Barker blasts Millington

UPDATED: 2007-10-03 02:51:59 MST

Stamps GM labels CBC commentator unprofessional

By SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

Every quarterback in every city is under a microscope.

It comes with the position.

Questioning a QB's production is one thing. Questioning his intestinal fortitude is quite another.

Calgary Stampeders GM Jim Barker feels CBC announcers Sean Millington and Daved Benefield stepped over the line Saturday when they questioned Akili Smith's toughness.

Smith left Saturday's 42-9 loss to the B.C. Lions in the first half with a groin pull.

Millington and Benefield said the quarterback should have sucked it up and played.

"I thought it was unprofessional to speculate on any player's injury," Barker said. "And as two (former) players, they should have known better. They have no idea.

"If you ask an athlete about an injury, like Henry, the next day he said 'oh, I'll be back in a week.'

"So when a reporter asks him and he says 'it's just a little groin pull,' that's normal.

"You would expect it from somebody who hasn't played before."

Without Smith, the Stamps were forced to insert untested Barrick Nealy, who was clearly in over his head against a tough Lions defence.

Millington, a former Lion, stood by his comments and said Barker was deflecting criticism from his team's problems of late.

"I don't know how (Barker) feels that it's unprofessional," Millington said. "It's my opinion based on my experiences as an ex-football player.

"I felt I made a statement that was accurate based on the information I had. I don't think it's an inaccurate portrayal. I'm not talking about something personal, I'm not talking about his family, I'm not talking about what kind of individual he is.

"I'm talking about what I witnessed. I'm not saying he wasn't injured, I'm not questioning his integrity. I merely, at the time, questioned his toughness."

Barker said there's no need for a gut-check with his QB.

"Akili Smith is a guy who, in a pre-season game, (the coaches) told him to come out (of the game) and he refused to come out in Saskatchewan after he pulled his quad," Barker said. "He took us down to a touchdown because that's his style.

"For anybody to insinuate, without even talking to anybody, and label a guy, I thought it was unprofessional.

"If it was said about them when they were playing, how would they have felt about it?"

But Millington believed Smith could have played, even if it was in a lesser role.

"When I see a guy jog out of the locker-room at half time ... If you're good enough to jog, as a quarterback, you can hobble the five steps that it takes to do a five-step drop," Millington said.

"Maybe (you won't) be doing any sprintouts, maybe you won't be evading the rush, but that's on your o-line."

I agree with Millington. But It is nice to see Barker trying to cover for his player between cakes.

Millington's analysis may have been incorrect but I don't think it was out of line. If the commentators don't provide some additional input outside of the game technicalities the broadcasts can become rather boring. Now it's up to Akili to prove him wrong (if he can play).

I guess no one is saying Millington is boring.
What we are saying is the guy is an idiot.
He is likely the worst announcer in football and is constantly making stupid statements like this one.
When you have announcers saying they "don't understand" what a "minor" grion pull is, implying it is either a full tear of the muscle or nothing, just shows they really have nothing to add to the debate.
Just to further demonstrate how ridiculous Millington's comments are, when he says,

I'm not saying he wasn't injured, I'm not questioning his integrity. I merely, at the time, questioned his toughness."
he is questioning his integrity and is saying he is not injured. Make up your mind Milly and keep looking for that new job.

FACT: The information Millington had was

1- Smith: "Minor Groin Pull"

2- Smith jogging onto the field

3- Alternative was Stamps going to clipboard holding student...

Based on that Millington's comments were fair game.

...if at ALL possible Smith should have made an attempt to return....i have to agree with Millington...if the guy was jogging on to to the field ...that does look odd....i think there's more going on in cowtown than anyone realizes...Higgins better have some answers soon for this club.... especially after canning Creehan...or Ned could be getting kicked upstairs or somewhere before he knows it....... :roll:

You wont strain the groin with a slow jog. Its a fast twitch muscle reaction that will further strain it. Like what you’d have to do to avoid a pass rush.

Im embarrassed for Millington, unlike paps he’s played the game and should know better.

Having watched Kerry Joseph and others hobble around with bad knees, hamstrings and groins and still tough it out to stay in the game, I would have to agree with Millington's comment. He did not say Smith wasn't injured. He did not say Smith had no integrity. He just questioned his toughness.

Whats Kerry Joseph have to do with it???

Millington an announcer and former player came on
nation wide television and questioned a mans toughness without even talking to that particular player.

Benefield, Walby, and that other announcer
who i cant even recall, did the same.

Its UNPROFESSIONAL and i fully support Jim Barker
on this issue.

He is the media,
Nuff Said!

.....SLOW JOG....the guy was almost sprinting....and if you're referring to me about playing ball....i've been in a few games....i know groin injuries can be very painful....and you want to rest, and not further aggravate it by ANY type of movement.... if you can help it....never mind jogging...sounds like a cop- out to me :lol: :thdn: Milli was right... :thup:

You saw him sprinting?????

Well maybe compared to you, it looked like a sprint.

I saw him gingerly jogging.

Good job Akili, no need to further aggravate it!

And we all know how correct the media is! :roll:

...gingerly jogging....sprint...i think you're splitting hairs...it had to be stress on the 'so-called' affected area....and by the way....i might have a little rust on the wheels...but i can still motor if i have to... :lol:

..but i can still motor if i have to... Laughing

Im glad to see you havent lost your sense of humour.

...maybe a little speed .....but never my humour Eskylo....heh heh.... :wink: :lol:

As for their statement that "there's no such thing as a minor groin pull", I don't think they were making a medical statement. I think what they were saying was, when it comes to the groin, no injury is "minor".

I don't think there's a guy here who would disagree with that. :oops:

Actually, I was just checking the video from the game, and Walby actually says it it would have been a bad idea for Akili to return.
He took the position that “any groin pull” was serious.
So he completely disagreed with Millington.
I couldn’t actually find the comments by Millington and another announcer. Not like I spent a lot of time looking.

He kept mentionly slight groin pull, whats a slight groin pull. I took it to mean he was babying
his groin, Big Dave seems to think he meant any groin injury is serious.

Ive pulled my groin(insert laughter here) badly,
its still not the same. You dont mess around with them. I believe a bad groin cost Grace a couple more years in the league.

It makes me laugh how edit
get all bent out of shape when someone expresses an opinion that you dont agree with or may be a bit bold. Dude is entitled to his opinion so deal with it. You dont have to agree and thats fine, but to go off and say this and that is unprofessional is just sad. What is wrong with a commentator who spices it up a bit with a lil controversy? You want all tv personalities to have no opinion and tippy toe around so you sissies dont get your panties in a bunch? Bunch of robots if you ask me.