more now, but I am a CFL fan first and Johnny being good in Montreal will be good for everyone.

    • Super Flea // August 3, 2018 at 10:49 am //

      What has Masoli proven??? Hahaha…believe he is .500 as a starter. Proven….lmao Manziel has more talent period!

  8. Just wondering @Lancer 68… how happy were you when Ricky Ray was traded to Argos… for the good of the CFL and all…

  9. Ticats63 // August 2, 2018 at 4:38 pm //

    As many of us have said, tomorrow’s game could be a key one for this franchise (given the Cavillo situation many years ago – I was one of those who openly booed his pathetic play while with the Ticats), or it will hopefully become just another win it what turns out to be a solid season with a home playoff game.

    (Wow, 9×9 is the evil spambot math question…some of the regular commentators may disappear if the questions get any harder!)

    Keep smilin’

    • @Ticats63 – Main difference though is that Manziel didn’t even get the opportunity to show what he has here. And TC fans never got the opportunity to watch.

  10. Barry McCawkiner // August 2, 2018 at 5:19 pm //

    Would love 5 Americans with a backfield of Timmis and erlington. Would love a few wins even more!

  11. Solara2000 // August 2, 2018 at 11:41 pm //

    Love these stories which give us the fans another perspective on the players and coaches. Can recall – many years ago – going to training camp of the Ottawa Rough Riders (yes Ottawa) with my dad – just a fan – and enjoying every minute of the experience feeling part of the team.

  12. Robert Bridgeman // August 4, 2018 at 9:59 am //

    Snake…thanks for asking…you prove my point! I loved Ricky Ray in Edmonton but when the Esks traded him I understood. You see, we had a youngster named Mike Reilly who needed playing time. That has worked out pretty well with a cup in 2015 and competitive teams since. Plus it rejuvenated the Argos…so great trade! Thanks for supporting my points Snake!!

  13. Robert Bridgeman // August 4, 2018 at 10:04 am //

    Super Flea…make as many excuses for Johnny as you want…but talent alone is nothing in pro football without knowledge and understanding the nuances of the game. Masoli has all those…johnny doesn’t. Embarrassing beat down last night…but Montreal is in it for the long run while Hamilton can win it thus year. Great trade for both teams…Montreal and Ottawa next week will be well watched and exciting. It’s good for everyone

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