September 26, 2017

Birth Of Daughter Provides Perspective For Turner Jr.

For many professionals, real life events can put problems at work into perspective rather easily. That is especially true for Bryant Turner Jr., who is spending bye week at his home in Birmingham, Alabama. The defensive tackle is likely resting a lot easier, if he is getting any rest at all, after his wife Morgan had a difficult time giving birth to their second daughter Zoey earlier this month.

“It’s been a struggle, very much up and down,” said Turner Jr. of his recent family scare.

“The baby came through after my wife had some complications. Other than that, it has been trying to focus on football, as well as family.”

The veteran was at home while his teammates were getting ready to visit the first place Calgary Stampeders. It wound up being a similar experience to the problems they had with their first daughter Kennedy.

“My wife hemorrhaged. She lost some blood after the baby came out and they had to give her four units of blood,” explained Turner Jr.

“They kind of expected it (after the same problems with Kennedy’s birth) and it turned out good, but I am pretty sure we are done having kids. We don’t want to go through that again. It was something that the doctors were aware of and they did the best they could do. It worked out.”

Zoey was born on September 11th, a day that will always be remembered for tragedy striking. Hurricane Irma was also passing through Birmingham, which made things a little scary for the Turners and their parents, who were at their side for support. Rest assured, everyone is thankful now that Morgan and Zoey are feeling good.

“It was a little hectic outside with the anniversary of a tragic day in the United States. That kind of hit home with a baby being born and my wife going through all of that,” recalled Turner Jr.

“It (the storm) didn’t affect Birmingham much, just passed through the area. At that time it was just a category one. If anything, we might have had some trees falling down.”

Turner Jr. knows if they don’t get it together with five games to go, all of the trees may officially come down on the BC Lions’ 2017 season. At 6-7-0, they remain tied in points with Saskatchewan for a crossover playoff spot, with the improved Roughriders holding a game and hand and the season series. In order to make the playoffs, the Lions must finish with more points than one of their Western Division counterparts.

The seven-year veteran has one message: don’t count them out just yet.

There are some great guys on this team, guys that really want to win. You have guys like (Chris) Rainey who can be a hot head sometimes, but it’s because he wants to win. That’s a really good thing to have,” maintained Turner Jr.

“These guys are all around the team. You feel pressured to get the job done, which is a good thing.”

You can argue there is never really a good or bad time to have a week away from football. Hot streaks and chemistry can be interrupted. And then there is a bad stretch like this. Turner Jr.’s squad has lost six of their last seven games. That means the consensus from many is a break from

“I think this is the perfect time for a bye week. You have guys who are banged up and tired. Plus that cold weather is coming in. When we get back we will be 100 percent focused on football,” said Turner Jr.

“We won’t be worried about another by week; we will be focused on getting into the playoffs.”

Along with being an imposing figure on the football field, the defensive lineman and father of two is a very well spoken individual. Those traits should bode well as he continues to learn his post-football profession: selling real estate.

“I got my licence right before I came up to BC during the offseason before last. It was really my first time getting into it and I (recently) had three listings. The last one closed the other day. I am looking forward to getting into it more after football,” said the 2012 CFL all-star.

We couldn’t resist the temptation to ask if he would ever pursue his real estate career in the sizzling market that is Greater Vancouver.

“It would be nice (laughs). When I am up here football takes up all my time and my wife is not leaving Alabama. All of our family and friends are down there,” explained Turner.

“It’s cool to see what these real estate agents are doing. You see guys driving Lamborghinis that sell real estate. It’s a totally different game up here, but I look around and learn what people are doing. It helps to have a leg up on that when I go back home.”

With a healthy wife and two adorable little girls Turner Jr. already has his collection of luxury items. And the Lions will once again have that veteran option on a defensive line that has seen more changes than your average tire shop in 2017.

“Things are good now. We’re looking forward to winning games,” a motivated Turner said.

Matt Baker: