FOULDS: Sometimes the jersey, in sports or otherwise, just doesn’t fit
From orange and white to green and white, the colours Geroy Simon will wear this summer constitute, quite simply, a football fashion faux pas.
Simon is, of course, the legendary ex-B.C. Lion slotback, a man known well enough in the province that even non-football fans are aware of his presence.
Like Lui Passaglia and Trevor Linden and Harold Snepts and Bobby Lenarduzzi before him, Simon has that intangible connection to the public that very few athletes possess.
His rise to top-of-mind status is all the more remarkable, considering he came to Lotusland all the way from Johnstown, Pa., via a short stop in Winnipeg.
Today, however, Simon is a Saskatchewan Roughrider, having been traded last week.
Age, salary and his role in the Lions’ offence led to the transaction, which means the man who owns the CFL record for most career receiving yards will not be at Kamloops’ Hillside Stadium when the Lions open training camp in early June.
Trades happen, athletes age and teams need to address the future.
Fans understand that.
However, the trade brings to mind the fact some players simply belong in certain uniforms, while others can fashion a plethora of togs with no sense of unease on the part of the spectator.
Simon is an example of the former.
To see Simon in Rider green is just wrong. For whatever reason, it will never look right.
There are certain players in professional sports who are connected to a team in ways the vast majority of athletes are not.
Linden never looked right wearing New York Islander, Washington Capital and Montreal Canadien jerseys.
He looked right only in a Vancouver Canuck uniform.
Same with Ryan Smyth, now back to being an Edmonton Oiler, as God intended. Ray Bourque won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, but he will always be a Boston Bruin, as will Bobby Orr in spite of donning a Chicago Blackhawk jersey.
Then there are players who rack up Air Miles and look just fine wherever they play.
Mike Sillinger holds the record for most teams played for — at 12.
He looked OK whether skating for the Anaheim Ducks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings or any of the other nine clubs for which he toiled.
If there exists in sports that intangible aspect that ties certain players to specific teams, might there be a similar situation in politics?
In my mind, Ujjal Dosanjh and the NDP go together like peanut butter and jam. Dosanjh and the federal Liberals? Not so much.
Pierre Trudeau embodies the federal Liberals, yet he was a New Democrat before leading Canada’s natural-governing party.
Seems weird to think of Trudeau as part of the NDP.
More recently, we have had politicians switch sides now and again, though without sacrificing that intangibility that ties the person to a particular political entity.
Bob Simpson is the well-known independent Cariboo-North MLA who in 2010 was booted from the NDP.
Five years before that, he was a senior organizer for the B.C. Liberals.
Simpson may well be the Mike Sillinger of provincial politics, calling various dressing rooms home without invoking any attachment with voters.
If so, Simpson’s political linemates could be John van Dongen (B.C. Liberal/B.C. Conservative/Independent) and Kamloops’ very own Claude Richmond (Social Credit/B.C. Liberal).
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio (13 years, all with the New York Yankees)? A nation turns its consistency-starved eyes to you.
And, to you, Ed Broadbent (24 years, all with the federal NDP).
And, to you, Peter Lougheed (19 years, all with the Alberta Conservatives).
And, to you, Grace McCarthy (22 years, all with the B.C. Socreds) . . .