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The first full day of the practice week leading up to the 99th Grey Cup kicked off on Wednesday morning and if the buzz around BC Place was any indication, the level of excitement is already beginning to ramp up as Sunday draws ever closer.
With players, coaches and personnel checked into a downtown Vancouver hotel for the duration of Grey Cup week, Lions football operations has officially relocated downtown from their practice digs in Surrey as the club gears up for an intense five days of practices, meetings, media requests and numerous other events that are part of the annual festivities leading up to Sunday’s game.
Kicking off the week this morning was the annual head coaches media conference, where Lions general manager and head coach Wally Buono along with ‘Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice alternated between answering questions from the assembled local and national media and offering their own insight into the championship game.
As Buono prepares his club for their most important hometown appearance of the season, he remarked “I know our club is very excited and very proud to be playing in the Grey Cup home at BC Place in front of many of our fans. Their support of our organization since day one this season has played a big role in getting us to this point and we’re hoping to see a lot of orange in the stands on Sunday.”
Without a doubt, Buono is one of the most popular and well-recognized personalities in the city these days, as the Leos’ sideline boss was given best wishes on Sunday’s game from no less than five passersby on the walk to and from this morning’s media conference.
Shortly after noon, the team bus departed the hotel and made its first stop at of the week at BC Place as the team assembled for a general meeting before hitting the field for a two-hour practice session that by all accounts was a focused and disciplined beginning to the week of preparation.
Following the on-field portion of the day, the team was greeted by a small army of local and national members of the media who converged on the club to hear their thoughts on the club’s first home Grey Cup appearance since their 1994 championship season.
Arland Bruce, speaking to several members of the media, said “this is what we’ve worked all season for; we just need to go out there Sunday and leave everything on the field.” Watch more post-practice comments from Bruce, Tad Kornegay and Brent Johnson on BCLions.comTV.
Lions quarterback Travis Lulay had a busy, productive day both on and off the field as the third-year pivot had a sitdown interview with TSN personality Brian Williams in addition to his own media conference following practice at BC Place.
With Wednesday in the books, the Lions will rise Thursday morning for another full day of activity including a morning practice, media luncheon and the annual CFL Player Awards.
Want to talk about the Lions and the 99th Grey Cup? Join the conversation on the club’s official Twitter feed, using the hashtags #BCLions and #99GC as well as the Leos’ official Facebook page for behind-the-scenes photos, contests and more during this week’s festivities.