Laughter best medicine for Lions after blown call

There are times when words aren’t as effective as actions, especially where the B.C. Lions are concerned and you are about to be asked about the controversial call which ended their hopes against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Saturday.

At least, that explained the reaction by Lions linebacker Jason Arakgi, when asked Monday whether there could be improvements to the video review command centre format used by the CFL to sort out close plays.

You know, plays like the one with 35 seconds left where an apparent fumble by Andrew Harris as a result of some work by Arakgi and Adam Bighill was instead ruled with the Winnipeg player being down by contact.

Arakgi just laughed.

Laughs don’t get a person fined.

That seemed to be the primary concern of the Lions at practice Monday, when the club made sure that players kept to the script when discussing the play with the outside world.

Not everyone was quite as thrilled with the league’s performance with the game on the line . But two days removed, and facing a game the 9-5 Lions absolutely must now win Friday, the attitude was more one of resignation about a system that could, well, still use refinements.

The party line being served up by Lions coach/GM Wally Buono: One play wasn’t the reason for their 37-35 loss.

“Do I think I got it out? Yes,” said Arakgi, whose value to the Lions defensively has clearly increased given he was even on the field on the play in question. “But (Buono) wants us to be men about it. It was a tough pill to swallow but it’s going to make us a better team.”

“It’s up to the refs discretion and unfortunately it didn’t go our way,” said Bighill, who had Harris stood up before Arakgi arrived and started ripping at the ball.

The league’s response, when asked specifically whether Harris was down by contact or the play was blown dead, was the same as it was to 3DownNation after the game.

“The Replay Official ruled there was no indisputable visual evidence to change the call made on the field,” league spokesman Paolo Senra wrote. “It could not be determined from the angles provided if the player had completely lost possession of the ball before the player’s backside touched the ground.”

Buono, who asked for a clarification from the league Monday, couldn’t disagree with the league’s ruling because he hadn’t yet seen the television copy of the play in question.

All he could hope was that the league’s competition committee could make changes to the process during the off-season.

“Obviously the whole challenge thing has been a big issue this year,” Buono said. “The competition committee has made adjustments. The thing that’s hard to sometimes correct is ‘indisputable’. I can’t argue with somebody if he looks at it and there’s not indisputable (evidence).”

All you can do is, well, laugh.


Lowell Ullrich

Lowell Ullrich

Lowell Ullrich has covered the Lions since 1999 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014. He is also a contributor to TSN1040.
Lowell Ullrich
Lowell Ullrich
About Lowell Ullrich (174 Articles)
Lowell Ullrich has covered the Lions since 1999 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014. He is also a contributor to TSN1040.

11 Comments on Laughter best medicine for Lions after blown call

  1. There is a problem in the CFL with forced fumbles that must be discussed.For instance, in a Cat game the opposing team player held Andy Fantuz,s legs from touching the ground to avoid down by contact rule; while his teammate forced the ball from Fantuz to cause a fumble.It was ruled a fumble but this seemed to me like the stooges, not cfl football.Can the opposing players keep a runner by force,in the proper position to execute a forced fumble?

  2. No sense worrying about that until you can make the simple fumble calls. Anyone who has played, watched or reffed football knows it was a fumble except the command centre. No need to complicate things for them.

    • Arakgi was not going for the ball as reported he instead was yanking the top of Harris’s uniform that appeared on camera like a large ghost area or some visual distortion.No wonder the confusion for the command centre it appears like a damaged image of the play.

  3. Good comment Ziggy. This year’s officiating on and off the field has been … Well, Brutal ! As a long time fan, I would like to get back to football. No more challenge flags, and review only in scoring plays and turnovers. Even that wouldn’t have helped Wally, but neither did the review. Orridge, get it right or step away.
    My two cents.

  4. He’s not going for stripping the ball man he’s jerking-pulling at his jersey like a twit that an’t proper ball.Lucky it wer’nt the man’s underware.

  5. Caused him to fumble, so I guess Harris los0es the ball if someone tugs on his jersey? Anyway maybe Harris should be carrying the ball in his underwear, because it came out of his arms pretty

  6. Until the CFL gets rid of some of the “trash” that have been calling the games
    for too many years.. it still has not improved, it has gotten worse.
    IE: Jake Ireland is one that comes to mind.
    This will continue…
    Glen Johnson “running the show” is a complete “idiot” as well.
    Makes our game look like High School Football.
    It is ether “flag feasts” or bad calls, or “wrong calls” or no calls at all.
    “Just my 2 cents”

  7. There were bad calls for both sides like passes that were ruled complete but clearly weren’t ?? In the end the CFL has way too many incompetencies when it comes to officials and play calling .

  8. Paul Bomber // October 12, 2016 at 9:24 am //

    Disappointed 3downnation….
    You seem in general (beyond this story), totally obsessed with pointing out what’s wrong with the CFL. Negative football news? You guys are out in front. A great football game? Let’s find something to complain about within the game. And this was about FORWARD MOMENTUM… Harris was down. So you can show the ball coming out all you want – – the play was over.

  9. That you Jake Ireland? Using an address with Bomber in it fools no one lol

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