Oxygen revives B.C. cornerback's career GREY CUP NOTEBOOK

November 24, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko and Ken Murray | Roch Eric Kubatko and Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writers

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Less Browne, B.C.'s veteran cornerback, will be playing in his fifth Grey Cup on Sunday. Two weeks ago, he thought his career was finished.

Browne, who is retiring after the season, tore cartilage in his left knee during B.C.'s 24-23 win at Edmonton in the Western Division semifinals. He didn't expect to return, but after spending some time in an oxygen chamber -- a popular method of treatment in B.C. -- he noticed improvement in the knee and was able to play the next week in Calgary.

"I could start running and doing all kinds of other stuff," he said.

"I'm just happy to be here. I couldn't write a better ending for my story. I thought I was history. I thought for sure I was done.

"It's sore and they had to drain some more fluid out of it [Tuesday], but I'm going back to the oxygen chamber and we'll start this whole thing over again."

Browne's first three Grey Cup appearances were with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1984 to 1986. The fourth came in 1990 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He is 2-2 in championship games.

Obtained from the Ottawa Rough Riders in April 1993, Browne is the CFL's all-time leader in interceptions and interception yardage.

B.C. slotback doubtful

B.C. slotback Mike Trevathan, who missed the Western Division final after being diagnosed with hepatitis A, was hoping to return for Sunday's game, but spokesman Roger Kelly said it probably won't happen.

"He's still sick. It's doubtful he can play," Kelly said.

Trevathan (6 feet 1, 200 pounds) had 1,069 receiving yards and led the Lions with 12 touchdown catches. He became ill while in Edmonton two weeks ago, and several of his teammates were inoculated as a precaution. He lost 12 pounds in 10 days.

Home team, but only in name

Baltimore will wear its blue jerseys as designated home team Sunday, but team owner Jim Speros doesn't see a home-field advantage playing the B.C. Lions at B.C. Place.

"It's supposed to be a neutral site, but we'll be coming in here outnumbered," Speros said. Yesterday, ticket sales rose to 53,514 in a domed stadium that seats 59,000.

Friendly wager

Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen are betting on the outcome of Sunday's game. If B.C. wins, it will cost Schmoke a bushel of Maryland steamed crabs. If Baltimore wins, Owen will fork over some British Columbia canned smoked salmon.

Grey Cup veterans

Four B.C. players remain from the last time the team was in the Grey Cup in 1988: punter/kicker Lui Passaglia and offensive linemen Ian Sinclair, Rob Smith and Jamie Taras.

Miscellaneous

CFLs wide receiver Walter Wilson, nursing a separated right shoulder, expects to play Sunday. "As long as I'm able to raise my arm by Sunday, I'm going to play," he said. "It's day-to-day." . . . Baltimore rush end Elfrid Payton was named Lineman of the Week in the CFL and cornerback Karl Anthony Defensive Player of the Week for the 14-12 Eastern Division final victory over Winnipeg last Sunday. . . . CFL commissioner Larry Smith said that it is possible Hamilton and Sacramento may stay where they are next season -- even though the Gold Miners already announced they were leaving. Smith also said the Las Vegas Posse still was exploring the possibility of relocating in Birmingham, Ala., San Antonio or, as a long-shot possibility, Orlando, Fla. . . . Smith said there have been two preliminary meetings with the CFL Players' Association over a new collective bargaining agreement. The current one expires before next season.

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