B.C. Lions president guarantees a win on Sunday

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Andrew Harris, Tyron Brackenridge

Dennis Skulsky has a message for Saskatchewan: “This is our backyard.”

Whoever said CFL football isn’t exciting?

On Thursday morning, a pro-Roughriders billboard appeared across the street from B.C. Place stadium.

The billboard, and knowledge that the Riders are hosting a pre-game rally, have quite successfully riled up everyone in the Lions organization, from the president down to the players.

How much? So much that Lions’ President Dennis Skulsky made an appearance on the Team 1040 Thursday afternoon:

“I have an announcement because I saw this morning this billboard that’s gone up across the street from our building. I heard about a rally at the Commodore – a rally pregame, a green rally. Last time I checked, those addresses were in Vancouver and the home of the B.C. Lions.

I think the pride of B.C. has a message to send to the green guys. So as an organization, I have so much confidence in our players and our coaches and our team, that we’re guaranteeing ‘win night’ on Sunday afternoon at BC Place.

If we don’t win, we’re going to buy you a ticket to come back to one of our next four games.

It’s a bold statement and I make it confidently because we have a message to deliver. This is our backyard. This is the home of the B.C. Lions, and let’s get it on. Let’s get it on. The orange will be alive and well. The roar factor will matter on Sunday, so we’re going to go and win and we’re guaranteeing that.”

The Lions’ Ryan Phillips was also on the line, and he followed up Skulsky’s guarantee with some comments of his own:

“(The Roughriders are) definitely our biggest rivalry right now from my perspective. I take it as a disrespect for them to come into our city thinking that they could pull such a stunt. So with that being said, we’ve got to give them something to go home and cry about.

Everybody’s going to play with a lot more intensity. I expect guys to come out and fly around regardless, but just to add a little more fuel to the fire – I personally want to thank them for that. We’re definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with on Sunday.”

Skeptics are thinking it’s a public relations ploy as tickets to the Sunday afternoon game are not selling nearly as well as a Saturday game would have, and they might have a point.

Still, the Riders are the Lions greatest rival, and it should be a hell of a game. (Kickoff is at 4 p.m.)

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Omar A has worked for 24 hours, the Canadian Press and TSN. He graduated from the Journalism program at the University of King's College
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