You have to give it up for the B.C. Lions after winning the Grey Cup on Sunday for the fifth time in franchise history, and the second time as the host city for the big game.
With a team that was 0-5 and 1-6 to start the season, an apparent repeat of the previous season’s similar debacle, somehow, somewhere, or someone helped change all that.
From 1-6, the Lions ran the regular season table and playoffs losing only once.
The same people who were critical of Lions coach Wally Buono back in July are now calling him a gridiron genius.
The amazing aspect of their story is that despite all the media attention focused on the team of recent weeks, the definitive answer as to what turned the season around for the Leos remains a mystery.
Some credit the arrival of receiver Arland Bruce and defensive back Tad Kornegay for their respective impacts on both sides of the ball. Some say Buono unleashed an old-fashioned Vince Lombardi-like tirade on his team in the locker room, but both the coach and many players denied that ever happened.
Others still credit the emergence of Travis Lulay, in only his second season as a starter, for settling in as the leader of an offense that always had the potential to score big points.
And then there was also the play of running back Andrew Harris, a touchdown machine at running back who is familiar to Okanagan Sun fans for his days with their BCFC rivals the Vancouver Island Raiders.
Whatever it was, after Sunday’s game, the realization began to sink in with the Lions players as to what this team had accomplished, and they even seemed at a loss for words to describe it.
The 2011 edition of the B.C. Lions will walk together forever, sharing in the achievement of an extraordinary accomplishment, the likes of which CFL fans may never see again.