Super Bowl Sunday 🏈
Ah, Super Bowl Sunday! The San Francisco 49’s square off against the Kansas City Chiefs. Someone said it was amazing that Taylor Swift was able to make it to the Super Bowl in her rookie year! The game of the year is often overshadowed by the halftime show which seems to get more outrageous every year. And of course, the Super Bowl commercials have been hit and miss over the years, but one thing’s for sure, they cost a fortune, as do tickets to the game. According to TickPick, last week the average price for a ticket to the game was $9,800, making it the most expensive Super Bowl on record. Who knows what the price will be today on game day!
Talk of the gridiron takes me back to my B.C. Lions football career. What? A football career, well not exactly a career, and I didn’t actually play for the Lions, I was working at radio station CKNW that had the broadcast rights to the Lions games and I worked as the sideline reporter for one season back in the late 1970’s. Through that time I got to know Stu Kehoe who was the equipment manager of the team. Stu was the guy responsible for outfitting the players with whatever they needed. It’s hard to imagine how intense and violent the game is unless you’re right down beside it. In one game a lineman came off the field, handed Stu his helmet, and said he needed a new face guard, he had snapped his! Shows you the power of the impact that these guys go through every game.
There were some great players back then, Local guys like Terry Bailey, John Beaton, who I played soccer with as a kid in Dunbar, Glen Jackson, and Lui Pasaglia who was at a Blue Frog concert not so long ago! And one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, the B.C. Lions centre, Al Wilson the pride of Duncan, British Columbia, whose nickname was “Dirt”
And then there was Jim Young. Nicknamed “Dirty 30.” In an interview by Brian Snelgrove for CFL.ca, Jim tells the story of his nickname. Young really was the face of the franchise in the ’70s, and played for 13 seasons from 1967 to 1979, and has his name in the ring of honour at B.C. Place. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame, the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, BC Football Hall of Fame, and voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL’s top 50 players of the league’s modern-day era by the Sports Network, TSN. Got the picture? One of the greats!
Back to the story of his nickname. Young says, “It was after a game in Hamilton in 1967 and a friend of my dad’s came up to me afterwards,” Young remembers and said, “Man, you Lions sure played dirty tonight.” It gave Young an idea and he approached sports writer for the Vancouver Sun, Jim Taylor with his idea of tying “dirty” to his number 30. Jim Taylor did a column on it which led to a book called “Dirty Thirty!” Young says it was just something they created for marketing purposes. Well, the nickname stuck and is remembered by all the old Lions fans. Dirty Thirty was and still is one of the most popular players in the team’s history.
Just a few weeks ago I was attending a celebration of life for a friend of mine, Rick Buecking, and remembered he used to be a roommate of Jim Young back in the old days. I wondered if Jim would be at the afternoon’s event, and he was. I went over and re-introduced myself to him as it’s been a number of years since we’ve talked, and he introduced me to his son who came with him to the celebration. We talked about old times and I told his son how I had watched his Dad over the years and was a big fan. Jim let on that he had his 80th birthday last year, and I said I was catching up with him, something not many opposing players could ever do in his days with the Lions. It was great to see Jim again, and I thanked him for all the years of enjoyment he gave me and all the other Lions football fans over those great years.
So whether you’re a 49’s fan, a Chiefs fan, or a Swiftie, have a great Super Bowl Sunday! Enjoy the game.
Till next week...
Above: Wayne and Jim Young // Jim Young in playing days.
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White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2