Notebook – October 16, 2006

Updated information on the CFL Ottawa franchise bids, CFL Notes and more in this edition of the Notebook.

Mystery Ottawa Bidder to Return?

Based on media reports of statements from the remaining two CFL franchise bidders, it seems that they are unlikely to bring Jeff Hunt into their groups. This has led to speculation that another group or individual has inquired about the possibility of putting in a late bid. The feeling is that a delay to the process would not hurt anyone and the CFL may allow another bid if it gets Hunt back into the mix. All we know for now is Hunt is on the sidelines, excited about the opportunity and wanting to get back in while the remaining two bidders have presented their proposals to the CFL.

CFL Notes

Elliotte Friedman nails Danny Barrett in his Loyalty To A Fault commentary.

Ricky Williams handles another set of questions on a road trip. Why do reporters still ask questions they will never get an answer to? Seems to me many questions Williams would not avoid are left on the table. Ask him about his youth, influences, his travelling, something besides comparing the CFL and NFL.

In case you missed it, the Edmonton Eskimos will not qualify for the playoffs for a 35th straight year. Finally, after a lot of excuses this year, an Eskimo admits they are not a good team.

The Ottawa Citizen’s Matthew Sekeres covers Jesse Palmer’s return to Canada and gives a glimpse into his life and personality.

The Blind Eye

Jason Kottke has written a couple posts about the book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. The first focuses on the race and class aspect of the book, the second on the football aspect of the book. (Go read those short posts to get an idea of the book’s breadth.)

After reading the New York Times article “The Ballad of Big Mike”, the book does sound intriguing. Covering many aspects facing sports these days, but especially American football, this type of behind-the-scenes view will disturb many people. I think the topics such as exploitation of children and the building of super-athletes are issues that need to be addressed in all sports, from amateur sports to the professional leagues. What ever happened to the players with the natural skills, not with specialized Universal Soldier training, being the athletes of the day? Were the days of lore in baseball, football and hockey with regular Joe athletes that bad? I realize it just comes down to winning and the competitive advantage, which escalates into performance enhancing drugs (steroids and the like). Is that what we really want, and if so are we willing to turn a blind eye?

5 Responses to “Notebook – October 16, 2006”

  1. Bill Says:

    That Friedman article sounded strange. What brought that on? Did I miss something? I’m sure some players are comfy or at least feel comfy but over the years, players have got the boot (one way or the other – they left and nobody fought to hold on or they were booted out).

    Daryl Hobbs, Curtis Marsh – others of course as those were ages ago but those 2 always come to mind. Curtis Marsh helped me in one of the OT Central drafts :)

    We got rid of George White too. We found Reggie Hunt and White was expendable then.

    Whatever happened to Shonte Peoples? :)

    I think some of it was about giving someone one more chance because they’re good football players but maybe don’t fit in s well as they should.

    Other teams do that too (Laurence Phillips).
    Antonio Warren getting the boot might be more about getting Buono’s fav QB Dickenson laying on his ass after that awesome hit from Jackie Mitchell.

    As for the Ricky WIlliams questions/answers – those are funny. Reminds me of the Sphinx guy from Mystery Men: “When you care what is outside, what is inside cares for you.” and “To learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn. ” and “He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions.” and stuff like that. Ricky Williams must have a blast messing with reporters :)

  2. Jon Says:

    Bill: Friedman posted that article after the Thanksgiving Day loss in Montreal.

    I think the key point to what you said and the players you noted was the players left. Marsh wanted big money and figured a chance at the NFL or nothing was better than Saskatchewan. Had he wanted to sign, he would have been in the fold. White left for an NFL tryout and we had replaced him with Hunt. If we hadn’t had found somebody to do the job, White would have been welcome back. Barrett even expressed interest in him when he was released by Calgary this year.

