Rick Klassen Passes

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TheLionKing
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Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:02 pm

VANCOUVER — Defensive lineman Rick Klassen, who played 10 seasons in the CFL including nine with the B.C. Lions, has died at 57 following a battle with cancer.
The Lions confirmed Klassen's death Saturday on the team's official Twitter account.

Klassen, from Sardis, B.C., was drafted as an offensive guard by the Lions in 1981, but was converted to a defensive lineman in his rookie season.
He was named the most valuable Canadian of the 1983 Grey Cup, though the Lions lost the title match 18-17 to the Toronto Argonauts.
Two years later he got a chance to hoist the iconic trophy when the Lions downed the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 37-24 to take the 1985 Grey Cup.
Klassen joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the 1988 season before returning to the Lions for the final two years of his career. he announced his retirement after the 1990 season.

Over a span of 160 CFL games, Klassen recorded 66 sacks and added another four and a half in two Grey Cup appearances.
Klassen was voted a member of the Lions' All-Time Dream Team in 2003 as part of the team's 50th anniversary celebrations. He was inducted into the B.C. Lions Wall of Fame in 2007 as part of the Lions' 1985 Grey Cup team.

http://www.tsn.ca/former-lions-dl-klass ... 7-1.628503

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Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:41 pm

Condolences to his family. He was an excellent defensive end.
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Robbie
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Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:18 pm

Some older videos about him posted by his son, Chad.



Sympathies to his family.
Last edited by Robbie on Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Gridiron Ernie
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Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:28 pm

Thanks fellows for all this. Robbie, especially thank you for these revisited but timely video links -- the career overview and the important concussions segment. We all know there's a lot of serious sacrifices made by these athletes for our entertainment's sake, but I did not know of Rick's particular case -- or had forgotten perhaps (having had my own concussion issues -- non-sporting).
I think we're always especially fond of footballers who (precious few) come from our own little neck of the woods -- and although geographical proximity in no way borrows or lends credit for anyone's success of course I take pride in it just the same. As it happened, Rick grew up just across the Vedder River from me. In late summer, with a strong arm, you could easily skip a stone across it, river-bank to river-bank. Me on my village side and he on his. I can't say for certain that ever literally happened quite that way as I didn't personally know him (he was five years my junior), it's a nice notion nonetheless, as we wish him safe voyage -- gently on down the stream... #90 in orange. Cheers.

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Hambone
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Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:46 pm

Sad. I've been working in Fort St.John all year. I got to talking on a regular basis with a fine young lady who was bartending at Brown's Socialhouse. She told me her significant other's step-dad used to play for the Lions. I ask her who it was and she said Rick Klassen. I told her the story about Rick's nickname with the Lions was "Knucksie" because he had short stubby finger that somebody (probably Hebeler) claimed looked like pigs knuckles. Last time I saw him he was sitting in the row in front of me at McMahon at the 1993 Grey Cup.
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D
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Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:00 pm

Sad to hear of this loss, He was a stud on the Dline for the Lions for a number of years.

Condolences to friends and family
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David
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Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:26 pm

Very sorry to learn of this news. Rick was a Lion great.

I enjoyed the feature on him. Thanks Robbie.

That 1985 Grey Cup win had a profound effect. I noticed that both he (and Al Wilson) get choked up talking about it all these years later.


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WestCoastJoe
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Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:15 am

RIP, Rick Klassen.

One of the great ones. My recollection is of his incredible energy. :thup:
Robbie wrote:Some older videos about him posted by his son, Chad.
Great videos, Robbie. Thank you.
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Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:50 pm

WestCoastJoe wrote:RIP, Rick Klassen.

One of the great ones. My recollection is of his incredible energy. :thup:
Robbie wrote:Some older videos about him posted by his son, Chad.
Great videos, Robbie. Thank you.
Very sad news.

Incredible energy indeed. The guy had a motor. He was a big contributor in the mid 80s to what was likely the best Lions D of all time.

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SammyGreene
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Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:53 pm

Way too soon for an absolute gem of a player. Always seem to play his best in the biggest of games. The fact he not only switched from o-line to d-line but at an all-star level tells you what kind of an athlete Rick was. Loved how he and Hebeler went crazy coming out of the tunnel for those epic playee intros in the 1980s and their sack celebrations too.

We were treated to something special thanks in part the old territorial exemption picks. That great 80s defence had 4 Lower Mainland products as starters — Klassen, Hebeler, Jackson and Konar. Don't think we will ever see that again.

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Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:40 pm

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Ballistic Bob
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Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:43 pm

Correct me if Im wrong but did Rick have a Travel Ageny with Ian Sinclair. Thnx BB
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David
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Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:41 pm

Ballistic Bob wrote:Correct me if Im wrong but did Rick have a Travel Ageny with Ian Sinclair. Thnx BB
No Bob, that would be Gerald Roper and Ian Sinclair (W.E. Travel), not Rick Klassen.

TSN Radio's Donnie Taylor had a nice tribute to Rick today. Talked about how big the Lions were here in the 80s and the players were like rock stars. Rick was always a personable guy to Don and a great, thoughtful interview.


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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SammyGreene
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Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:24 am

David wrote:
Ballistic Bob wrote:Correct me if Im wrong but did Rick have a Travel Ageny with Ian Sinclair. Thnx BB
No Bob, that would be Gerald Roper and Ian Sinclair (W.E. Travel), not Rick Klassen.

TSN Radio's Donnie Taylor had a nice tribute to Rick today. Talked about how big the Lions were here in the 80s and the players were like rock stars. Rick was always a personable guy to Don and a great, thoughtful interview.


DH :cool:
Can't recall the year (84?) but it was one of those epic Bomber games and I think on a rare Friday night at BC Place. Lions were down to their back up QB (Tim Cowan) and had no healthy import RBs so gave the start to the "other" Don Taylor, a perennial Canadian back up. . Defence was lights out in a big Lions win with Klassen diving to trip up Clements for a huge sack near the Bombers goal line. Taylor was the unexpected star rushing for over 100 yards.

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Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:56 am

RIP . Condolences to his family and friends. Way to young to pass.

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