Speedy gives a vintage performance at THF
HAMILTON — It all felt too familiar for Brandon Banks and unfortunately, for the majority of the 25,266 fans at Tim Hortons Field.
It didn’t matter that he’s a rare 34-year-old receiver and returner in his ninth CFL season, Banks lived up to his ‘Speedy’ nickname in every way. A first-year Toronto Argonaut after spending the previous eight in the Black and Gold of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he gave fans the most routine of performances on Monday with 80 receiving yards and a touchdown and a four-yard run that covered a lot more lateral ground than that before he found the end zone.
It was vintage Speedy B, just in new, boo-inducing colours in his old stomping grounds.
“It showed me that I’ve got a little bit left in the tank. I had some doubters on me,” Banks told TSN’s Matthew Scianitti after the Argos rolled to a rare Labour Day win over the Ticats.
“But I’m having fun. That’s all that matters to me, I’m having fun right now. Coach (Ryan Dinwiddie) is putting the offence in a good position and I’m just making the plays that are called.”
There had to be a feeling of vindication for Banks as Monday’s game moved along. His ties to the Tiger-Cats organization and the city of Hamilton were always well-documented, the thing that he most proudly put out into the public. When the team opted to part ways with him this past winter in free agency, it hurt. It likely also helped the Argos when they made the quick call to see if he wanted to move up the QEW. The ties to Hamilton and the Ticats’ fans aren’t broken, but as a competitor, who better to land with than your former team’s arch rival to show just how much you’ve got left in that tank?
Argos’ quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson has helped ease Banks’ transition this season. On Monday, he threw passes for him and threw a block on his first touchdown, as Banks scrambled into the end zone.
“I feel great. Every game I’m getting more and more comfortable with Mac. I think the sky’s the limit, we keep playing good ball and we keep building our rhythm in practice, I think we can go a long ways with it.”
Another part of Banks’ comfort this week was that his son, Brandon Jr. was with him and hanging around the team all week.
“I think that’s why I scored two touchdowns,” Banks said with his son by his side, decked out in Argos’ gear. “All week, the coach let him come to practice, let him come to meetings. Just let me be comfortable out here.”