All shook up after handshake

[b]Postgame chat turns sour for Popp, Murphy, Jimenez[/b] Lowell Ullrich The Province

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A look of sheepish innocence came over the face of Rob Murphy when he was asked why the Lions offensive lineman always seems to be in the centre of controversy because, sure enough, there he was yet again Wednesday.

"I don't know why this stuff always seems to find me," he said.

Murphy and the other Lions tackle hailed earlier this season as the CFL's dirtiest player, Jason Jimenez, were involved in a brief but heated exchange with Montreal Alouettes coach Jim Popp after Friday's game at B.C. Place.

If you're looking for one reason the Lions dominated the offensive line of scrimmage in their 46-14 victory, it might be the spark Popp unintentionally gave Murphy in the form of an offseason phone conversation with Angus Reid. The Lions centre relayed his chat with Popp about the winner of last year's outstanding lineman award, in which the Montreal coach wasn't complimentary of Murphy's play.

Murphy explored trade options briefly last winter whilst negotiating an extension with the Lions. Popp didn't return Murphy's call, later telling Reid he was shocked Montreal guard Scott Flory didn't win the lineman award.

"There was a definite connotation [from Popp] that [Murphy] is not as good as people think he is," Reid said.

The fuse had been lit.

Fast-forward to the postgame handshake between Popp and Lions coach Wally Buono, which included Murphy and Jimenez.

"Murph and I were speaking about Popp in a joking manner. He took it the wrong way. He called us [bleep]," said Jimenez.

"I'm thinking, is this guy for real? We're players, we get paid to act like idiots, jump around and holler. For him to stoop to our level, it's such a classless act. I never directed any comments towards him. I'm not going to be disrespectful to a coach or GM in this league. It was as egregious as it was vituperate."

Uh, vituperate, as in rebuke or criticize harshly or abusively?

"I looked that up the other day," Jimenez said. "I'm like, what am I going to use when they ask me about this?"

Popp expressed concern over some of the Lions' line-blocking techniques in his immediate postgame remarks but, like many of his players, backed off that point the last couple of days to Montreal reporters upon film review.

He had not, however, forgotten the skirmish with Murphy and Jimenez when asked about it by the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday.

"These two guys are out of hand. That's why they've been in fights," Popp said. "In my 16 years in the CFL I've never seen something as unprofessional. They need reprimanded."

Although the Lions hadn't received word of formal action, Buono got a call Wednesday from the league two days after he contacted Popp to discuss the incident.

"I thought they were dirty," said rookie Montreal linebacker Diamond Ferri, who's not expected to play in Sunday's rematch. "You can't talk bleep and give you cheap shots. Their whole team is not good sports."

But it doesn't seem to bother the Lions, who have won seven straight at home over the Als and nine of their last 11 overall vs. Montreal.

"They [Als] are looking for anything. Not only do we have crybabies in Edmonton, now we have crybabies in Montreal," said Jimenez.

It was Rahim Abdullah of the Eskimos who first swung the spotlight towards the Lions tackles, labelling them the dirtiest in the league. Teammate Adam Braidwood adjusted the light a little, aided by his father who got into a postgame discussion with Murphy at the dome.

There have been callouts by players in Winnipeg and accusations from Calgary that the Lions engaged in leg-whipping and chop-blocking. Murphy's response: He'll fire back only when fired upon verbally, at least off the field.

"This offseason I'm going to get a workshop going in Florida and just have Adam Braidwood's dad, a couple of players, now Jim Popp, sing Kumbaya and get everything worked out," he said.

It was hard to tell, judging by the tone of his voice, if he was kidding.

I thought that part was sort of hypocritical since he said about a month ago…

Jimenez claims the Canadian football media is “building Perry up” because of one play that has resonated throughout the league, yet the frame-by-frame evidence and statistics suggest that Perry is more than just a one-hit wonder.

“When we played them last year, Perry was a non-factor,” Jimenez says. “But because he put out one quarterback, on one hit, on a play that was illegal, the media is making a big thing about it. He’s a good player, but he’s not an over-the-top good player. The success he’s had against other teams doesn’t necessarily equate to doing well against us.”

I guess what they say about football players is right, they do have short memories.

Although even with all that said, at least they are targetting the right guy, I can’t stand Popp.

God bless Rob Murphy and Jason Jiminez

I don't think Popp is innocent in any of this. I've never seen two players get as much attention as Murphy and Jiminez. It's great.

The Wrecking Crew strikes again.

I think they should have Wally and Jim all mic'ed up for the next game so we can hear the ego's talk at the final handshake...

Wally: I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Popp: I'm the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel.

Wally: I invented the lightbulb.

Popp: I invented electricity.

Wally: I flew the first plane.

Popp: I was the first man to step on the moon.

sequence carries on for 3 minutes all the while both continue shaking hands

Of course Popp isn't innocent in this , he was already whining about it in his half time TV interview - "Oh dear they're chop blocking the crap out of us , and the refs won't call it, wah-wah" . A real class act for a GM.

the trash talk in the cfl is so weak, this just elementary school bs, last year people whining about calgary's WRs dancing, and now people are whining about O-line guys being too physical and aggressive, whats next people griping about QBs passing the ball too much or RBs hitting you too hard? these cfl players/coaches/GMs need to grow up and take it like a man, and why is popp calling people out? he needs to be focused on his own team, if he wants to talk smack he better put on a jersey and shoulder pads.

Very petty of Popp to say that he doesn't think Murphy deserved top Offensive Lineman lastr season and that it should have gone to Flory. Sour grapes and a bush league comment at best.

Maybe Popp should send in some game film.

I read that Popp reviewed the game film on Saturday and kept his mouth shut after that. Obviously he realised that his ridiculous accusations had no basis and he was just reacting emotionally to getting pounded by 30+ points on the road.

You can read?

Of what?????
Pretty sad when a GM has stoop to being a baby.

...and Wally knows all about being a crybaby...

Is there an ignore option where you can ignore users' posts and threads?

Was that the year you were potty trained?
Just trying to figure out the connection between babies and 1989....?

I wish there was.
Especially the broken record posters

It was the year hell froze over, and probably the year you had your 50th birthday.