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THE MOJ: Grey Cup win for BC Lions on top of Moj’s 2024 Wish List

The Canucks winning a round or two in the playoff would also be great
Winning a Grey Cup at home for the B.C. Lions - as was the case in 2011 - is one of the things on Moj’s Wish List. Paul McCallum hoists the Grey Cup as a member of the BC Lions in 2011. (File photo)

This time of year is filled with lists and resolutions, so yours truly has decided to join the party with a list of random things I’d like to see happen in 2024.

Get rid of the ‘Brotherly Shove’ and piles that get pushed

It started with the Philadelphia Eagles and their quarterback sneaks being aided by running backs who push Jalen Hurts to a first down what seems to be 100% of the time. And now it’s become an epidemic all over the field as ball carriers who are basically stopped in their tracks are now being assisted by offensive linemen who come barrelling down field and get an extra 3 to 5 yards on the play by moving the pile. Enough already! The game is called football – it’s not rugby- so let’s stop this garbage. The good news is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell agrees, so hopefully we’ll see the current rules ENFORCED!

James Paxton throws for 150 innings or more in the 2024 MLB season

Unfortunately, I seem to wish this every year. The free agent pitcher first has to sign a contract and the most recent reports indicate a possible return to the Boston Red Sox, but wherever he lands, you’d like to see the pride of Delta, B.C. just be healthy enough to pitch 150 innings in a season. The 35-year-old Paxton has only accomplished that feat twice in his injury-riddled career but a season without any stints on the IL would be a nice payoff for a quality individual who has had to persevere through a lot.

A return to relevance for my Raiders

The organization whose catch phrase was ‘Commitment to Excellence’ has now gone over two decades without a playoff win. The last post-season victory occurred on January 19, 2003 when the Silver and Black defeated the Tennessee Titans 41-24 in the AFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl XXXVII where they wound up losing 48-21 to Tampa Bay. Since then, the Raiders have had only two plus-.500 seasons, a relocation and 13 coaching changes, so stability has been an issue. Football is better when the Raiders are in the mix for championships. At the very least, one of the league’s most passionate fan bases deserves better.

College football returns to some sort of normalcy

I’ve always been a big college football fan. I know that the majority of people on this side of the border have a passing interest in the NCAA game but if you ever have an opportunity to take in a big-time college tilt south of the border – particularly a rivalry or bowl game – do it as the atmosphere is second-to-none. There have been some changes in the game – such as the expanded 12-team playoff beginning next season – that are positives but the vast majority of what has transpired over the last few years has left many down on college football. NIL deals for student-athletes, transfer portals and conference re-alignments have left the NCAA game unrecognizable and all of it has do with the mighty dollar. As much as people complained about the previous landscape, I’ll take it over the mess we have now which includes the dissolution of the PAC-12 as we know it.

Players shouldn’t opt out of Bowl games

While we are on the subject of college football, one of my pet peeves is players who opt out of their team’s bowl game so they can prepare for the NFL Draft. It reminds me of a story that Cam Neely told us the day before the Bruins retired his jersey in Boston. Neely was a 15-year-old in his first year of what was then called Midget hockey in Maple Ridge. His teammates were mainly 16-year-olds who had the ability to drive to the games while Neely was getting a ride from his dad. It got to the point where Cam felt ostracized and wanted to quit but his father told him that wasn’t an option. His dad told him that he had made a commitment and that he would honor it until the end of the season. If Cam wanted to quit then, fine but he wasn’t going to do it in-season especially when he took a spot that someone else had competed for and lost out on. Neely hung in there and you know the rest. Yes, I know it’s all about the money and the NFL Draft but it’s also about honoring your commitment to your teammates and coaches who supported you to the point where you will be getting drafted.

The Canucks win a round or two in the playoffs

Of course, a Stanley Cup would be great but in the words of Brian Burke a team has to learn how to crawl, then walk, then run. Let’s just say the Canucks are jogging at this point. What everyone would like to see is an all-out sprint that ends in June but let’s not get greedy. Rick Tocchet didn’t have an amazing track record as a head coach in the NHL prior to his arrival in Vancouver (.475 winning percentage in 438 games) but everything that I’ve seen with Tocchet tells me he’s the real deal. He loves to teach, is a great communicator and is always striving to learn. The Canucks, who entered the Christmas break in first place in the overall standings, are in good hands with Tocchet.

The B.C. Lions win the 2024 Grey Cup being played in Vancouver

This one is a slam dunk for many reasons but perhaps the biggest is that it would be a great reward for Lions owner Amar Doman. Prior to Doman’s arrival, the organization was stagnant with no vision and had a dwindling fan base as a result. Doman has brought a vision and tremendous energy to an organization that has got fans excited about the team again. He has also empowered his front office with the support and resources to continue to grow and build the franchise. I remember the vibe in 2011 – hopefully we see the same in 2024.

READ MORE: 2024 Grey Cup Festival gets $3.5M boost from B.C.

Black Press Media Staff

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