Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Running down a dream: Lancer back on brink of all-time mark

From an organization that has been, well, challenged on the PR front in the past (by a lack of resources, not by the dedication or talent of the flacks) it’s nice to see a feature like the CIS Record Watch, which you can read on universitysport.ca.

It might seem like a simple thing, but for years it has been a difficult task to easily access the all-time records. Many of those that covered CIS sport were forced to rely on the work of hobbyists like Bob Adams, or, for a time, John Hayman. Those men did a great job, but it always seemed a little off that you couldn’t get the same information—without pulling teeth anyway—through the CIS.

Record chases make good press (remember how much more attention CIS football received when Jesse Lumsden was chasing the single season rushing yards record). The CIS has one this year as well.

Windsor’s Daryl Stephenson could become the all-time rushing leader by year’s end. Actually, he could be the all-time leader by next week as he sits just 113 yards behind former Manitoba Bison Dominic Zagari.

Cynics will (rightfully) point out that it isn’t fair to compare Stephenson’s OUA yards to Zagari’s, which were gained in tougher Canada West (although the difference between the top teams isn’t as big as some overzealous westerners like to think. The bottom three teams, however, are a different story). They are missing the point.

In a game like football, individual records really don’t matter all that much. Except as a marketing tool. And, CIS football can use all the marketing tools it can get. Hopefully the CIS sees to it that highlights of Stephenson’s record breaking run get out to all the major networks within seconds of him breaking the record. Then the focus should shift to his quest to become the first ever 5,000-yard rusher.

And, if you’re reading this from a location outside of the province of Ontario…we get it, we don’t care and neither should you.

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