    So I do not think the issue is whether there is player turnover, it is whether there are changes made during the season. I do not think you can cite an example where players were released or just benched during the season. Barrett is on the record for never pulling a QB during a game because he felt it was unfair when he played QB. He stuck with Nealon Greene for years as the guy until finally they realized at the end of last year he was not the QB to take them to the next level. All kinds of problem players have played on the team and whatever they do, they face no consequence. This is the loyalty I see. I believe in loyalty when a good player is going through a bad spell, but when someone isn’t good enough, has never shown the talent, or shows off-field or lockerroom attitude problems, you need to address it before the end of the season. I think that is a fault of Barrett and in Saskatchewan it is his downfall unless he is willing to grow-up as a coach.

  3. Bill Says:

    White was back with us after the NFL. But left at end of season as I recall since Hunt beat him for his job. It was probably free agency (can’t remember). I would have been interested in giving George White a run through here – he’s in BC now I think.

    As for changes during the season, we dumped Almondo Curry. Apparently, Dorsey wasn’t doing too hot return-wise and we benched him for a bit (i believe he was a healthy scratch). And last year or year before there was that Santino Hall thing (wasn’t he great for that early bit!)

    And Shonte Peoples might have been another – can’t remember his exact departure details. He was a weird kettle of fish with stuff.

    Way back when too as I recall we dumped Daryl Hobbs after his half-hearted attempts at catching passes and running routes. And what was the story on the Preston brothers leaving? I don’t remember.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for perhaps pulling a QB or whatever when required (and can be difficult to find the right time I’m sure sometimes). I agree that Danny does have lots of loyalty for players. But I think the article was too harsh as there are some examples (although not that many and not to the same extent that Buono and Matthews do). When we do see players go mostly, it does seem to be during training camp or not even invited back.

  4. Jon Says:

    Point well taken Bill. Although you aren’t really naming big names, there has been some changes. I still agree with the general idea that Barrett is a loyalty guy though. He makes that clear (name another coach who would quit because his GM was fired). Especially the QB situation, where Burris was the answer, then when we was gone to the NFL, Greene was the guy and Burris couldn’t get back in. Then last year all we heard was Greene was the guy, we don’t know football, there is more people on the field than the QB. He’s gone as soon as Joseph is available. So there is loyalty to a point, but do not question him.

    I am not a Barrett basher either. I think he has done a better job than the two or three guys preceeding him. His loyalty to special players though has been obvious to me though. KK is one who gets special treatment. From all accounts I hear he isn’t very good in the dressing room and only produces on the field when he wants to it seems. But when it came time to trade a RB, Holmes was cut loose, when he had done more for the team in many ways. Of course, Hamilton may have only wanted the better player.

  5. Bill Says:

    Barrett is definitely a loyalty guy – no question about that.

    also you never said to name big names – just names of players released mid-season or benched :)

    Besides, as you say, Greene was the big fav and we got Almondo Curry for him. So that makes them equal so Curry was a big name. :)

    But now I’m just messing with ya :)

    And as for Burris, when he was given a chance to play initially, he was no big miracle. It took him AGES to get back to decent QB levels. I know out-of-CFL shape and not really played in ages, etc but still. And even on Calgary he still throws passes to invisible team-mates which get picked off. And i love it (now that he’s on calgary) when he carries the football way out in the open in one-hand waving it like it’s stuck to his hand and he wants it off. I’m not a big Burris fan with the way he handled the departure from here.

    Burris apparently wanted to be the main number 1 and paranoid about anyone being behind him. You need to have a good backup for when number 1 gets hurt. Burris didn’t get that. And with Danny so loyal, Burris shouldn’t have had anything to worry about, right?

    I know what you’re saying and agree with most but I guess I’m just not quite that cynical yet – although I’m sure I was back when it was happening and we lost a game or two. I tend not to want to talk football then :)
    But I’m fortunate enough to forget the losses and the details within :)

    Anyways, on to this week! Anyone else think it’ll be tough to try and predict games when some teams are out and perhaps are just going to evaluate lower ranked players? And then there’s the teams that are in that may be resting vets for the playoffs. This might screw stuff up even more for the picks :(

    We should just all stop now while I’m ahead! :)
    I don’t want anyone else getting any closer to me :)

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