‘Everybody needs to look in the mirror’ after another Lions beatdown

More points to ponder after the B.C. Lions danced on an opponent’s logo and helped write a new chapter in the unwritten book of social media etiquette:

Hash-tag this: The reportage elsewhere by 3DownNation requires no embellishment other than to suggest only one word sums up everything that took place before, during and after the Lions pulled a no-show in losing 40-10 to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday – juvenile.

The common theme out of the Lions locker room after the butt-kicking was a lack of preparation, as one by one players told TSN 1040 they were not good enough again but were the second-best team on the field mentally.

“We just didn’t come to play,” said Jon Jennings.

“They came out with a different energy,” said Bryan Burnham.

“We should have bought more intensity, more aggressiveness and better focus. We just didn’t show up,” said Rolly Lumbala.

Which, of course, begs the question as to why they didn’t show up.

There have been many common threads which have been sewn during the 16 seasons in which Wally Buono has had at least one hand on the tiller but among them has been a chronic inability at times to get his teams ready to play. Buono has often said it is up to his players to be ready to play an emotional game but more than once has seen what happens when his team’s collective mindset is missing.

This time at least, it was a point Buono was willing to concede.

“I didn’t do a good enough job getting the guys prepared for this kind of game. We talked about it all week about the physicality but obviously the message didn’t get there,” Buono said.

Of course, Buono didn’t orchestrate the continuation of the ritual the Lions have done occasionally over the years when they got David Mackie and some of his first-year teammates to show their break-dance moves during walkthrough Friday.

Move the party 10 yards in either direction or have their fun back at the hotel and nobody would have been the wiser. Break-dance on the home team’s logo at midfield, get your social media experts put it on Twitter and have the league point to what occurred and you can expect to wear what happened, even if they meant no harm.

You gotta admit though, the Ticats had the last laugh, and more importantly, the last clicks, with this video which surfaced right after the game. Surely the league will be so proud.

The Ticats went right after B.C. from the moment they took the field in warmup.

“I just want to tell the B.C. Lions to not disrespect the hard-working, hard-nosed (fans) of Hamilton,” Brandon Banks told TSN after the game.  Don’t ever disrespect us unless you come in here and win.”

The better question is why the league didn’t take to social media again after the game with video of the reported fight between members of both clubs that took place afterwards. Hey, it’s just more hype, right?

“We were out there dancing on their logo and I understand,” said Lumbala, who last season was told before a game by Buono to work up some emotion for his teammates because the coach admitted they had stopped listening.  “It’s a city that has a lot of pride and when you do that to any team they’ll take offence.”

He’s got that right. Every other Lions watcher simply took offence to just about everything that happened in Steeltown. Next year, perhaps the players should take David Braley out to dinner rather having the owner spring for his annual team meal at a downtown Hamilton bistro Friday before going out and embarrassing themselves.

Not working: There may have been those who were willing to cut Jennings some more slack after his impressive late drive helped the Lions pull out their win over Hamilton last week at B.C. Place Stadium.

But a lot for goodwill got swallowed again Saturday during another dismal display that surely now has to have the Lions wondering whether Jennings will ever recapture his mojo running an offence that looked, well, juvenile, because offensive coordinator Jarious Jackson had no choice but to reduce options for his quarterback.

To be sure, the Lions caught no break when Luke Tasker’s first-drive incomplete pass was instead ruled a touchdown and wasn’t properly reviewed. But the game seemed over on the very next offensive play, when Jennings’ late read was picked off for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead that was 30-3 by halftime.

“You can’t say it’s super tough when you’re (down) 7-0 but obviously a pick-six to start the game off made it pretty tough. From there we didn’t get anything rolling,” Jennings said.

The reality is that after losing his job twice Jennings should be benched again, but with Travis Lulay not expected to be ready the Lions have no choice to stay the course at quarterback.

What happens after the season, with both Jennings and Lulay entering free agency, with Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly suggesting to the Edmonton Sun/Journal last week he doesn’t think he’ll be in any rush to sign a new contract, could represent one of the biggest points in the direction of the Lions.

Let’s make another deal: It would be more than a little naïve to think Ed Hervey is finished trading, not when he has acquired three starters since the start of the season alone and is poised to welcome another this week in Tyrell Sutton.

With just over 10 days until the CFL trade deadline, the better question is whether he is best served to keep going. There’s no proof that any of his injured starters will make a significant difference even if they are able to return by the end of the season.

It also should now be asked which players who aren’t likely coming back anyway could help restock the Lions draft board for next season which has been depleted, by Hervey’s admission, because of a desire to send Buono into retirement on an upward note.

The deal for Sutton, had to be wondering Saturday what he is getting into despite leaving the mess in Montreal, more than likely means its curtains for Jeremiah Johnson, and if Hervey can get a pick for a quality running back at this stage of the season it might be a move worth considering.

And considering Hervey had some nibbles on Chris Rainey when he was briefly in Buono’s doghouse, a deal to send the Lions returner packing might not be the worst thing either. Both players are free agents after the season, which limits their trade value, but still surely must be worth some return on the market.

After a previous butt-kicking this year it was Johnson who gamely spoke up prior to the Lions’ last bye and suggested his teammates look in the mirror to see what more his team could give.

But after being ignored to the tune of three carries for six yards, plus the obvious upcoming change in his stature with the Lions, it’ll have to be up to one of Johnson’s teammates to appeal to their pride if the head coach remains steadfast in his belief that job hasn’t belonged to him the last 16 years and doesn’t belong to him now.

“Everybody needs to take a look in the mirror right now,” Shawn Lemon told TSN 1040. “It’s not a finger-pointing thing. Everybody that got on the plane with us needs to take a look at themselves to see if it’s enough to win a game. They kicked our ass.”

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