Football is a business. Time and time again we hear that mantra. Not least because it is so true. For teams players are only as useful or valuable as they assess them to be at any one point in time. Sentiment doesn’t play a part in deciding whether a player or coach can contribute to your team right now.
Whilst it may be true that football is indeed a business, that does not diminish the fact that the people involved in all of these personnel decisions are human beings. Which means they don’t see things in the black and whites of personnel calculations but rather experience the results of such decisions through the prism of their own humanity and emotions.
A player that finds themselves in a situation where a team has decided to move on without them does have one thing to their advantage. Motivation. If someone decides another player is a better fit than you it is almost certain that you are going to want to prove them wrong.
Shawn Lemon is no exception. He was traded to the B.C. Lions near the end of July having spent parts of three seasons in Toronto. He also arguably played a pivotal part for the Argos defence that helped the team win the Grey Cup in 2017.
Now the Argos are going in a different direction. First-year defensive coordinator Mike Archer is running a different scheme on defence from last season. That’s not to say Lemon hasn’t contributed. Certainly in a recent interview with TSN he feels he has something to offer, stating, “I feel like I did things the right way even though not playing structurally in the same defence as we were last year, I didn’t make any excuses about it, I just went out there, tried to help the guys out and do the best I could do to my abilities,” https://www.tsn.ca/cfl/video/lions-game-in-toronto-very-personal-for-lemon~1462785
The other thing to come out of the interview is that it is clear Lemon didn’t feel he should be traded. With that in mind the Argos should expect their ex defensive stalwart to come into this game highly motivated to prove a point. For the team it may have been business, but for Lemon this is personal. He was very clear on this, “Toronto the city has a special spot in my heart. Just naturally I was very hurt about how things went down with me being traded so this is definitely a very, very personal game for me”.
If you follow Shawn lemon on Twitter (@SLemonator ) then you’ll know he’s a pretty positive person most of the time. He’s been pretty popular with Toronto fans too during his time with the team. For this week though when game time hits you sense all friendships will be off and Lemon will have a point to prove.
It will be fascinating to see how this all unfolds. As ever the best place to find our answers will be on the football field. Lemons thinks the Argos will have their hands full with him – let’s find out if he’s right.
Original image from bclions.com